The year 2018 has brought so many kind volunteers to be part of the quinta for a while. It was an all round uplifting experience and confirmed once again that sharing the experience with a variety of people enriches and deepens the experience. We are thankful: Britta, Lena, Lily, Marcel, Raffa, Olivia, Liedewij, the family van Dien, Bionic Piet, and the many others that helped the MdD thrive.
For the second year in a row Moinhos do Dão hosted a Creative Writing Retreat with Mariette Wijne. She described the spirit of the week as follows: ‘Their writing made the roses bud’.
An image says more than a thousand words (even when it is about a Writing Retreat) so we posted a photo gallery of the week.
Moinhos do Dão made it through last year without any damage from the fires that ripped through Central Portugal in the summer and fall. The fires destroyed more than half a million hectares of forest, agricultural lands, monocultures, 850 houses and 450 businesses…and left 104 people dead. It was really just luck that no fires made it to our part of the Dão valley. Some of you might remember the MdD had fires on its ‘doorstep’ in the past. It can happen anywhere. Many friends and colleagues were not as lucky—they lost their livelihood, homes and the forest around them.
We have started a Fire Prevention Campaign and you can read more about it here.
Just like a healthy ecosystem is made up of a diversity of life forms, so would life at Moinhos do Dão benefit from the presence and involvement of a larger, core group living and working at the quinta. This year (2018) we begin the process of finding people who want to live and share in all the aspects of what it means to live at Moinhos do Dão.
You can read more about it HERE.
'O Real é Magico'
Moinhos do Dão is participating in the Viseu art festival Jardims Efémeros with an excursion to Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Maceira Dão & Moinhos do Dão - Eco Quinta.
Dates & times: 8-07 11h - 14h & 16-07 11h30 - 14h30 (both sold out)
- Guided visit to the exterior spaces of the Monastery of Santa Maria do Maceira Dão by António Tavares, archaeologist, Mangualde City Hall;
- Short walk to Moinhos do Dão
- Welcome Tea with herbs and homemade cakes
- Tour of Moinhos do Dão eco-quinta; visit along the river, from the fluvial beach to the restored mill, to the permaculture garden and to the solar and hydroelectric installation;
- Visualization of the artworks Thinking Box of Pedro Pires and ‘The Nest’ by Anne Friné.
- Gastronomy workshop «The best vegetarian hamburger»;
- Lunch buffet - 2 salads, baked potatoes, bread, hamburger toppings and natural juices (with products of proximity)
One of the stops on the tour of our quinta is Pedro Pires's art piece: "Thinking Box (Dão)"
About the piece:
Thinking box is a project created specifically for Moinhos do Dão, inspired by the Thinking Boxes of the artist Anne-Katrin Spiess. This artist has performed a series of projects with this title in different places of the United States of America. Initially they were designed for people living in large cities, as a place of escape from the outside world, or from other people. Later they were also installed in rural spaces, always with the aim of functioning as a private and personal space.
For ‘the Moinhos’, I wanted to recreate one of these Anne-Katrin Spiess Thinking Boxes, also building 4 white walls where one could isolate oneself to think. But after thinking and living the space of the Moinhos do Dão I realized that the essence of the project Moinhos do Dão, developed by Steven and Freya, is that the entire quinta is a Thinking Box by itself. The river, the houses, the trees, the vegetable garden, the mills, the chickens and their usual residents are what we need to get ourselves out of our hectic lives.
The house that had been planned with 4 opaque walls that hid its occupant, thus gave rise to a house without interior or exterior, in which the inside and the outside are confused. The "island" was the place chosen to install this sculpture inviting the public to visit a more wild part of the Moinhos terrain.
To be in the Thinking Box is to be in Moinhos do Dão.
London, July 2017.