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Volunteer at Tao Valley

Meditation, permaculture and eco-building in Sarzades, Portugal

Come and be a part of this incredible experience

A message from Adam

Olá folks! I'm Adam. Come to my project in central Portugal for a back to basics detox, immersion into nature and experience of the good life off-grid 🐓🌳

I am currently looking for two volunteers to help by looking after my chickens, maintain the food forest and watch over the land whilst I attend a Thai massage course, during the day.

Food, accommodation and WiFi included.


Ideally, I will need someone here from 20 May 2024 to show around.


After I've finished the course, we'll be working on finishing our earthbag kitchen - making doors and windows, earthen plastering the interior and the flooring.


I'm open to longer stays aswell. For example in June, I will host a co-creation week when we build either a pizza oven or a compost toilet.


If this interests you, please keep reading or click the button below to head to my Workaway page


More about Adam and Tao Valley

👋 ABOUT ME - I grew up in Cornwall, UK, have travelled well, teaching yoga and giving Thai massage professionally in many different countries. Working with my hands is a real passion. I love to get stuck in and so I really enjoy building with earth as much as planting trees in it. This project is a dream coming true and I delight in sharing it with others.


🌱 HOW IT BEGAN - Having quit my own corporate career eleven years ago to travel the world, the time came to start settling down and building something for the future. Without the funds to buy land in the UK, I explored options in France and Spain but chose Portugal for it's tranquil atmosphere, green wild spaces, pockets of paradise and some of the most friendly-natured people in the world. So, two years ago, I bought a neglected piece of land, nestled in a beautiful valley, next to a river. It is the best decision I've ever made.


☯️ WHAT IS THE PROJECT ABOUT? - For me, this project is about simplifying the way that I live to remove distractions and reveal the things that cage me. Yes, there are animals to look after and they can teach you a lot. We are eco-building with natural materials, growing our own food, skill-sharing and co-creation activities. We eat from the healthiest of ingredients and relax by the river. We celebrate around the fire and enjoy time with friends from neighbouring projects. It is a wonderful life. However, my experience is growing deeper than this.💚


Through time and a never-ending flow of challenges, the natural world has become a valued teacher and companion. This relationship is entirely unique, like nothing else out there, a dynamic balance of ever-changing states of being, birth, growth and death. By living here, present and conscious, I am guided to understand the nature of who I am and how I can serve a greater purpose. I have a feeling that in this cycle of life there is a great opportunity, one that revolves around a very simple relationship between us and the great Mother Nature. For if we protect her, then she will look after us. My invitation for you, is to come here and experience it for yourself.

Tao Valley Volunteers



The kind of volunteer that I enjoy hosting is enthusiastic, animal-loving, reliable and truthful.

Kindness and compassion are a must.

You are on time, keep your accommodation clean, don't mind getting your hands dirty and readily offer help at meal times. An open mind is also a plus.

Stays of two weeks or more for first-time volunteers are most welcome.

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Values and Practices

🌼 Encourage everyone to develop a grounded sense of being through daily spiritual practice. I practice vipassana meditation and yin yoga, but you may wish to follow your own practice be it tai chi, dance or anything else that brings you into your body and in connection with the greater consciousness.

🌼 Zero waste - we live consciously in consuming as little electricity and water, as possible. We recycle as much as we can and try not to buy non-recyclables. No food is wasted and all vegetable scraps go to composting.

🌼 Organics only - to minimise our impact on nature we use natural soaps, toothpastes, cleaning agents, etc, wherever possible.

🌼 Digital detox - during the hours of helping on the project, I ask that people refrain from using their devices. During free time it is fine to use them.

🌼 Quiet time - we observe noble silence (mauna) generally from sunset to sunrise although the actual timing varies with season. This helps to cultivate a sacred space and encourages us to look inwards.

A Typical Day in Tao Valley

Living so closely with nature usually means that our timings are somewhat defined by environmental factors.

For example, to beat the heat in summer, we start earlier. In winter, we relax a little and start later.


Here is a rough guide (for a 5 hour day):

0800-0830 Sharing circle and team orientation

0830-1000 Help

1000-1100 Breakfast

1100-1400 Help

1400-1600 free-time (yoga/meditation)

1600-1800 Dinner and cleaning up

Please note: just like being at home, cooking breakfast and dinner plus doing the dishes and cleaning are not included in the hours of help (except for those who are helping in the kitchen during the build). Cooking and washing dishes will be evenly worked on a rota basis.

Useful Information


The project is in a very secluded area with both a river and a seasonal stream along it's border. In India, the place where two bodies of water meet is said to be a very special place. It's also got both flat and sloped sections of land with existing fruit trees. It all needs a lot of love and attention. 3kms away is the municipal village, Sarzedas and Castelo Branco is 25kms away.



July to August are hot and dry with temperatures anywhere between 32-42⁰C. Cooler nights of around 18⁰C. Luckily, we have the river and nice shady trees. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant times for the manual work. During winter, night-time temperatures can drop below freezing (on clear nights) and then rise again to be between 11-20⁰C during the days.



For summer & autumn:

• Long sleeved clothes and hat for sun protection;

• Water bottle (fresh spring water will be provided);

• your own hammock;

• Clothes for swimming;

• a good book;

• towel;

• Head torch;

• A notepad and pen.


For spring & winter:

• A good waterproof jacket or poncho;

• Good shoes or Wellington boots;

• Warm clothes as the nights and early mornings can be freezing cold;

• Water bottle (fresh spring water will be provided);

• A towel;

• Head torch;

• A notepad and pen.

Tao Valley Agreements

To support everyone within this sacred space, I, along with previous and current volunteers have defined some agreements:

• Be kind and respectful to others;
• Be on time for the help required of you;
• Keep silence between the hours of 8pm and 8am (sometimes the hours change depending on what we do);
• No alcohol, drugs or tobacco on the project;
• If you damage something, it is your responsibility to repair it or replace it;
• No food in the accommodations (it will attract ants and mice);
• No meat on the project (we can't store it and don't want to attract wildlife in that way).

The way we live here fosters a process of growth for all involved. I appreciate open communication, a good work ethic, initiative and punctuality. Above all we practice the values of being abundant, enthusiastic, giving, kind and truthful.

Volunteer Applications

To my delight this project is turning out to be very popular and I find it necessary to ask everyone a series of questions. Please include your answers in your contact message:


Are you able and willing to help out for up to five hours and day, three days per week?

Are you willing to bring a positive attitude to this project?

What interests you about this project?

What does being in nature mean to you?

Have you ever lived off-grid or been camping for more than two weeks before?

What skills and qualities would you bring to this project?

What would you like to learn about whilst here?

Permaculture, eco-building, etc?Do you like to cook for others and with others (if needed)?

What is your email or contact number for Telegram or WhatsApp?

How can you help?


To be a Tao Valley Volunteer - please check out the Tao Valley Workaway Page

Meditation, permaculture and eco-building in Sarzades, Portugal (


Want to help but can't be here? How about becoming a sponsor?

All sponsors are welcome to come and stay on the project.

Here is our crowdfunding page:

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