Soto is located 1 mile outside the small town of Arouca (50km SW of Porto). It has 3,5 ha, 1200 trees from more than 100 species, chickens, three dogs and two donkeys. Vegetable garden and fruit trees are organic grew. A lot of work is needed to maintain the integrated landscape design plan, it’s lake and several water irrigation systems, and help from volunteers could be a wonderful way to share this space. We have extra accommodation facilities at casa “Laranja” and we are trying to turn Soto into a meeting point for people and activities aiming to spread more eco friendly and sustainable practices by developing projects with other organizations. By the end of June two meetings will be held to prepare workshops on Inclusive Design and Design and Craft (November 2012). An international project to address heritage of traditional craft between Portugal and Brasil is under development (early 2013?). Workshops on hand made paper, craft and organic gardening will start as soon as possible depending on premises reabilitation. A greenhouse for winter work is also planed.
We are searching for helpers with open skills to broaden our (to) small team. Every one is welcome for the maintenance of the park and vegetable garden. Some work is also need for workshop premises preparation. We hope that the reconstruction of old “Fábrica” house (see photo) with an increased accommodation capacity will start September-October 2012.
Having previously worked as architect, product designer and a design teacher at University of Porto, I am now developing personal research on rehabilitation projects and low energy small house building techniques to be implemented here. If you have skills on those fields, namely cad drawing, please contact us.