We were to be offering courses here at Quinta do Vale from 2018. Unfortunately the fires of October 2017 put paid to that. All of our guest and volunteer accommodation and facilities were destroyed or damaged beyond use. But having to make repairs to our buildings and infrastructure gave us the opportunity to turn it into a learning opportunity for others, so we opened our doors in 2018 regardless and welcomed people to the quinta to help us rebuild.

In 2019, the emphasis shifted much more towards the urgency of our present global situation. We
worked like crazy through the winter and spring to get the quinta into a state where we could start running courses in earnest. We came up with a 6 week back-to-back programme during June and July, featuring a range of things to learn about with the overall aim of helping to enable the necessary response.

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

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 the intention is for it to become an semi-annual event.

Students on the Permaculture Design Certificate course making compost

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

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

Following it, 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.

Although the courses are finished for this current year, we had such an amazingly encouraging start to the quinta’s career as an environmental education centre, we’re already planning next year’s programme. Keep an eye on this page or sign up for our newsletter below if you’re interest in joining us.


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