Silverto Grant Application – The Forest is a Pantry

Application – 2020
Project/Collective Name – Ecoaldeia Silverto CRL
Project Name (if different) – The Forest as a Pantry
Country – Portugal
Place – ~2,500 m2 in Rubiaes, Paredes de Coura
Website –
Requesting – 2,000 Euro

Project Questions

Can you tell us about your Project? ~ 1,500 characters (Take some time to describe the land as you see it a generation into the future.)

It’s understood that the majority of what we eat is grown in monocultures. But what’s less commonly understood is that the ecosystems these plants are grown in have been severely weakened by the continual ploughing, weed-whacking, and lack of growth whose sole function, in this region, is to keep the native forest at bay.

We know that a person can survive on nothing but butter and potatoes, but that doesn’t sound enjoyable. What would an ecosystem look like if it produced 100% of a family’s nutrition. Could that same forest leave them without boring meals? Could it provide them with a diet that’s delicious, varied, and at the same time provides them every calorie, vitamin, and mineral we need to live healthy lives?

These are the questions we’d like to explore with our forest. Basically, “How can we grow forests to feed ourselves.” And towards that end, we’ll be designing and planting 2 terraces for a total of 2,500 m2 in the hopes of being able to produce enough food for a family of 3.

The first terrace:

The Pantry – Once mature, this regenerative agroforest will produce nuts, fruit, and a crop of perennials. The goal being to create a system that is low maintenance, and highly productive of raw calories.

The Second Terrace:

Forage Forest – Over time, we will establish a wildly biodiverse food forest that focuses more narrowly on growing year-round fresh ingredients, a diversity of vitamins and minerals, and raw food. This would include vegetables, greens, fruit, berries. Generally, anything snackable.

How would you like to tell the story of your project for a wider audience? (Think blog, videos, poems etc.) ~ 500 characters

At the heart of our goals is a desire to create forests whose style other people want to copy, and plant out on their own land. But forests are deeply complex, and you can’t simply cut and paste one ecosystem onto another. For this reason, one of our goals is to create resources that allow people to adapt them. Towards that end, for this project, we’d like to write a blogs that explores the project and helps people understand that a forest is capable of providing us with all the food they need.

Individual Questions

Why do you want to plant a regenerative forest? What motivates you?~ 700 Characters

I have a dream of living in forests. Of being able to hike for days without ever leaving the safety of a living wood. But we’ve inherited a world overrun by monocultures that degrade the ecosystem, erode the soil, and fuel wildfire.

And for this I’m motivated to provide alternative forms of land management that re-imagine the world as a beautiful, living environment, filled with interacting communities of species.

And helping them along until maybe my grandchildren can live out my dream, and play freely through kilometers of forests so beautiful you forget they’re economic.

What is your experience working with forests? ~ 400 Characters

Since 2014, I’ve lived in a forest garden. Where, while the forest matures, gives me daily lessons about what may and may not work in this region. It’s these lessons that I’m taking to the forest in Silverto. Where I’m trying design patterns of forestry that are both easy to implement, that retain a strong biodiversity, and invite people to listen to what nature’s saying.

What is your experience working with social projects? ~400 Characters

Onda Vital – A tribe of foresters active since 2014 dedicated to reforestation through healthy soils, thriving people, and resilient ecosystems.

Ilha de Lagos. – A 7 year old 2-hectare forest garden near Santiago run by my brother and I. It is slowly maturing into a living adventure park in which a strong forested biodiversity is central to its functioning and purpose.

Financial Questions

How would you use the money? Please be specific. ~ 500 Characters

The money would be split among 3 main activities.

~1100 – The purchase of the trees, bushes, and perennials, which we’ll be planting at the end of 2020 and 2021.

~ 300 – Soil analysis, a few tools, and extra fertility (compost) to begin building soil, an improve the fertility of the land.

~ 600 – Installation of an irrigation system to protect the plantation from drought.