For the first time Hubert came to the Algarve with his brother in the 1980’s. Except for a ruin, endless rock roses, and cork oaks the land didn’t have much to offer. But this was exactly what they had been looking for! They were both fascinated by the infinite possibilities they envisioned here. Excited by the challenge, the two brothers bought the 140 hectare land Vinha Velha (“old vineyard”) with the inheritance from their father.
Hubert had studied agriculture, and wanted to establish an organic farm, while his brother Michael wanted to use the place for his writing endeavors. For almost 40 years, Hubert has been following his vision with courage, passion and dedication.
His life partner Margit committed to the adventure as well. Together with their three little daughters she has been co-creating Vinha Velha since its inception. There was no running water, electricity, or suitable kindergarten in the area, so everything had to be started from scratch.
Hubert has planted around 80,000 trees, created five lakes, gardens, and built up an agriculture with cows, chickens and sheep. To support the farm, later on he managed a carpentry business and has been involved in the foundation of a wind park which supplies the farm today with green energy.
Margit co-founded the international Waldorf Kindergarten and is still involved in various social, cultural and pedagogical projects in the region.
However, all of this would not have been possible without the help and support of many people over the years.
Hubert's sudden sickness in January 2014 and his death in March 2017 sped up a generational shift at Vinha Velha – the farm is now in the hands of the daughters Clara and Delia, her partner Florian and Margit. Michael, Hubert’s brother, still supports Vinha Velha from Germany.
Life at Vinha Velha
For many years this place has been attracting families from several countries.
At the moment there are 20 people from different social and cultural backgrounds living here. Some of them are staff that help taking care of the land and the farm. Others are long term tenants that work outside from the Farm in other areas.
Clay, stone, wooden house, caravan or yurt - everyone has his private place. Especially with a lot of movement due to activities and tourism, privacy is important.
The inhabitants of Vinha Velha share values as, sustainability, diversity and respect.
In recent years, the number of children has been growing. Whether in the vegetable garden, at the harvest, the milking of the cows, the small ones are always welcome to take part. From an early age on, they are integrated in the everyday tasks of farm life.