VIVERE e restare sempre al vento…

Vasco welcomes us with an enormous smile and speaking in Italian. We immediately feel at home in this granite valley in the center of Portugal where this man is building an interesting reality according to his way of life.

This time we had the opportunity to visit an organic farm, a 56 hectares of land in Soalheira where Vasco decided to live in harmony with nature and his new job.

Vasco used to work in Lisbon in the media field, he traveled a lot, he visited many places and had contact with many cultures but this socialite and city life was not enough for this dreamer man.

After many years to work in Lisbon he took the decision to come back in his family’s house in the countryside of Soalheira, and convert it into an organic farm. He started his project around one year ago moved by the vision to produce natural and healthy food and to live respecting the nature and its cycles. Indeed the first thing jumped out at us was a curios rectangular “swimming pool”, that of course can give some relief during the hot season but the real function is more useful. It collects water from the mountain taking advantage from the gravity, it provides water supply to every plants through a tubes system. What Vasco underlines is that no energy is used for this process, just a smart exploitation of natural resources that the land offers.

Vasco wasn’t born as farmer, he just become for passion, he has the value to be really innovative for what concern agricultural methods and techniques (even if, as he says, “is nothing new, it’s simply what our ancestors ever did”) and for the variety of his production.

The current production consists of: tomatillo, mint, garlic, fava beans, peas, beans, artichoke, sage, oranges, peppers, chili peppers, kiabu, tomato,onion, broccoli, radicchio, salad leaves, spinaches, olives, aromatic herbs, pumpkins, lemons, avocado, agave, potatoes, prickly pear, cucumber, turnip…

Vasco likes to try new plants always verifying that they are good for the soil. The neighbors find interesting the exotic products so there is a mutual collaboration  in which they share information and receive some promotion about species that are not indigenous.”What I don’t know about agriculture I just check on the web” there is everything there available for everybody and it’s amazing what one man did just in one year! All the production is strictly organic: every plantation process starts from seeds that Vasco carefully use to buy without any chemical substances or pesticides.

Vasco is not the only one who lives in the farm, he is in good company. Three dogs do the guard and loyally follow him through the fields, around 50 between chicken, gooses, ducks provides a contribution of eggs and compost. A further example of the natural methods is the selection process of the eggs: Vasco just takes the ones that are rejected by the animals because they are not fecundated.

The final products are sold to local communities and to some particular clients (such as restaurants in Lisbon) and of course are destined to his own consumption. It is interesting to notice the confidence that Vasco wants to establish with his clients, they ask for a specific demand and he produce and sell just to them; this allows him to experiment different varieties and to have a constant revenue.

Vasco strongly believes in the development of a relation of proximity between producer and consumer, ” people don’t know what they eat”. His vision is that urban life doesn’t exclude a relation of closeness with land where food is produced. “I think that thanks to new technological tools is not far the idea to check the development and the growing level of the plants and to choose what to buy”.

So at the end of our visit we have been so fascinated that we decided to become one of his consumers.IMG_7052_edited


Andrea & Valeria