Skip to content

Quinta Sol na Eira

The Quinta Sol na Eira is a 1.5ha rural smallholding close to the cities of Tomar and Ferriera do Zêzere in Central Portugal. After 20 years of neglect, in 2022 it was purchased as a family project by architect Inês Vargas and sustainability practitioner Tom Henfrey.

We are now working towards the rehabilitation of the site through the methods and practices of bioconstruction, permaculture and contemporary shamanism. Guided by the political principles of solidarity economy, commoning, and sacred activism, we aim to create a lived example of Sacred Political Ecology, which brings new and contemporary forms of spiritual alignment between humans and nature into practical realisation.

The site is an example of the traditional sylvopasture characteristic of the region, with extensive olive groves accompanied by walnuts and other fruit and nut trees, along with various types of grassland and heath habitats and an extensive wooded area dominated by holm oak and Portuguese oak. Our animal co-residents include, to our knowledge, bats, wild boar, fox, squirrel, rabbit, hedgehog, various species of snakes, lizards/geckoes and rodents, and extensive birdlife including jays, woodpeckers, owls and occasional birds of prey. Our site design aims to enhance productivity, amenity value and habitat quality through creation of new habitats and edible ecosystems harmonious with the existing qualities of the site and wider landscape.

The buildings were built using traditional methods, from stone quarried, dug and worked onsite, and often mortar made from the clay soils. We are rehabilitating the buildings to create a complex of residential space, teaching and working spaces, guest accommodation and visitor facilities, which will accommodate a wide range of activities from Spring 2025.

Our activities are integrated into a ritual cycle rooted in the ecological and cultural rhythms of the land and its people. They include community events such as gong sound baths and shamanic journeying circles, work days, courses, and residential trainings in permaculture, shamanism, bioconstruction and related areas.

Visitor accommodation includes guest rooms, camping spots, and parking space for camper vans and caravans. We also host study visits and writing retreats for students, researchers and small research teams, and longer stays for apprentices in shamanism and/or permaculture and volunteers registered in the WWOOF programme.