Quinta das Estrelas - Nelas, Viseu

Location: Portugal – Europe – Northern Hemisphere

Land Restored: +/-1,5 hectares

130 trees planted (so far)

+30 tree species : Mediterranean climate food forest planting includes: 
Quercus spp. (cork oak, holm oak, and many other types of native oaks), Olea europaea (olive), Ficus carica (fig), Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree), Pinus pinea (stone pine), Castanea sativa (European chestnut), Corylus avelana (hazelnut), Juglans regia (walnuts), Salix spp. (willow), Eriobotrya japonica (loquat), Dyospirus caqui (persimmon), Prunus spp. (cherry, plum, peach, almond), Malus domestica (apple), Pyrus communis (pear), Cydonia oblonga (quince), Sorbus aucuparia (European mountain ash), Phoenix dactylifera (date palm)

A Remarkable Journey of Regeneration: From City Life to Thriving Food Forests

In a world dominated by the hustle and bustle of city living, one family dared to embark on a life-changing adventure, leaving the cacophony of the urban landscape behind. Their destination? A serene rural farm, where they would forge a new path towards a brighter, greener future. This is the story of their inspiring transformation, as they traded the relentless 24/7 lifestyle for the enchanting world of food forests and Permaculture principles.

Nine years have passed since that fateful decision, and the farm they once knew has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. In its place now stands a thriving oasis of biodiversity, where the rhythms of nature reign supreme. The family’s unwavering commitment to implementing food forests has paved the way for a regeneration process that shows no signs of slowing down.

This journey is shared with us by Sonia, one of our earliest and most supportive member at Treeserve365.

This remarkable journey has been interwoven with coaching right from the beginning. Initially, Sonia a veterinarian by profession, sought guidance from a coach to define her goals and chart a path towards this ambitious project with her family. As they progressed, she became a coach herself, offering online services to those seeking similar transformative changes in their lives.

The connection between coaching and Permaculture soon became evident, fueling their progress. The principles that guide them in nurturing the land are equally applicable to cultivating relationships with people and their systems. With common ground between coaching and Permaculture—a shared goal of supporting natural growth—the family integrated the two seamlessly, giving rise to a new role for Sónia: the PermaCoach.

In the face of climate change and aridification, the family’s dedication to biodiversity and resilience has only deepened. Propagating existing trees and fostering a diverse landscape that can thrive under changing conditions, they plant saplings and young trees during late Autumn, Winter, and early Spring. Kindly donated older trees find renewed life, further enriching their green haven.

Permaculture principles gracefully guide each step, ensuring harmony within the ecosystem. When on-site propagation is not feasible, they turn to local nurseries and the community, stitching together the missing pieces of their green tapestry.

Yet, it’s more than just a farm—they’ve fostered a profound connection between themselves and the thriving food forests. This intimacy has sparked fascinating conversations within their community, attracting like-minded individuals who share their vision for a greener, regenerative world. Together, they formed the “Association for Regenerative Local Development,” sowing the seeds of positive change.

Beyond appearances, the transformation is reflected in the flourishing biodiversity. A dear friend and ornithology aficionado frequently visits, discovering an ever-increasing variety of bird species. Birds, in their own unique way, aid the family’s tree-spreading efforts, scattering seeds as they soar through the air. The feathered allies also contribute to the community’s health by reducing mosquitoes—a small trade-off for the abundance of their harvest, especially in Spring.

Ultimately, the journey is “totally worth it.” As they witness the flourishing biodiversity, embrace the connections they’ve forged, and appreciate the support of their avian allies, the family remains steadfast in their commitment to planting more trees. It’s not merely about the landscape—it’s about sowing the seeds of a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come. Their story is a testament to the power of passion, persistence, and the profound impact that even a single family can have on the world around them. And through the extraordinary integration of Permaculture and coaching, Sónia embodies the harmony between humanity and nature, a living testament to the boundless possibilities of working hand in hand with the Earth.

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