Quinta do Boiço - Introduction to Forest Gardening/Introdução à Floresta de Alimentos

Introdução à Floresta de Alimentos - English below...

Uma vez por mês, o projeto está aberto para quem quer passar o dia connosco e aprender sobre floresta de alimentos e permacultura.
O dia começará com uma introdução aos princípios da floresta de alimentos, plantas e árvores que nós usamos em nosso projeto e as espécies que podem ser incluídos em outros designs. A seguir haverá uma visita guiada ao projecto para ver e falar sobre o que é na prática.
Congratulamo-nos com perguntas e esperamos que na volta haja discussão e todos fiquem inspirados.

Este Dia Aberto começará pelas 10:00 e terminará às 18:00 com um intervalo para o almoço confeccionado principalmente a partir do horto florestal ou do que é localmente produzido. O Almoço é vegetariano.
O custo da inscrição é 18,00 € por pessoa. Inscrições limitadas a 10 pessoas.
As inscrições podem ser feitas atraves do nosso site -

O workshop será falado em Inglês.

Introduction to Forest Gardening

Once a month the Sustainable Forest Garden project,at Quinta do Boiҫo near Tabua, is open for people to come and spend the day with us learning about forest gardening and permaculture.
The day will begin with an introduction to the principles of forest gardening, plants and trees that we use in our design and species that can be included in other designs. Following that there will be a guided tour of the project to see and talk about what it looks like in practice.
You will see the different stages of a forest gardens growth as we visit new, partly developed and fully grown food forests in different areas of the land.
We welcome questions and hope that seeing a forest garden in all its beauty and productivity will get people talking and inspired.
The Introduction days are always lively and fun, please come and join us!

Open days start at 10.00am and will finish at 6.00pm with a break for lunch provided mainly from the forest garden or locally produced. Lunch is vegetarian.
The cost for the day is 18.00 euros per person and groups are limited to 10 people.

Contact us through www.sustainableforestgarde​nfarmproject.weebly.com
The workshop will be taught in English.



Quinta do Boico


We initially planted up a small forest garden, in an existing pear orchard, when we bought the farm more than 12 years ago. Because of this climate, with its hot summers, we quickly reaped the benefits of mimicking a young, natural forest ecosystem. The forest garden was both beautiful and productive and it convinced us that this was the way forward for us.

We have had a head start here, as the farm had been a thriving fruit farm lovingly tended by a couple who obviously had a deep connection to and love of this land for over 50 years.
In the years since, on the rest of the farm, we have continued to plant trees, and allow self seeding, in amongst the existing wide variety of edible and native species and soon realised that the entire valley was turning into a forest garden. It feels like a very natural evolution of the land.

In the last few years we have become inspired to continue the work.
It seems to make sense on many levels to plant up the land for human needs, both physically and spiritually, and ultimately will mean less work for us, as the system will be self sustaining in many ways. Such a system will also meet the needs of the wildlife and allow space for the return of a self balancing ecology to return.
We don't kow what the future will bring but sustainable resources have to be a part of it.We believe that it is crucial to plant trees and useful edible polycultures and try to take a long term view of the land and the needs of following generations.We need to act like we are the ancestors and leave behind us a place better for our passing.
Mindful of our responsibility, we decided that a 2 hectare area lying at the bottom of the valley looked an exciting place to begin a more carefully planned and designed forest garden, so in 2008 we began......

The New Forest Garden

The first step was to draw a map of the area and start to plan our design.
We placed the trees and plants that were already there and then drew in positions for the many cuttings and transplants we already had.

In the autumn of 2008 the brambles were cleared and the land prepared for planting.
After browsing through listings of edible and useful trees and shrubs we came up with a list of potential buys. A visit to a local nursery made us realise that we were going to have to design for what was available, initially, and that the planting would evolve according to when we could acquire the rarer species on our list.

We were fortunate to be given a grant for tree planting and bought 45 trees which were planted out, with more to come.
Some of the larger trees are in place and we have the watering system installed now.We are currently continuing with other elements of the FG.

It's just a beginning and an ongoing project which will take some years to complete but we are enthusiastic about the possibilities we see for it.
If you are interested in being part of this project or volunteering please see our Visiting/Help page.

We want to show the enormous potential for meeting our needs directly from the land and offer that vision to others who may want to do similiar things in their areas. In the future we hope to offer permaculture courses and forest garden modules here, where students can live amongst permaculture in practice and experience for themselves the beauty and abundance of such a design.
We are now offering a one day Introductory Course to Forest Gardening once a month please see the events page for details.We are also offering sustainable living workshops that focus on certain aspects of our lifestyle and skills and are run in season so that participants are learning in a natural context.
Guided Tours are also available which last two hours. Dates are posted on our Events page but please contact us if you want to come outside of the advertised dates.

A view of part of the site for the new forest garden after clearing in the winter


There are four quite large terraced fields which lie along the bottom, of our part, of the valley and terraces which run up either side of them, this is the area we are planting the forest garden in. The valley continues  down to join the main river valley through which the Rio Mondego runs.
It is a unique and special site, sheltered and beautiful to be in.
We hope to keep track of the work on the forest garden in our blog pages but this will be an on and off thing as we don't have much time to spend on the computer, or in the winter, much spare solar energy for it.
However we will do our best! Please keep looking.

In the following Spring


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