My home hamlet, + 500 years old, has about 100 people (it peaked at about 150 people in the XX century) and we have been using "commons land" on steep and rocky slopes ("baldio" in portuguese) as a source of fire-wood, mulch and compost, stone for building, and herding goats.
I'm very much engaged with permaculture development, this is the intro you'll find at http://permacultureglobal.com/users/902-joao-goncalves
Born in 1979, João Gonçalves is growing his tap root in Chao Sobral, a 100 people + 500 year old hamlet standing on convex and ridge slopes that reach 1200 mts altitude, in the central Portugal Goshawk mountains.
For the last 30 years, he has been participating in a broad range of activities (agriculture, forestry, recreation, community organisation, non-formal education) that compose the subsistence mountain ridge polycultural family farming system and self-reliant community.
Since 2008 he has a degree in Social Education and Community Development (Leisure and Social Pedagogy - from the Coimbra Polytechnic College of Education). It was during his internship research on "sustainable communities" that he encoutered for the first time the concept of "permaculture".
To enhance is observation skills and bring influence to his work from multiple approaches to Permaculture and Regenerative Design Education he earned PDC's in Portugal/2009 with Doug Crouch (USA), in Spain/2011 with Richard Perkins (UK) and Darren Doherty (Australia), in Portugal/2012 with Bernard Alonso (Canada), a Regenerative Agriculture Workshop in Portugal/2011 with Darren Doherty, and a Permaculture Teacher Training Course in Portugal/2012 with Rosemary Morrow (Australia).
Work / learning / leisure - photos & video:
Centro de Convergência documentary film in Aldeia das Amoreiras:
Avocado trees in Portugal:
Homy low-input-handmade-"traditional" agriculture, gardening in rural Portugal
Promoting Permaculture in Malawi, slides
Home-hamlet blog and association website
Internship in Covas do Monte, a mountain village in central Portugal, that used to have about 60 people and 1500 goats ...
3 months volunteering, social technology work in Mozambique (with the Salesian Community- Parish and Schools)
In Chão Sobral, our daily activities include gardening and forest-gardening, making humanure compost, looking after 5 goats, reusing grey-water, improving and building new terraces, cooking on a wood fire& making char, nursing young trees for sale, brush cutting, and more.
We work to be self sufficient on wine, olive oil, liquors, potatoes, vegetables and fruits all year around.
In the near future I will start living and working in Lisbon.