Courses at the quinta

The fires of October 2017 which destroyed all of our guest and volunteer accommodation and facilities brought the focus very clearly onto the urgency of our present global situation and the need to dramatically improve eco-literacy. Since then, we have been working like crazy to restore buildings and infrastructure and get the quinta into a fit state to function as an environmental education centre.

The sad reality is that we are in danger of perishing from our own stupidity and lack of responsibility to life. If we become extinct because of factors beyond our control, then we can at least die with pride in ourselves, but to create a mess in which we perish by our own inaction makes nonsense of our claims to consciousness and morality.
Bill Mollison

In 2019, we created a 6 week programme of back-to-back courses during June and July.

We were delighted to hook up with with Circle Permaculture to offer a full 72-hour certificated Permaculture Design Course endorsed by the Permaculture Association UK. The course was a great success and will become a semi-annual event from 2020.

Students on the Permaculture Design Certificate course making compost

Immediately before the PDC, there was a week-long Foraging & Fermentation course, bringing in our local wild edible specialists.

Cooking up foraged food on the Foraging & Fermentation course

Following the PDC there was a week-long Post-PDC Practical Course to cement and ground some of that prodigious amount of theory.

Mixing cob during the Post-PDC Practical

Then there was a 2-week long Natural Build-in to construct a new vermicomposting toilet at the quinta, culminating in a one-day Vermicomposting Toilet workshop to commission the sanitation system.

These courses were simply and fundamentally motivated by our need to reconnect with Nature and harmonise ourselves with natural processes. So as well as providing education about natural systems, we worked in natural ways, using self-organisation and feedback loops as our defining framework to retune our ways of thinking as well as our skills and knowledge.


Food is mostly organic and in season, sourced from the quinta and local growes

Although the courses are finished for this current year, it was such a brilliant and encouraging start to the quinta's career, we're already planning next year's programme. Keep an eye on this page or sign up for our newsletter below if you're interested in joining us.


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June 2019

Foraging & Fermentation Course 2019

June 17 - June 21
Quinta do Vale Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

Quinta do Vale is partnering with two local wild food specialists, Clio Wondrausch and Laura Williams, to host a FORAGING & FERMENTATION COURSE during June 2019. Foraging is a whole lot more than grabbing some free food on a walk in the countryside. It reconnects people with nature in a profound and beautiful way. As Monica Wilde puts it, "Once you can identify plants, appreciate their culinary and medicinal values, and the wondrous ways in which nature works its sentient…

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Permaculture Design Course 2019

June 23 - July 7
Quinta do Vale Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

I'm super excited to be partnering with the guys at Circle Permaculture to offer Quinta do Vale's first full certificated PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSEĀ this year! Endorsed by the Permaculture Association UK, George Christofis and Wallace Toughill's PDCs get enthusiastic reviews wherever they hold them (in Spain, Portugal and Sweden). The course will run between June 23rd and July 7th 2019. Teachers will be George Christofis, Wallace Toughill and Wendy Howard. Full details are on Circle Permaculture's website. The gardens at Quinta…

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July 2019

Post-PDC Practical Course 2019

July 7 - July 14
Quinta do Vale Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

A PDC (Permaculture Design Course) is mainly the theory. The foundation. And although the course features daily practical sessions, it doesn't pretend to equip people with the full range of skills they'll need to implement permaculture designs. Enter the POST-PDC PRACTICAL! Whilst all this knowledge is fresh in your mind and bursting to find an outlet, this is a chance to put it into practice with support and supervision and gain the confidence to go out there and do great…

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Natural Build-in 2019

July 14 - July 28
Quinta do Vale Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

Quinta do Vale is hosting a NATURAL BUILD-IN during July 2019. This is a natural building collaboration as much as a course. It's conceived as a learning experience which not only gives you some natural building knowledge and skills, but also immerses you (albeit temporarily) in our local, largely off-grid community to get a taste of how we all work together. The primary focus of the natural build-in is to construct another compost toilet for the quinta, using a timber…

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Vermicomposting Toilet Workshop 2019

July 26
Quinta do Vale Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

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…

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