Cabaz da Grela

Cabaz da Grela, Quinta da Grela, agroecology, agriculture, food, basket, Alameda, Lisboa, Grela, Portugal

In 2012, Ana and Zé decided to move away from the city and from their city-related jobs to go back to the roots. Since then, they’ve adapted the agro-ecological lifestyle. Their lives became symbiotic with nature and cooperation became a crucial part of the endeavor. Most of what they eat now is the product of that cooperation between themselves and nature.

Em 2010, a Ana e o Zé decidiram mudar-se para longe da cidade e dos seus empregos relacionados com a cidade, para voltar às raízes. Desde então, adoptaram o estilo de vida agro-ecológico. As suas vidas tornaram-se simbióticas com a natureza e a cooperação tornou-se uma peça crucial do empreendimento.

This year, they started to sell the surplus of this cooperation to us, city-folk. They advertise among friends and acquaintances, over social networking, the produce of the month. Then, they take orders for a basket with a preset amount and variety of produce. Finally, they load a van with the ordered baskets, set a date, a time and a place for the delivery in the big city, and the happy customers show up to collect the baskets.

Este ano, eles começaram a vender o excedente desta cooperação a nós, citadinos. Primeiro publicitam entre amigos e conhecidos, pelas redes sociais, o produto do mês. Depois, recebem as encomendas para cabazes com quantidades e variedades pré-determinadas de produto. Finalmente, eles carregam a carrinha com os cabazes encomendados, marcam uma data, uma hora e um sítio para a entrega na cidade grande, e os clientes satisfeitos aparecem para recolher o cabaz.

They call this the Cabaz da Grela – the Grela basket – after the village where the farm sits, on the right bank of the Vouga.

Chamam a isto o Cabaz da Grela, a partir da aldeia onde a sua quinta fica, na margem direita do Vouga.

Agriculture 2.0: back to the roots

Grela, Poço de São Tiago, bridge, Vouga, farm, farmhouse, rural

Ana and Zé are two former city-dwellers disillusioned by life in the concrete jungle. A year ago they made the move of going rural, becoming part of a small group of youngsters that are going back to the roots and to a simpler life. It takes a hairy set of cohones and a good warm wardrobe to pull it off, as the nights in the farmhouse by the Vouga river are cold and humid, but they might just pull it off. The foodstuffs are growing fast and lively and they easily mix the study of the elements and its patterns with all the might of the theory, so easy to come by all over the internets. Learning-by-doing is backed up by careful planning and the research skills acquired in their formal professional lives. It’s a sort of agriculture 2.0, where ancient techniques are improved by permaculture notions and a sustainable lifestyle that recycles everything that comes out of the kitchen. It might be the future that they are tilling there.


granary, Grela, Vouga, carnival


In the sloped terrain that they’re taking care of in the small location of Grela, stand a couple of Espigueiros, small typical granaries made of wood, stone and ceramic tiles to keep the grain nice and dry.

The people on the right-hand side are a good friend from Sweden and his daughter being welcomed into the Portuguese carnival tradition of dressing up weirdly and face-painting. They performed wonderfully!