Monchique is not called the "Garden of the Algarve" for no reason!
People mention "Algarve - Portugal" and immediately, expensive villas spring to mind, yes we have them, but there are also very affordable alternatives and hobby farms and small holdings are springing up everywhere. Typically the younger generation, who want out of the rat race or retire early find a suitable property to renovate or rebuild with a few acres or more of good land with a water supply. Here in the Serra da Monchique there are plenty to choose from and at very affordable prices. With hard work, plenty of enthusiasm, encouragement and advice from the locals they soon become completely self sufficient in food production.
Going back a couple of thousand years, the Romans who occupied these parts, needed to feed their troops, and fill the tables of the wealthy traders along the coast with fresh fruit and vegetables. They soon discovered the Serra De Monchique, a micro climate within the Algarve. With fertile soils, an abundance of water and lots of sunshine made it an ideal place to start food production. So they cultivated the land and built stone terraces with which to retain it on the slopes which still stand to this day. If you look at the many photographs on this site you will see the terraces. Our climate is typically Mediterranean, yet we enjoy a better rainfall than the rest of the Algarve and Southern Spain. We grow anything, from sweet chestnuts and cherries to oranges and peaches, sweet potatoes to whatever you can think of, the list is endless, one day I will compile one. We are also one of the best bee keeping areas in Southern Europe, and the honey.....mmmm. We are also virtually frost free, hence the peaches and abundance of citrus!
"Organic" is a word the locals don't understand, because here everything "is" Organic, they don't know anything different.
Goats, pigs, sheep and horses are at home here in the hills making it ideal for the small holder and self sufficient lifestyle. Nature abounds including a few wild boar thrown in for good measure. Free water from ancient water mines abound, wind on the higher ground and over 300 days of sunshine per year, will generate all your power needs to keep your bills to an absolute minimum. Talking of which the annual rates on a typical property are only in the region of 50-100 Euros per year!