Hello, we are Maël and Lou, a young couple who recently joined a project based on Regenerative Agriculture and permaculture called Quinta das Moitas, close to the Serra da Estrela mountains.
Millo, the owner, kindly offered us to erect a yurt in exchange of helping him manage the land. We are grateful for this opportunity and we aim to help him the best way we can.
Last year, in July, the farm suffered from the fires, and all the land except Millo's house got burnt. Now one year after, nature grew back and the treat of another fire is back with it, as everything dried.
Since some months we have been cleaning the land. We cut everything by hand or with a brushcutter around the buildings to create a fire security radius.
Our yurt however, has just been put up, and we couldn't cut the vegetation before the extreme heat. This task is almost taking all our working time, and still we are not making much progress. Knowing that if the fire comes, we most likely loose our yurt, makes us feel really stressed !
That's why we feel like we could use a tractor to help us clean the land efficiently, and never again be in that position of not being protected.
We are conscious that it's an investment, but to manage 11 hectares of land, it could be really helpful. We could not only protect the buildings, the people and the animals, but also create real fire break corridors around all the land, to protect the flora.
We believe that even if a tractor uses fossil energy, it can be used wisely in a regenerative way :
- Build more soil
All the grass and organic matter that we cut, will be reused to make mulch, and therefore build more soil. Leaving the soil always covered increases moist and therefore minimizes fire risk.
A little secondhand tractor with the grass cutting tool is about 5'000 to 8'000 EUR.
- Water managment
If we raise enough to get the digger arm for it, we could build water retainer systems, such as ponds, lakes, or irrigation ditches to help manage our water resources better, and prevent fires by having more moist areas. We would also create more diverse ecosystems on the land.
This digger extension can be found for under than 1000 EUR secondhand.
Being active in our local community
We could also help neighbours that have the same challenges as us and increase fire safety in a more global scale around us.
Back up plan :
If we raise more than expected or if we don't get enough for a tractor we will invest in getting a herd of sheep.
It would mean building them a shed, which Millo already started, but it still needs a roof. We would need to get them some sort of fencing, to create the cells. We could manage the whole sheep thing for 900 - 1000 EUR
If we end up getting the sheep and the tractor, we could even imagine making our own strawbales out of the resources of the land. We would have a complete circle : increase our safety + produce delicious cheese.
Thanks a lot for reading our story,
Any help will be greatly appreciated <3