Spring Gathering

The theme for the Spring Gathering was  Nourishing Connections.

A veritable feast of food, conversation and family time and cross pollination.

The morning began with a circle and getting to know one another and the place. Barbara took folks who came for the first time on a tour of the buildings…

and we also spoke about our way of life and the reasons for living as/where we do..

The kids had their own space, and Laura hosted that brilliantly! They had a swing, did face painting, kids yoga and playing about in the garden – harvesting oranges to eat and flowers to decorate Marcia’s birthday cake.

In the afternoon volunteers from an amazing group who work with environmental education came and lead a story telling activity and a bug hotel workshop with the kids!

The food, thanks to the wonderful team of helpers the previous day was delicious! A feast for the eyes and the tummy. Local, seasonal, fermented, raw and cooked! Vegan and Veggie, gluten and gluten-free – all bases covered!

Since it was also Marcia’s birthday she received a bunch of edible goodness in the form Beautiful bouquet!

 and Rose did a taste testing and explaination of her Komucha …

Rose, Kevin and Kirsty did a grand job in the bar, serving probiotic and other drinks…

As the day went on, more and more people arrived to take part in the afternoon activities – bringing the ‘hot topics’ we wanted to speak with the wider community. We heard from everyone in the circle – who was present, and what they might like to speak about……

This was dynamic and fun – despite the fact it was translated into either Portuguese or English so we could all understand each other’s stories!

……then we formed smaller groups based on those themes. There was a group talking about local economy, another about health, another about education and still another about community and organising….

The groups had 30 mins to share ideas and then were asked to feedback into the wider circle and identify action points…


There were some really significant connections made between people and projects, between parents and the local council, between creatives and funding options, between Portuguese and ‘new locals’.

The final circle we heard snap shots of what people had gotten from the day – and then we DANCED and ate birthday cake! Many thanks to all who made it come together – those who helped to cook, serve, wash dishes, collect plates, serve drinks, play music, tidy up – or lent us chairs or tables. Thanks to Povoa de Alataia for the use of the kitchen and the pots and pans!!!

We were really grateful that members of the local council had come along to lend their support, and to meet members of the foreign community living here. It was an honour to have the ex-mayor of the village Sr Rodrigues with us, plus Esmeralda, Paula and the Vereadora of Education, Alcina Cerdeira from Fundao council – they are wonderful partners.

Our next gathering will be 22nd July – the theme is MUSIC that connects us…bring along instruments. Here is the link to the event.