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Paulo Bessa 's Profile
Paulo Bessa
Selfoss, Iceland
Climate Zone:
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My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

at Sólheimar

at Sólheimar

Selfoss, IS

Arturo Marroquin Bryant DeHusson Gudny Valborg Gudmundsdottir Gudrun Palsdottir Mörður Gunnarsson Ottesen Sigurður Jónsson Sigurður Unuson Zachary Bencomo
Caryn Le Feuvre Christopher Paul Ripley Filipa Santos Geoff Lawton Gudrun Palsdottir Hugo Dunkel Jon Jonsson Millo Magnocavallo Mörður Gunnarsson Ottesen Peter Koll Sophie Hill
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About Paulo Bessa


2011-2013 (now): in Iceland: a frontyard and backyard next to our house, 100m2 flat lawn converted to vegetable permaculture garden, that had compacted poor soil, climate has cold, windy and very short summer, and very long stormy and snowy winters. Very difficult climate, but we are brave and we make it work. We have many perennials growing outdoors, and things like siberian tomatoes, perennial rye and quinoa. And many flowers and herbs

Also indoors vegetable garden, south facing conservatory, hundreds of plants. Challenging is keeping plants alive in winter (we use cfl lights for that) A collection of medicinal plants. And exotic vegetables like gourds, millets, amaranth, sweet potatoes, tiger nuts, jicama, oca.

Plus 100m2 of backyard forest land to be converted for a forest garden (a few perennials planted). Forest gardens are indeed my greatest permaculture interest.

Also a 1000m2 community permaculture garden project, within the Solheimar ecovillage. Fruit trees, perennials and vegetables. We are pioneers growing this far inland in Iceland. Additionally, there are also greenhouses heated by geothermal energy.

2012-2013 (future project, in early stages): in central Portugal, 2000m2 sheltered terraces facing eastwards, with a high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. Currently growing fruit trees, herbs and many perennial edibles (chestnuts, pomegranate, moringa, yacon, skirret, etc). But land still borrowed. Looking for more land.

2009: in Austria, a 100m2 urban partial shade garden converted to permaculture. Experimented first with perennial vegetables, and shade growing of vegetables, including cucumbers. Companion planting and raised beds worked well,

2007-2008, in north Portugal, south facing urban balcony in Braga, grown vegetables, herbs, medicinals, and other perennials, in about 150 containers. Biodynamic experiments showed effect of planting by moon. I tried many things that year like parsnips, celeriac, cerefolium, grains, etc...

1990-1999, since I was 9 years old I began growing flowers in containers and doing garden arrangements and planning. Also tried as a kid growing vegetables in our urban balcony, a collection of cactus and growing trees from seed (including palms). Then, as I moved, I stop gardening for a few years.

Whenever I go, I try to avoid weeding or tilling, and listing all existent natives.

With Pami, my companion, we do a lot of crafts, homemade food and preserves (she's an amazing cooker and baker), we study the potential of medicinal herbs and do herbal preparations, I also do natural cosmetics.

In 2006 I visited places like Terramada and Tamera, the first communities set in Portugal. In 2011 I start living in Solheimar community. In 2011 I also visited Auroville in India, and in 2013 I visited a few of the big permaculture projects in Europe (like Seff Hozler, Martin Crowford and PFAF).

My most recent interest is a thorny one: how to make such self-sufficient projects work, both from the material point of view,and the social point of view. A great deal of philosophical and psychological understanding is needed, but there are no easy solutions for the issues of conflict resolution, decision making, finding alternatives to economy, relationships, etc...

Sadly, I am a terrible blogger. Computers are not my thing.


My Badges
Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Other course unverified
Forest gardening
Type: Other
Teacher: Martin Crawford
Location: Devon, UK
Date: Aug 2013
Other course unverified
Solheimar ecovillage internship
Type: Internship
Location: Iceland
Date: Jan 2011
Pri verified
Geoff Lawton's Permaculture Design Course
Type: Online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Australia (online)
Date: May 2014
Other course verified
Earthworks Course
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Australia (Online)
Date: Jul 2014
Other course verified
Reading the Landscape Course
Type: Other
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Australia (online)
Date: Aug 2014
Other course unverified
Planting Fruit Trees in Keyline
Type: Aid Worker
Teacher: Carlos Simões
Location: Alentejo, Portugal
Date: Jan 2014
0 PDC Graduates (list)
0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
0 Other Course Graduates (list)
have acknowledged being taught by Paulo Bessa
0 have not yet been verified (list)
Climate Zones
Paulo Bessa has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate

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