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A New Home in Salir

It’s a small house with two bedrooms in a quiet valley. Casa da Avó, which was once a ruin, comes together with a small permaculture area, the sheep Debbie, two chickens, and a sense of a “green” mission undertaken  by Margarida Almeida and João Spencer, a couple who found their “paradise” here in 1996.   Margarida (and João) used to live in Lisbon. How did you find this place, in Salir, here in the midst of nature? João was born in Mozambique, I was born in Brazil. My father was a traveling salesman, who was in partnership with an Italian …

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“What I really like is versatility…”

Versatility is one of his favourite words, almost as if he believes that, once we have come into the world, we are ready for anything, for whatever the Universe wants to put in-front of us. That is why, from writing for a newspaper, where he spent nine years as a translator, Igor Duarte has moved into the hotel business and spent five years at the reception desk of a hotel. Today he dedicates body and soul to a new challenge: the kitchen of the A Villa restaurant in Salir. In this restaurant run by Mónica Matias, his sister-in-law, it is …

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Nº 103 –
First part – Rural exodus
Second part – Interview with Paulo Alves PS

Saturday 4th September 2021 Modern life has caught up with Monchique too, a little while ago already actually. However, the old traditional life remains alive on the Monchique mountains, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level. The novelties came creeping up the hills and mountains over the past decades, on their way from Portimão and Lisbon, but also with tourism from abroad. According to the tourism authority, the mountain summit of Foía, with an elevation of 902 metres, is the second-most visited spot in the Algarve. The best example for Modern Life is fashion and its sometimes erratic …

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Nº 102 –
First part – Men Only, is it?
Second part – Interview with João Duarte CPM

Saturday the 28th of August 2021 Not a single woman candidate in sight. Really, is it only men on these election posters? Over half of humanity isn’t standing in this election. This is just not on. I am observing the local elections with the eyes of a journalist, a foreigner from a EU country, not in Afghanistan, no, in Portugal. And what is being offered to me, dear Politics, in Monchique and many other communities across the country, is not the representative choice of female candidates I’d like to see. On top of that we have that guy from our …

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Nº 101 –
First part – We’re at war again …
Second part – Interview with Bruno Estremores PSD

Saturday 21st August 2021 when what we urgently need is peace. Last Sunday there was a fire not even a kilometre away from our Botanical Garden project in Caldas de Monchique. Someone had deliberately or negligently thrown something inflammable out of a car window. A cigarette, a glass bottle? Who knows? The helicopters are flying attacks on the fire just like in a real war. They are throwing water-filled bombs onto the flames, flying one sortie after the other. It’s like a film about Vietnam. They need two hours, aided by ground troops, to win the battle with the enemy. …

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Nº 100 –
First Part – A tree needs time to grow.
2nd Part – Interview with José Chaparro CDS-PP with Podcast

Saturday 14th August 2021 We should, all of us, try and bring ecology and economy together in a practical way, make peace. As awful as forest fires are, on a second glance, once the shock and trauma subside, they do provide a huge chance. Planting slow-growing mixed forests from scratch takes time, yet is eminently important. Many of the forests that fell victim to the heat and forest fires of the past few years had their roots in an era where the forest only served as a quick self-service for business. This is starting to change as we speak, whether …

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The democratisation of finance?
A conversation between a finance “shark*” and a journalist

We said that this would be a conversation and not an ordinary interview, you remember?   Manuel Nina: Yes, I have lots of questions about permaculture. I actually just went to see my father-in-law, who’s a farmer in the Douro valley. He has a two-hectare smallholding, where he grows vines and fruit for the family, and I brought these big baskets of lettuces and cabbages back home with me to Lisbon. But he also showed me the local trees. He has a small plot of land with pine trees, medronho trees, and olive trees as well. My first question is …

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A conversation in the countryside

The hands of the clock have not yet reached five o’clock on this beautiful summer day that is slowly awakening from its slumber. The information arrives. I am going to meet with a group of citizens who have decided to put an end to monocultures. So, I get out of bed at four in the morning and get dressed. I arrive at a crossroads in no man’s land. I had parked my car in a safe place some time before, and so I walked the rest of the way. At some point, I turned off the tarmac road onto a …

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It’s difficult to know where I feel at home

Lourdes Picareta | Film-maker Lourdes Picareta was born 58 years ago in Santa Iría, in the heart of the Alentejo. She completed her schooling in Almada. She speaks Portuguese, German, French, Spanish, English and Greek. Two years after the 25 April Revolution, she moved to Germany to study history, art and German philology in Mainz and Munich. Afterwards, she started to become interested in journalism and joined German television, where she still works for several broadcasting institutions at the ARD. Every year, she makes three or four long documentary films, many of which are also broadcast by the French-German channel …

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Do you know how
Intelligent Trees
communicate with humans?

Dr Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology teaching at the University of British Columbia in Canada whose work focuses on how trees communicate with other trees. The passionate educator and TedTalk speaker was given an exclusive platform in the film “Intelligent Trees” to tell the most interesting eco story of the year. Dr Simard used radioactive carbon to measure the flow and sharing of carbon between individual trees and species. She discovered that birch and Douglas fir share carbon. Birch trees receive extra carbon from Douglas firs when the birch trees lose their leaves, and birch trees supply …

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