Permaculturing in Portugal

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


Over the last decade, Quinta do Vale or me or both have featured in various media publications both online and in print. All manner of people have come by at various times to record videos, podcasts, interviews, etc, for a variety of reasons. Many revolve around the catastrophic wildfires of October 2017.

Some are featured elsewhere on this site as well but this page collects most of them into one place. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of some of them, particularly the printed ones, so if you stumble across something which you think ought to be here, please let me know!


This is a video I made to introduce the quinta and summarise some of what we’ve done here. All the other videos on this page were made by others.

Some drone footage of the geodome greenhouse and the quinta as it was can be seen in this promo video (made for Domes in Portugal) just a couple of months before the fires. It’s a precious record of how things were developing at that stage. We’ll get there again, but it’s going to take a few years.

This moving video was generously made for the entire community by a passing Belgian filmmaker, Thomas Ortegat-Traen, to help us raise funds to rise from the ashes. Quinta do Vale features. I’m the one with the cats in front of what was the wee house.

Behind the scenes with Sebastian #1: A garden-tour intro to the project

Posted by The Spirit of Syntropy on Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Australian Spirit of Syntropy crew, Tom and Sebastian, came by the following Spring and made these two videos. The one on the left is a spontaneous stroll around the quinta by Sebastian, talking about how it was recovering after the fires.

The one below is a finished production featuring several of us in the area who lost homes to the fires. We talk about our experiences and the problems of the pine and eucalyptus monocultures in the area.

I talk about the fires a bit in this video recorded by Oscar and Hilde of Finding a Better Way to Live in the late summer of 2018, but it’s much more about the systems here on the quinta and some of what informs what I do.

This was a webinar held in January 2020 organised by Gary MacDougall in British Columbia, Canada, and featuring participants from such diverse locations as Bhutan and New Zealand.

In December 2020, Tom and Sebastian released a couple of teaser trailers for their forthcoming documentary, though the documentary itself is still seeking funding for post production.

In the Autumn of 2021, Dutch travel show 3 op Reis with presenter Jennifer Hoffman came to Benfeita and as well as visiting two neighbouring families of eco-immigrants, one Dutch, one Portuguese, interviewed me about the fires and the forests.

3 op Reis - Benfeita


I also go into some of what I do here and the reasons why in this podcast interview recorded by Carl Munson.

Listen to “"Live in a more planet-friendly way" – Wendy Howard's 'Quinta do Vale' – The Pure Portugal Podcast” on Spreaker.



I recently started a channel on Medium as a platform for diving a little deeper into the philosophy of ecology and regeneration and to provide a small income in the process. It will probably grow quite slowly. Articles take time to write.

The need to change our way of thinking to participate in the community of Life

Print media

I’ve lost track of most of the press articles and photojournalism featuring the quinta in the wake of the fires. There have been a few pieces, mostly in Portuguese, but also in Dutch and Swedish.

Histórias do Fogo: Relatos de Heróis com Rosto

I was honoured to be asked to participate in Rita Fernandes Martin’s book, Histórias do Fogo: Relatos de Heróis com Rosto.

My account of the fires constitutes Chapter 11. The book is in Portuguese.

In December 2019, the Portuguese national daily newspaper, Diário de Notícias, celebrated its 155th anniversary with a special edition looking to the future, choosing to profile our community in a 3-page feature in its print edition and also online.

Featured article on Benfeita community in Diário de Notícias, December 2019

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