Wellbeing Festival: Kids+Clay, Fermenting Fun!

The bi annual Well Being Festival in Fundao was again held at the Parque de Convento this summer. There were workshops, gong baths, live cooking, stalls and lots of different types of therapies.

Many of our friends from BioEco were present, and Mount of Oaks shared 2 sessions.

In the pictures below you can see that on the Saturday I (emma) had a great time playing with the kids as part of the programme organised by Susana Carvalho. We built with clay and then made crowns from natural materials. It was brilliant to chat with the kids and their parents about how enlivening it is to play with mud, get dirty and be outside!!!


And after making a castle we made the crowns…..

On the Sunday morning Marcia Luz, Jeannette Trevethyen and I ran a fermenting workshop and tasting session. While it started with only a few participants, buy the end we were a big group of food lovers ~many with questions and comments!

Thank you to the team of organisers, in particular Paula Roque, and look forward to an even bigger crowd in 2 years time!!



Successful Natural Building Course

Last week Barbara taught another of her marvellous 8 day Natural Building Courses, at Keela Yoga Farm. The participants were an international bunch from South Africa, Portugal, UK, Italy and Holland. The team learned a variety of techniques and quickly got the chance to get their hands dirty and practice their new knowledge! Straw bale, wattle and daub, cord wood – earth plastering, just some of the variety of skills they learned!

Some of the photos below are from one of the participants – Damien Walsh, the others from Barbara’s phone, so the quality is not the best, but you get the picture (pardon the pun!)

and they sum up the fun, as well as the work that group practiced.

On the day off, mid way through the course, the group came to Mount of Oaks. We prepared a meal, and Barbara gave a tour of our natural buildings. A great way to relax.

I was grateful for the help from Tatum and the girls in preparing for the guests!!

Alexa, Sven, Stephan, John, Damian, Clara and Ugo. WELL DONE!!!!!! We look forward to seeing what you will do with what you gained on this course! Please stay in touch!

Special thanks to Kimberly and Laurence their super hosting at Keela, and for their fantastic volunteers!! The pizza night on the final night was really special.

News and Dates for Natural Building Courses taught by Barbara will be shared in the Autumn.

Kombucha with Rose

Last week we had Rose Chandler come and host a morning dedicated to Kombucha and her sister Honey Jun, both healthy probiotic drinks that are good for your microbiomea.


We were a small but enthusiastic group, all keen to know more about the gut benefits of these drinks and how to flavour them with fruits and teas.

We began with the basics of learning about scobies and we even touched and tasted one! Looks pretty disgusting, but it was surprisingly not soooo weird afterall!

Rose explained how scobies also benefit the skin, so we took the chance to wipe our faces!! FUN!

Fun and bubbles all over the place as we taste tested brews from at different stages of fermentation (F1, F2, F3)….. Like the fizz in this bottle – Rose was really enthusiastic about the brews – that was passed to us!

Rose instructed us about Batch versus Continous Brew Techniniques and we tried A LOT of different drinks. On a personal level, it was enlightening to learn about making herbal kombucha bases – using our own herbal tea mixes!

Well done Rose ! Thank you for your passion for the delicious drinks you make.

One of my main take aways from the morning was Rose’s description of kombucha (which I really love to drink daily!), she said, ‘kombucha is like a liquid hug for the gut’ That sounds great!

To contact Rose to buy some of her Honey Jun or Kombucha, she is part of the BioEco association and comes to the local markets in Alpedrinha and Covilha.