The unexpected beauty of nature in Madeira Island

Daniëlle Verhaegen and Hatha Yoga
Laura Vrijenhoef, The Netherlands

It takes only a few hours to fly from any part of Europe to the beautiful island of Madeira in Portugal, and it takes just 30 minutes to drive from the main city of Funchal through the tunnels to reach the amazing site of Sítio do Pomar.


Now you are standing on a mountain facing the old farming terraces. Two valleys are coming down from the sides where they merge and become big waterfalls behind the terraces. In between the cottages and the terraces, water flows through the national irrigation canals called levadas. And in the distance you look with a clear view to the ocean that welcomes you.


My name is Terra, I am Japanese and I paid a visit to Sítio do Pomar as a storyteller and nature-farmer.

Words are too limited to describe everything I experienced there, but let me start with…it was breath taking.


As I walked down along the farming terraces to the valley, it was clear people had not touched the ground or farmed there for many years, but at the same time the nature purified and reformed itself and created an interesting range of wild species. I could see the diversity of nature, which was a mixture of European, Mediterranean and something more of a tropical climate, lots of laurel trees, small bushes and many colourful flowers.

In the shades there were small rocks with different kinds of moss that grew on it. It felt like being in a fairyland or a Zen-Garden. And when I looked up from the valley to the farming terraces above, it gave me a feeling that they were like stairs made for giants.


After walking around the site, I fell in love with the place. I got an instant feeling that this place can host any people or group who are well minded and have awareness for something bigger than we human beings.  

Eventually I spent most of my stay in Madeira at the site, being nurtured by the nature, watching countless numbers of stars and listening to myself.  

I know as a storyteller that stories connect people and inspire you to be fully who you are. And I know as a nature-farmer that working sustainably in nature teaches us how nature works, how to become a truly consciously human being and also learns us about our true self.


Therefore I strongly support Dennis, the site of ‘Sítio do Pomar’ and what the place stands for, “open air monastery for Mother Gaia”. It simply has everything in it.

It is the place where you can connect to people and nature. It is the place where you can share your knowledge and learn together. And it is the place where you can find the deep connection to something bigger and to yourself in a very gentle and profound way. And I am sure that it also must be the perfect place to tell stories and learn about the force of nature by nature farming!

In the near future you will find me for workshops in Sítio do Pomar!Terra (The Netherlands)

More about Nature Farming:


Book “One Straw Revolution”