The Team

201407_05_9377 2Pedro Valdjiu

Jazz Music School 2000 – Hot Club Lisbon

Cinema Art School – 2008 – Moderna University Lisbon

AquaCulture and Land Regeneration Course 2009 with Sepp Holzer in Tamera

Permaculture Design Course 2009 – with Doug Crouch and Gautier Gras

One Year Organic Farming Course 2012 – with Isabel Castanheira at Quinta 7 nomes

Food Forest Course 2012 – with Doug Crouch at Terra Alta

Permaculture Tutor training 2013 – with peter cow and lesly Martin at Quinta do Luzio

Organic Beekeping Course 2014 – With Harald Hafner at Quinta do Luzio

People Care course /Social Permaculture 2014 – with Peter Cow at Terra Alta

Sociocracy Workshop 2014 – With Frands Frydendal at Biovilla

Sun Rise Collective – Art and permaculture network Founder

I arrive to this beautiful planet on the year 1975 , 22nd of January guided by the forces of Aquarius. Soon I was pretty surprised to see my colleagues humans destroying everything around them, and at the same time seeing so many others with the will to make and to be the change.

Fortunately music saved my life..! i almost got  inside the box, i mean university, or shall I call it dualversity ?? but i step out to became a rocker willing for a free world. Later I finish my diploma on cinema, another passion of mine.

At the age of 17 I started my band Blasted Mechanism with which I still play around the globe.  I play custom musical instruments that i have created myself. We have played in the biggest world festival like Glanstonbury, Fusion, Rock for People, Sigezt, Alive and Boom,  sharing the stage with bands like Pearl Jem, Rage Against the Machine, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, The Cure, etc. We have also won several prizes like the golden globe award for best Portuguese band in 2005. For those who want to know more about the band please go to:

So, it was in the year 2008 playing on Boom Festival (green awarded festival) and at the same time doing a movie about love, simply asking people – What is Love?, and I came across a temple garden, a great space made of bambu, water soundscape, sun shade, edible vegetation and sacred geometry arquitecture. My head open in two and I felt all the old world was being replaced by a bunch of new ideas and visions of how to embrace life with respect and gratitude to mother Earth and father Sun.                       – I first meet Permaculture!

From that point, together with my family, Rita my beloved companion and Jasmim and Zoe my daughters, we changed our lifestyle. We crossed the bridge of being just consumers of resources to (also) producers of resources.

By re-designing our life according to the principles of a sustainable and permanent culture we started to reduce our ecological footstep and embrace freedom as never before.

Guided by Life I bought a piece of land with a water source, the key to abundance, and started to build together with friends and students the temple garden that was baptised Terra Alta, High Land, just because it makes me feel really high…

When my first daughter Jasmim was on the age of going to school we realised that the government was not prepared to give her, and actually to any children, a proper education, so Rita, myself and a group of parents started Escola da Terra, an international Waldorf school supported by the genius of Rudolf Steiner. The school is running now with 20 children from all over the globe. It was in this building that we first started to run permaculture courses. Please go to :

So, after boom festival and my total surrendering to this co-evolutionary culture I was seeking for some courses and I ended by going into a seminar on an ecovillage in south Portugal called Tamera. Sepp Holzer was the speaker there and was inspiring a group of humans on how to change landscape by doing aquaculture, big lakes that brought so much life into the dry area of Alentejo. Among with my fellows students was Doug Crouch that runs Treeyoopermaculture. Doug proposed to give us a night class on patterns and their relation to nature. After one hour around 15 people were on a very beautiful state of mind with our hearts open by the power of the patterns.

Rita suggested to bring Doug and another friend Gautier to Sintra with us and to run the first Permaculture design course on Escola da Terra. It was a very powerful course where a group of young people mainly artists joined us on a total of 25 people. Doug is an incredible teacher, a mentor and a very good friend. We became family.

Since that first course I kept on doing research, we kept on doing more PDCs and building more and more infrastructures to support our lives and the educational center in which we have become. Terra Alta supports and brings art, music, celebration, shamanism and spirituality into Permaculture.

I have a strong connection to bees as I believe that they are here also to guide us humans into what will be the future of global consciousness with us humans “beehaving” like bees on their devotional way of Love.

Recently I was surprised with Doug’s invitation to become one of treeyoo´s teacher which made me deeply honoured and grateful. It seems that Doug really appreciate my participation in bring celebration, art, spiritual connections and a bit of humour into the courses.

201408_05_0006Rita Seixas

Rita is the founder of Terra Alta and  Escola da Terra A Waldorf School in the village nearby our land.  She is deeply connected to Antroposhophy , a spiritual science created by Rudolf Steiner. She is also a very talented artist in the areas of crafting, painting and drawing. Devoted mother of 2 girls, she is on the cutting edge of education in Portugal leading a School with her full heart and soul.

201408_05_0206 2Henrik Ellerbrock

Born in 1986 Henrik grew up in Berlin, where he first got in touch with issues of social privileges and segregative systems. After school he began to study and work in Conflict Resolution and Peace Education. On different travels and projects in southern and eastern parts of Africa he started to get a clearer picture about the unbalances of global power relations.

In Berlin, following the principle “relative location”, he was working together with different association (e.g. Commit Berlin, Forumtheater rabenschwarz) and got deeply involve with the ” Theatre of the Oppressed”.

As the founder of the Zwischenraum-Festival in Berlin in 2010 his vision was to create a “space-in-between” as an alternative to everyday life, where music, art and political participation could happen in co-creation and between all generations and societal

With the deep longing for a more authentic, non-contradictory lifestyle he decided to move to Sintra in the summer of 2010 and started a circus education in Lisbon. He joined the project Terra Livre in Colares where he first got in touch with permaculture and met his friends Pedro Valdjiu and Rita Seixas. In 2011 together with his partner Joana he decided to buy the piece of land Nangiyala to join the Terra Alta project.

Since than he is studying and practicing permaculture while co-designing Terra Alta and assisting the permaculture courses, mainly with hands on, Natural-building sections and sourdough bread baking. With the inspiration of Tamera his focus are in particular in social permaculture and community building. In December 2014 he took his Permaculture Teachers Training  with Aranya & Chris Evans in Sieben Linden and will from now on join the facilitator team.

201407_05_9521Doug Crouch

Trained as both a Permaculture Designer and Fish and Wildlife Manager, Doug has extensive knowledge surrounding landscape planning and creating aquaculture systems for all needs.  He has worked in temperate, drylands, and tropical climates, extending from North, Central, and South America to Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Oceania. This work includes managing land and water for tourism ventures, facilitating and co-creating educational programs, tropical aquaculture and wetlands restoration, permaculture design and implementation, and market gardening. Incorporating this knowledge and experience into educational programs has now become Doug’s main focus as he continues his design and development in various ecosystems.

At Terra Alta, a home away from home for Doug, he is a driving force behind the design and continuing development of the garden and landscape, as well as leading the programme of education for the courses.

To learn more about Doug and his work visit TreeYo Permaculture, and for information on past projects CLICK HERE. Doug has a diploma in Permaculture Education through the Permaculture Institute.


Guest Facilitators

Peter Cow

Peter is an international Permaculture teacher, designer and mentor, with a specialism in social and personal regenerative design.

He has been teaching and facilitating Permaculture courses since 2007, and now leads PDCs, introductory and specialised courses around Europe and the tropics. He is passionate about co-creating temporary immersive community learning experiences, and their power to transform and empower people – connecting participants to nature, themselves and the wider community.  

A cutting edge and heartfelt facilitator, Peter is involved in designing and running People and Permaculture courses with Looby Macnamara, including running the first ever P&P Facilitator training course in 2013. He is trained as a facilitator in the Work That Reconnects, and has been involved in the 8 Shields/Nature Culture Network ‘Art of Mentoring‘ gatherings since 2012. He is an assessment level tutor in the British Permaculture Diploma system, and is part of the team that is setting up the Portuguese Permaculture Diploma. 

Christopher Gardner

A skilled sustainable builder based in Costa Rica who completed his Earth building practicum with Cal Earth Institute in California.
He has been building and facilitating workshops for the last 7 years, both in the United States and Central America and has a strong background experience in Permaculture and Appropriate Technologies

Joshua Roxendal

Experience and background in outdoor education and leadership has brought him to the path he is on. He has been experimenting with techniques that are easy to apply, provide security, comfort and a sense of autonomy. His teaching focuses on appropriate technology, especially rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters, as well as natural building, permaculture and fire making. He builds outdoor kitchens – everything from structures to stoves – for customers and sustainable communities and he enjoys to collaborate with other natural builders. Josh has a very creative mind, he is brilliant at finding solutions and using the materials he has around. He definitely is a doer; he doesn’t hesitate, and jumps right into a project! With a permaculture design certificate and a Permaculture Teacher Diploma he also likes to be involved in permaculture projects. When Josh isn’t trraveling, working on projects and teaching around the globe he lives in a tipi at a permaculture project in Sweden.There he teaches and coordinates volunteers and workshops. Joshua is striving to live and share a sustainable way of life, with strategies and techniques that are easy to apply , provides security , comfort and a sense of autonomy. 2011 he aquired his Permaculture Design certificate and has undergone a permculture teacher training with Andy Goldring (CEO Permaculture Association UK) . Most of his experience comes from practical experience in various projects courses and internships.

Eva Wimmer

has been a traveler during the last three years visiting and living at different permaculture and sustainability projects in North- and Southamerica, as well as in Europe. During this time she has gained many skills in natural building and permaculture design and insight on community living.

Her passion is building in community and with natural materials and cob is probably her preferred material and technique. She enjoys beautiful and harmonious spaces that connect you with yourself and the world around you. She teaches natural building courses and has been focusing on natural plasters and finishes. Since July 2013 she has been teaming up with Josh and they have been teaching courses on efficient wood burning stoves and building outdoor kitchens and rocket mass heaters.

Eva has a background in social sciences, she holds a Master’s degree in International Development from University of Vienna. Social justice is of high value for her and she has been sharing her knowledge and skills with indigenous communities and women of Latin America.

She holds a certificate in Permaculture Design and recently  did a Permaculture teacher training with Rosemary Morrow (Author of Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture) and Alfred Decker from Permaculture Barcelona.

Read more about Building Connections and Eva’s Story.


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