We are Axel Ferwerda (from the Netherlands) and Sandrine Coosemans (from Belgium), proud owners of Mas del Encanto. For the past few years, we’ve been working towards building our haven in rural Spain. Our ultimate aim is to be (more or less) self-sustaining – we create our own electricity, we use water from rainwater catchment and our own borehole, and eat produce from our own land as much as possible.
Axel has a background in control engineering and Sandrine is a virtual / personal assistant with a degree in sociology. We always knew we would go and live abroad some day; after living together in Amsterdam for a few years, we decided there’s no time like the present. We bought our “finca” (piece of farmland) in the spring of 2013, and moved here in October 2014. Since we like to share our little haven with others as well, we’ve decided to transform it into a rural retreat.
Jinx is our little mixed breed girl - she definitely has some teckel in her, maybe a bit of Jack Russell (ball-obsessed) and even Corgi? She's the sweetest dog ever - loves to play and to get all the attention. We got Jinx from an animal shelter in the Netherlands in 2012 (she's about 10 years old now). Jinx is small, but she's definitely the boss of Jabba.
Jabba is our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - we got him as a puppy, because we really wanted a 100% guardian dog. He is intelligent and stubborn, but he's got a heart of gold and is always in for a game. He's only 2,5 years old, loving and intelligent, and he is the one who keeps foxes and wild boar away (when he's not sleeping...).
Joe (Joey Ramone in full) is our 17 year old punk of a cat. He was born in Axels hands in Amsterdam, and lived there for the first 14 years of his life; he loves living here as well though. His favourite pastime is to lie in the sun and observe the local wildlife - mice and lizards are quite safe in his vicinity, as his hunting days are over.
We raise alpacas for fleece, but mostly because we want them to graze the land in between the olive and almond trees. Alpacas are not llamas (click here to find out the differences).
We currently have 4 alpacas: three ladies (two of them are hopefully pregnant and expecting their crias in June 2018), and a brown baby boy.
Find out more about why we chose alpacas on the blog - click here.
We keep chickens, mainly for the delicious eggs; they look and taste totally different when chickens are free-ranging and get good food! There are many predators around (foxes, eagles, weasels, even vultures like the occasional chicken) which makes keeping chickens a bit of a challenge, but we're continuously working on the infrastructure. We incubate and raise chicks as well; please click here to know more about this.