Quinta do Vale da Lama

Quinta do Vale da Lama


  • Commenced: 01/02/2011
  • Submitted: 12/04/2012
  • Last updated: 21/04/2014
  • Location: Odiáxere, Algarve, Portugal
  • Website: www.valedalama.net
  • Climate zone: Mediterranean


Adam Posthuma Alexandra Petrikat Carla Santos Carlos B Diana Diekjürgen Gurjeet Kaur João Gonçalves Jon Holland Jonás Fernández Paniagua Jorge Coelho Lina Soroli Lorenzo Di Sandro Maria Fernanda Silva Martin Korndoerfer myriam parth Nancy Thomsen Rachael Fountain Samuel Lauwers Shao-Lyn Low shaun plumtree Somesh De Swardt Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper Teresa Circosta Tiago Amado Simões Tom Kendall Ulrika Landin Ümit  Yüksel Viktor gruber

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Community Project

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Quinta do Vale da Lama

Project Type

Rural, Community, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

An educational institute and a demonstrational working farm aiming at providing the food for its residents, students and guests while improving the land as we go.

Project Description

Permaculture Institute of Vale da Lama is an educational institute and a demonstration site for sustainable and self reliant living in Algarve.

On the west bank of Ria de Alvor tidal estuary, midway between town of Odiaxere and beach of Meia Praia, a 42 ha farm that was farmed intensively for most of the 20th century, left fallow for most of a decade, and is now being cultivated the Permaculture Way.
From "bird's eye" perspective, the project can be seen as composed of 3 distinct parts, corresponding to 3 sub-projects:

- Casa Vale da Lama: on the high-ground (above canal), an Eco-resort accommodates up to 40 guests in sustainable comfort;

- Campo do Vale: on the lowlands adjoining tidal estuary, a Children's Summer Camp & Environmental Education Centre provides recreational & educational experiences in the context of a Natura 2000 conservation area;

- Bio-intensive gardens: on the agricultural land lying between Casa Vale da Lama and Campo do Vale, a Pedagogical Garden that both feeds & teaches us how to feed ourselves.


A hybrid team of 9 live-in Permies and up to 15 guest workers inhabit the site, with help from a small-but-mighty team of animals and employees and friends of the project from the local community and abroad, all working to develop both the land and themselves, by cultivating symbiotic relationships.

These 3 sub-projects, though far from fully-realized (see Roadmap below) are all established (debt-free) and running under independent governance, well on their way to achieving shared goals of fulfilling most basic needs (i.e. food, water, energy) from onsite resources, while achieving net reductions in carbon output and net gains in human satisfaction year-upon-year. We know that Well-Being (i.e. People Care) and Nature-Conservation (i.e. Earth Care) are not mutually-exclusive pursuits; indeed, by understanding the web of life and working with natural relations (i.e. practicing Fair Share), instead of fighting them, we can sustain ever-increasing levels of both biodiversity AND cultural richness in and on our grounds. This is Permaculture as we understand it… And we are getting to the point of understanding enough about it (knowing full well how much we have yet to learn!) we have decided to begin teaching it in earnest.

The core Permaculture team (Farmer, Teacher, Administrator, and Owner -all natives (save the last) with total of 6 PDCs to their credit) is working on a program that should, in the course of the the PDCs and Internship programs, to prepare some 100+ students/interns per year, with the theory & practical experience they will need to get their own Permaculture projects off on a sustainable footing. In light of the good work being done by Permaculture Research Institute in Australia, and considering the need for such a centre of excellence in the this part of the world, we are now running regular PDCs, internships, teacher trainings and short courses and workshops.


Permaculture Design Course w/ Lesley Anne Martin

June 2nd to 14th 400€ all included

Posted 4 months ago (0 comments)

Volunteer Experience at Quinta do Vale da Lama

Come join in a life-long learning experience.

Posted 7 months ago (0 comments)

Perma-harvest: Discovering Perennial Root Crops

Fall is the traditional root-harvesting season in the northern hemisphere. Across Europe, Asia, and the Americas, agriculturalists large and small dig up root crops to store for winter. The same is happening here at Vale da Lama!

Posted 9 months ago (1 comments)

Reflections from Teacher Training with Rosemary

Authenticity - this word has been on my mind since Rosemary spoke of it on the last morning of the Permaculture Teacher Training I took at Vale da Lama, in the beginning of October.

Posted 10 months ago (0 comments)

Water meets Earth

Course with Lesley Martin and Sergio Maraschin

Posted 11 months ago (0 comments)

Grape Harvest Working Group (IV)

@Quinta do Vale da Lama / Lagos / Algarve / Portugal

Posted 12 months ago (0 comments)

Permaculture Design Course - PhotoBlog (Part III)

@Quinta do Vale da Lama / Lagos / Algarve / Portugal

Posted about 1 year ago (0 comments)

Permaculture Design Certificate Course with Rosemary Morrow (October 7 to 19)

Visit our website (www.valedalama.net) or click in the link below to see the factsheet.

Posted about 1 year ago (0 comments)

Permaculture Teacher Training with Rosemary Morrow (Sept 29 to Oct 4)

Join Rosemary Morrow for six days of intensive permaculture teacher training that will change the way you think about education, and enable you to take action towards a permaculture teaching career.

Posted about 1 year ago (0 comments)

Alex Petrikat and her experience coming back to Vale da Lama…

Alex wrote us something about her experience coming back to Vale da Lama and her perspective has reinforced our intentions and our courage to take them trough or “walk our talk” like Leslie often says.

Posted over 1 year ago (1 comments)

Certified PDC - June 10-22 and August 5-17- Registrations now open

The School of Design at Vale da Lama Permaculture Institute is proud to offer it's Permaculture Design Course in new EcoHosting facilities.

Posted over 1 year ago (0 comments)

Daily Life In Vale da Lama Institute Part IV (Permaculture)

Get to know the daily info about our farm.

Posted almost 2 years ago (0 comments)

Daily Life In Vale da Lama Institute Part III (Permaculture)

Get to know the daily info about our farm.

Posted almost 2 years ago (0 comments)

Daily Life in Quinta do Vale da Lama, by Fernanda Silva (Part II)

Daily works go on in Vale da Lama, weed, seed, plant, harvest, irrigation, improve the beds and prepare new ones, new compost toilets, maintain and prepare new compost and new courses will come.

Posted almost 2 years ago (0 comments)

Dryland permaculture course with Richard Perkins

Link to an update featuring a dryland permaculture course in Vale da Lama

Posted almost 2 years ago (0 comments)

Portugal - How human cycles and rhythms change the vegetation and the climate

Some recent musings that came from our dear friend Rosemary after her visit to Vale da Lama in April.

Posted almost 2 years ago (1 comments)

Latest VDL newsletter

Meanwhile on the farm.. glimpse to early summer news!

Posted about 2 years ago (0 comments)

Alley pasturing with donkeys

As a result of some HM and RegenAG studies in the winter our two donkeys have been recently grazing in the fig orchard.

Posted about 2 years ago (0 comments)

Solar daal for lunch

Harnessing the warm rays of the spring sun to cook lunch for everyone.

Posted over 2 years ago (1 comments)

Interview of Rosemary Morrow after the TT course

Rosemary's thoughts and observations from Vale da Lama and her time in Portugal.

Posted over 2 years ago (0 comments)

Glimpse from the second teacher training course

A video collage of snapshots from Rosemary Morrow's second permaculture teacher training at Vale da Lama

Posted over 2 years ago (0 comments)

Open day with tea and teachers

Have a cup of tea with Rosemary Morrow, Lesley Martin and Helder Valente, and ask anything you've ever been wondering about permaculture!

Posted over 2 years ago (1 comments)

Sauerkraut for everyone

Tons of cabbage in the garden! Enhancing its nutritional value and storing goodness for months to come: Let's make some sauerkraut!

Posted over 2 years ago (0 comments)

New profile

Vale da Lama went through a profile renewal, if you want to keep up to date with our activities, please follow our updates through this profile.

Posted over 2 years ago (0 comments)