thehive on April 15th, 2014

Last week we achieved more than we hoped and the session culminated in a beautiful mind map of some of the things the Hive stands for (see picture).

We managed to create a new accounting system, meaning we will be better able to control budgets, and we agreed on a name for our cooperative: The Hive - Cultural Activities Cooperative, CRL , shortened to the Hive Cooperative.

Our mission statement is:

To promote cultural eco-friendly activities for the development of the local community.

We have started looking into crowd funding and are keen to get started, so please get in touch if you know anyone who has had success in this area.

We started our first talks with local bee experts on setting up bee courses. In the future we will take bee products from our hives, taking us to the very essence of what we believe: that the food found in nature is there for us to sustain and satisfy us.

Bee hives give us a perfect example of what aim to do: to use our local environment to provide us with food. In the future we will produce and distribute delicious products each month, including chestnuts, mushrooms, olive oil, fruit and vegetables.

Keep it local. We encourage people to sell their goods through the co-op, thereby supporting growers in the 100km radius of the Hive, and giving healthy, ethical choices to shoppers in the wider community.

Portugal Smallholding on April 12th, 2014

Quinta das Abelhas is sold, although the new owners won’t move permanently just yet.

Horses and Permaculture


Whilst Andy is staying on as Caretaker of Quinta das Abelhas, I’ve moved to Vale das Lobas for 6 months to study how horses might be integrated into a permaculture design.  You can follow my new adventures on my new blog Horses and Permaculture.

I’ve been here for a couple of weeks getting settled into my caravan in a little ancient olive grove and my horses are due to arrive this week! There are already two horses at Vale das Lobas – Albert (pictured) a gypsy cob who used to board at Quinta das Abelhas, and Mysti a Welsh pony.

thehive on April 8th, 2014
We are a few days in to the three month trial period and things are going well.

As mentioned last week, our main three aims for this period are:
• To set up the cooperative.
• To look into fundraising to cover the two year plan.
• To begin to put in place whatever structure necessary to make the land productive once again and to repopulate the village of Rossaio.

With the last aim in mind, we are busy drumming up recruits, new and old to come along and join us. Experience has taught us that word of mouth is the best way to get the right volunteers; people with initiative that can inspire and be inspired.

It’s a beautiful time in the mountains: spring is in the air and the last of the April showers should soon be behind us. There is already the excitement of fruit trees blossoming and edible treats cropping up in the garden, and there is lots of work that needs doing, from planting and tending the gardens to creative initiatives.

But what we need most is to start making better contact with experienced permaculturalists who would like to come along and get involved. Those with the ability to train others and maintain independence are most welcome at the Hive. We also welcome you highlighting other similar projects to us, as we would love to liaise with them.

We know that lots of permaculture people aren’t on facebook, so you can help us out by letting them know about what we are doing out here. Or introduce those of your friends who are on facebook to the Hive’s page.

So if you or anyone you know fancies a fresh air break, please get in touch and feel free to share the Hive’s contact details.

And don’t forget, we can always offer ethical investment opportunities!

Happy spring time everyone!
joao pedro goncalves on April 7th, 2014

awakenedlife on April 7th, 2014
When: 17/05/2014 @ 11:00 — 17:30
Where: Awakened Life Project, at Quinta da Mizarela, Benfeita, Arganil
Price: 15€
The day will include a guided tour of the permaculture project, solar and hydro systems, ram pump, a delicious vegetarian meal and plenty of time for discussion and to enjoy the natural beauty and waterfalls of Fraga da Pena.

Open day is the perfect way for those interested in the project to come and see what we are doing. It offers a chance to meet the creators of the project and participate in a comprehensive tour of the land, as well as meet other people who are also interested in the project.


11:00 -12:00 – Introduction

12:00 -14:30 – Guided tour of the quinta including the ram pump, yurt, outdoor bathroom and compost toilet, the donkeys, permaculture gardens, chicken tractor, beehives

14:30 – 15:30 – Delicious Vegetarian Lunch

15:30 – 16:30 -  Guided Tour of the buildings and construction, hydro and solar power systems

16:30 – 18:00 – A walk to the waterfalls of Fraga da Pena

- See more at:

awakenedlife on April 7th, 2014
When: From 09/05/2014 @ 20:00 — To 11/05/2014 @ 17:30
Where: Awakened Life Project, at Quinta da Mizarela, Benfeita, Arganil
Price: Starting from 100€
What is the true potential of women in the 21st Century? What role do women have in creating a new culture and a new world?

This retreat is all about the role that ‘the feminine’ will play in the next evolutionary phase of humanity. It will be a celebration of what is possible for women who are willing to change, transcend old structures and to come together as true spiritual sisters so that something new can be born.  We will go on a journey together looking into the culturally created limitations of women and more importantly our capacity to transcend these limitations.

There will be guided meditation sessions to connect to the deeper part of oneself where there are no problems to overcome. There is no meditation experience needed.

Our time together will be both cosmic and very practical. Each woman will have the opportunity to look into what holds her back and in doing so can experience the universal nature of all the obstacle she thinks she has. Finding out that your ‘issues’ are really everyone else’s issues is a very liberating moment and it will break protective barriers in you.

The aim of the retreat is to give women a new perspective to interpret one’s life. This perspective is based on evolutionary spirituality and it will help you to experience yourself as part of an evolutionary process that is creative and dynamic. The historical past of women consciously and unconsciously affect how we are as women today. We will look into this history so we can all understand why women think what we think and why we do what we do.
This will be an individual and a collective journey. Experience the thrill of coming together with others in the spirit of transformation. If you would like to read an article on ‘What is an Evolutionary Enlightened Woman?’, please click here.

If you are interested in getting connected to a deeper part of yourself, transcending limitations and coming together with other women in ways you could never have imagined, this retreat is for you. All that is needed is an open heart, a willingness to drop old ideas, and an interest in transformation.


For more information visit:

awakenedlife on April 7th, 2014
When: 26/04/2014
Where: Lisbon & Torres Vedras
Price: 150€

Fourteen billion years ago (more or less!) the universe was born in a flash of light and energy, which slowly evolved into matter and then life, then consciousness and culture, and finally you…A human being with the power to self-reflect and to choose. Have you ever thought about what it means to be living at the very edge of evolution – the most highly developed expression (as far as we know) of a cosmos becoming aware of itself? Are you ready to consciously and courageous participate in the process that gave you form?

In this course you will discover a new spiritual practice, philosophy and path for our times – encompassing the timeless freedom of spiritual awakening, the vastness of the evolving cosmos, and most importantly, the enormous responsibility that each one of us holds for the future…

The good news is that this emergence has already begun in many places in the world including right here in Portugal! It is accessible to all who are open and sincere in their intention to evolve. There is a new sensibility that has begun emerge at the leading edge of consciousness and culture through the combined synergy of progressive spiritual groups, philosophers, scientists and cosmologists. While still small in numbers this movement has revolutionary potential and is spreading fast…

When: From 14/04/2014 @ 19:30 — To 21/04/2014 @ 17:00
Where: Avidanja, at Casa da Ervas Silvestres, Verride, Coimbra
Price: Starting from 330€
Contact: – 968308538
With Peter Bampton
Meditation: Who am I?
Held amidst the Spring beauty of Casa da Ervas Silvestres, near Coimbra, this 7 day Easter retreat is a rare opportunity to dive deeply into the miraculous immediacy of spiritual freedom, joy and communion. Discover your True Nature through an approach to meditation that is accessible, simple and profound.
Easter is traditionally a time of rebirth and renewal occuring amidst the celebratory surge of Spring. For those of us who recognize that the greatest gift of our human birth is our potential for spiritual realization, Easter represents a perfect time to turn our attention inward toward the divine source of our Being.
After the extraordinary experience of the New Year 7 Day retreat, which you can find out about in the video above, we are inspired to offer another opportunity for a longer retreat over the Easter holiday.  This is an opportunity to put aside the routine of our everyday lives and give ourselves completely to spiritual practice so that we may be inspired and renewed by the wellspring of peace, joy and depth that lies at the core of our being.
The retreat will be held in silence except for teaching periods and question and answer sessions. No previous meditation experience is necessary and people from all faiths and spiritual orientations can benefit.
joao pedro goncalves on April 4th, 2014

In Chao Sobral: 2 adult goats for sale,
price is negotiable.

They are good for milking and are small sized.

Will send photos later for those who ask. joaovox @
Please forward to other people who might be interested.
thehive on April 1st, 2014
At the Hive we’re really excited that our three month trial period begins on Wednesday! We are happy to announce that we also have all five signatories for the cooperative, and that three of them are Portuguese! This is particularly good news, as one of the objectives for this period is to engage more with Portuguese folk on all fronts. We are aware that this has been a shortcoming of ours, and we’d really like to make up for lost time. We are busy getting all of our information translated over to Portuguese language, and are glad to say that we already have several Portuguese volunteers booked in to stay with us!

We are aware that it takes time to re-jig a project, but all involved are putting in the energy to turn the Hive into the hub of creativity that it should be.

The main three objectives for this period are:
• To set up the cooperative.
• To raise funds to cover the two year plan.
• To put in place whatever structure necessary to make the land productive once again and to repopulate the village of Rossaio.

All five new signatories are taking part in the trial period, three of whom will be working together on a weekly basis in our newly built space. Thanks to our supporters and investors, we are getting a regular income for the first time in the Hive’s history! With the administration costs being covered too, we are open-minded as to where this trial period will take us.

Do you have experience of working on the land? Are you skilled in training volunteers? Do you have the initiative and drive to see projects through from start to finish? Are you community minded? We are looking for anyone with permaculture, sustainability or any other land-based or building skills to join us, either for shorter stays of one or two months, or for longer stays of a year or more. In return for two or three days work per week, we can offer food and accommodation as well as a small sum of money to the right people, budget provided. We are willing to be very flexible in this, so if you or anyone you know has the skills we need, please don’t hesitate to contact us.