The PIONEERING STAGE
August 2007 Eelco and Karin purchased all the shares of the Portuguese company Simagricola Limitada (limited), thereby acquiring ownership of the farm (land and buildings) with milk sheep and olive cultivation. The neglected farm and land has been transformed in 8 years into a thriving domain with organic and Demeter certified agriculture; in the same period we reconstructed and renovated several traditional buildings for reception and accommodation of guests.
Since the purchase of the domain, now 12 years ago, we continuously invested in the quality of the agriculture, the landscape and all traditional buildings. But most of all our efforts were aimed at the creation of a location which offers space for individual development, where people create and re-create. A location where people meet and be inspired by nature; for their inner nature. In a relatively short time the domain has grown from an abandoned and forgotten farm with overdue maintenance and ruinous housing to a dynamic place where artists, poets, philosophers, entrepreneurs, students, young people, writers, musicians and theatre-makers, farmers and nature-conservationists feel at home.
The domain offers a program with philosophical Convivia, a wide spectrum of art-workshops, the annual summer Theater Festival and educational nature expeditions and . The activities take place in the workshops, in nature or in the open air theaters on the domain. The accommodation is specifically meant for short and long-term residency of artists, students, scientists and those interested in art, (agri-)culture and nature.
The domain contributes actively to the ecologisation of the Mondego Valley, our activities contribute substantially to the local economy: We are well integrated in the rural community of the Beira Interior.
Dominio Vale do Mondego initiates a new approach: 12 years of pioneering, building and developing will transform for the next years into a demonstration farm with substantial attention to the social functions of agriculture. More than ever we will act as a guardian of the Earth: nature in its broadest sense, climate as part of the operating organism, water, biodiversity, nature conservation and agriculture regional breeds. The transition to a unique identity of the company, which affects the landscape and the market. It concerns the transformation of the biodynamic farm in all its aspects.
Our strategy for succession is the participation by several (young) people in existing and new business activities. Their participation originates from their own knowledge and desires. It brings the intended differentiation: Biodynamic agriculture & horticulture, processing of home grown products, eco-tourism, hospitality & kitchen, organization of educational activities, art projects, workshops and summerschool etc.
For the coming years the activities 2019-2025 entail the following:
Demonstration farm: differentiated multifunctional operations
Incubator: traineeship for aspiring (young) entrepreneurs
Threefolding: neutralisation of ownership
Cooperation for the operation of land and buildings
Residency: participation in cooperative
Greening of the valley the Mondego
Investment by interested associated parties/crowdfunding
Extension of the Rural Art Concept
Domínio facts since 2007
267 artists, musicians, performers
300 m2 atelierruimte en opslag & wasserij gerealiseerd
8 septic tanks built, electricity state of the art
country road paved
12 artistic shareholders of the Maluca Art Atelier
450 lambs born, 3 foals, and many puppies and kittens
Hundreds of trees plated: olive, cherries, figs, almonds, peach, citrus, abrikot, quince, linden, planes, cedars
waterbassin constructed, own source water
3 open air theaters
200 tons of olives harvested
5 Convivia, 35workshops organised