Paraíso Tipu Tipu

The Tipu Tipu Paradise

Paraíso Tipu Tipu is a family project with roots in the Algarve for over 40 years, now being renovated within the collective dream the family has created for this site. The common factor for all the members of the family is to live more sustainably, and permaculture is one of the tools used for implementation. The Tipuana tipu is the largest tree on the site, overlooking everything, the companion of decades of the constant evolution of the community.

The Collective Family Dream is:
Our vision for this site requires that it serves the family as home and at the same time to friends and community. A place of meditation, inspiration, solutions and happiness within a community. (…) To be a teaching space where permaculture inspires everyone to simplify their life, where energy is used rationally. To grow a sustainable forest to evolve a more sustainable life using permaculture. Includes the simplification and transformation of the future with transformative reference energy projects” (December 2017).

The farm is 5.000 square metres, being part of the National Ecological Reserve (REN) and bordering a National Agricultural Reserve (RAN), in the center of, Algarve Portugal.
This tranquil place in the cradle of rural Algarve is like a green oasis, product of many years dedicated to the constant care of plant biodiversity. The local fauna is thankful and there are at least 25 species of native birds that live or pass by (February 2018 census), besides the large number of species of insects, reptiles, and mammals such as hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes. In the middle of conventional monocultures of orange trees, unfortunately in expansion, the place is a sanctuary of floral revolution that deeply touches all those that visit or spend some time there.

The vegetation that grows at Paraíso Tipu Tipu:

  • Fruit trees (15 varieties of citrus, apple, fig, pear, persimmon, custard apple, guava, 9 varieties of avocado, apricot, peach, plum, sapote, Surinam cherry, mulberry, loquat, mango, banana, persimmon)
  • Nut trees (almond, walnut, pecan, macadamia, pistachio)
  • Olive trees
  • Carob trees
  • Fruit bushes (cape gooseberry, pomegranate, passion fruit, blackberry, grape)
  • Aromatic herbs (a great variety)
  • More than 50 ornamental trees and flowers
  • Spontaneous natives
  • Voluntary vegetables and herbs

Here there is also:

  • Agroforest
  • Vegetable Gardens
  • Compost units
  • Nursery for fruit trees, garden and natives
  • Well equipped workshop
  • Woodworking workshop (carpentry)
  • Toolshed
  • Plenty of spots for meditating and resting
  • A small pool
  • Trampolim
  • Dry toilets
  • Volunteer house and facilities

The major challenges at the design level are the lack of slope, extremely rocky soil, long months without rain and the expansion of intensive citrus in monoculture with conventional treatment on neighbouring sites with the consequent impact on biodiversity.

The major potentials are the the great quantity of organic material which has been incorporated into the soil over 40 years from composting and mulching, the respect for the natural balance of flora and fauna for decades, and for many years the lack of any artificial products (fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides), lots of sunshine for almost the whole year but with natural shade of large trees, enormous quantities of a variety of materials left over from the irrigation installation projects (the previous professional occupation of the guardian of the site), and… the big heart and curiosity of the guardian and resident Christine Shinn, who at 80 still carries out the maintenance of the whole ecosystem and is always happy to learn from everybody and share her knowledge of gardening and her passion for the plant kingdom.

Events and activities already held at Paraíso Tipu Tipu

Dragon Dreaming Intensive, Dezembro 2017; Facilitators: Cândida Shinn & Andreko Carvajal (Ná Lu’um Colombia)
Yurt Bioconstruction course, December 2017; Facilitator: Andreko Carvajal (Ná Lu’um Colombia)
Dry toilet Bioconstruction course, Fevereiro 2018; Facilitators: Cândida Shinn (Portugal), Andreko Carvajal (Colombia), Alexandre Grande (Spain)
Body Detox retreat, June 2018; Facilitator: Cândida Shinn (Portugal)
Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC), September 2018; Facilitators: Tierra Martinez & Beatriz Ramírez (Instituto Ná Lu’um)
“Experiment Permaculture” open-days, September 2019; Ná Lu’um Facilitators: Cândida Shinn (Portugal), Michele Francia (Italy), Cecilia Navarro (Argentina), Marco Bandinelli (Italy).
Ná Lu’um Europa Training-meeting, September 2019; Facilitators: Tierra Martinez & Beatriz Ramírez (Instituto Ná Lu’um)
Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture course, March 2019; Facilitator: Bruno Nunes (Naumanni Permacultura Migrante)
Domingos de Permacultura (“Permaculture Sundays”), December 2019-present; Facilitators: Cândida Shinn, Elodie da Silva, Guilherme Weishar, Renata Simas.