Dark soil, dirty hands

A festival draws nutrients from its natural surroundings. The sun, the dust, the pine trees, the lake crustaceans, the grape vines, the field mice – all the elements that colour the vibe into which humans get to immerse themselves.

For a year now, a few of us have been living on site, and we’ve gotten some vital (re)greening projects underway.

We’ve known all along that in order to plant strong roots into this land, and deeply connect to this space, as not just our stomping ground but as our habitat, our home, we would need to put some actual roots down. Monoculture-farming is depleting the soil of its richness and the land of its biodiversity. We want to tune in with the original, ancient beings of this region, and explore new relationships with the trees, shrubs, flowers, bushes and weeds.

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second best time is now. 

Therefore, in collaboration with Câmara Municipal do Crato and Terrasua, the collective who developed the regenerative and edible landscape design for the site of Waking Life, we want to create a new, vibrant ecosystem where endemic flora and fauna can flourish, where a fresh forest canopy will house birds, saplings, ravers, installations, experimenters, guerrilla researchers and other symbiotic entities.

The land will evolve into a year-round playground for cross-pollination between different fields such as art, technology, science, construction, imagineering, to cultivate curiosity, collaboration and eco-mindedness.

It’s time to get our hands dirty. Deep, dark soil – dirty.

Mid-November of this year, we will start with phase uno of the land regeneration component and will need a team of about 30 committed volunteers to join us from 1 week up to 1 month. We will plant a lush Mediterranean orchard, and up to 4,800 trees (double the participants of the second edition).

Meanwhile group activities such as raising wind and firebreaks, star gazing, or mushroom picking will be regular offerings to deepen our connections to each other and the little, weird village that is slowly blooming amid the eucalyptus desert…

During the implementation period, we also plan to hold two fee-based courses on key permaculture topics, including one on permaculture and regenerative agriculture, and another one on the functions, design and implementation of a windbreak and a firebreak. Of course, these workshops are optional. If you are interested to participate in the workshops, but you are not in the possibility to volunteer, don’t hesitate to reach out to pauline@wakinglife.pt.

For more information about the specific objectives, the different activities, and other information, please open the practical document, and the volunteer agreement.

If you’d like to participate, pick up a spade and fill out this form.

We look forward to growing with you.

Com amor, 
A equipa do Waking Life