Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Courses at the quinta

Government restrictions on free movement and assembly put in place in response to CoViD-19 have very regrettably meant we had to cancel all our courses in 2020, some quite literally only at the last minute.

After 2019’s great start to the quinta’s career as an education centre and its ongoing recovery from the 2017 wildfires, this has been quite a considerable blow, not least in the resources invested in preparing for courses which could not then take place.

For 2021, we have plans to resume our programme of Permaculture Design Certificate courses in partnership with Circle Permaculture, as well as a rocket mass heater build and more natural building and vermicomposting toilet workshops, but at this stage they can only be tentative.

Students on the Permaculture Design Certificate course making compost

Keep an eye on this page for further developments or sign up for our newsletter below if you're interested in joining us.

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Vermicomposting Toilet Workshop 2019

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July 26, 2019

Quinta do Vale is hosting a one-day VERMICOMPOSTING TOILET WORKSHOP on our very own vermicomposting flush toilet system on July 26th 2019. This will be the final day of a 2-week NATURAL BUILD-IN to construct a new toilet for the quinta and we’re turning it into a workshop to allow more people to come and learn about the system.

At the moment, it’s the only vermicomposting workshop I’m teaching this year.

This workshop will not only give you the chance to help commission a new system, but also to see the original one that’s been working away for 5 years now.

The workshop will cover the theory and practice of installing a DIY vermicomposting sewerage system based on a conventional flush toilet. This system combines all the ecological advantages of a dry composting toilet system with the user-friendliness and convenience of a flush toilet and has a 20-year history of trouble-free use by the system’s originator in the USA.

It requires minimal maintenance compared to dry systems and has significant environmental advantages over conventional septic tanks. The system can be used in approved housebuilding and renovation projects in this area of Portugal under the provisions for “septic tank with drainage”.

Vermicomposting toilet workshop

Teaching a vermicomposting toilet workshop

Outline plan for the workshop

10-11:00am Tea/Coffee on arrival
Informal get together and exchange of ideas/information about your individual projects and reasons for attending the workshop.

11:00-12:30am The Theory
Why vermicomposting? Where and how is vermicomposting being used in sewerage systems and bioremediation projects worldwide? How does this system work? What’s its history? How is it constructed? What maintenance is involved? How does the system regulate itself? What are the environmental advantages?

Questions are encouraged throughout the session, whether in relation to your own project (planned or potential) or to the science in general, but please try to keep these appropriate to the general focus and flow of the session.

12:30-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-3:30pm The Practice
Hands-on installation of the system. The system does take a bit longer than 2 hours to construct and install, but preparatory work will have been done in such a way that you’ll be able to see all parts of the system clearly and take part in the final stages of installation. Bring working gloves and wear suitable clothes.

3.30-4.00pm Tea/Coffee
Informal get together and summing up of the project. Any remaining questions.

Fully booked


35€ including lunch and refreshments

Overnight accommodation is available at extra charge. To participate in some of the building of the toilet, see the Natural Build-in event.




Quinta do Vale
Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

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