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 aim is to be more self-sufficient – we create our own electricity, 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 service provider 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 has some teckel in her, maybe a bit of Jack Russell (ball-obsessed) and even Corgi? She's the sweetest dog - loves to play and to get all the attention. We got Jinx from an animal shelter in the Netherlands in 2012 (she's about 11 years old now).
Jinx is small, but she's definitely the boss of Jabba.
Jabba is our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Although we usually get rescue dogs, we made an exception for him; we got him as a puppy, because we wanted a 100% guardian dog. He is intelligent and stubborn, with a heart of gold.
Jabba is about 4 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 18 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.
Joey is getting quite old now, and doesn't typically spend time with our guests.
We raise alpacas, mostly to graze the land in between the olive and almond trees. Alpacas are smaller than llamas, and typically not as spit-happy (click here to read more about the differences).
We currently have 4 alpacas: three ladies and a brown baby boy. Two of our girls are hopefully pregnant, and expecting their babies in May of 2018.
Find out more about why we chose alpacas for our little farm - click here.
We keep chickens, mainly for the delicious eggs. Fresh eggs look and taste totally different when chickens are scratching around and getting good food! The many local predators (foxes, eagles, weasels, even vultures like the occasional chicken) make 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.