André Maciel

André, grower in Lisbon, dreams of creating a school of environment and sustainable development.

There’s no doubt about it: André fell passionately in love with nature when he was little. Born in Setubal, he grew up in an urban environment, but he still remembers the fascination he felt every time he visited his grandparents’ house in the north: the farm, the animals, the agriculture. It was his only contact with nature, but it was enough for him to devote all of his work in his equipment design courses to ecology and sustainable development. And that was ultimately a very good idea.

He soon discovered permaculture and found himself filled with a deep desire to change the way we eat. He decided to start a project: PuriSimpl.

It's a very exciting story! First, he restored the house where his mother was born and transformed what was meant to be a simple workshop into a biodiverse ecosystem in the heart of the city, proving that it is possible to bring nature in urban areas, that self-sufficiency is a possible path, and that a balanced diet can be accessible. Just seeing the garden was enough to get him to slowly start building a prototype of his dream house, where there would be a vegetable garden, a chicken coop, ponds and rainwater collectors. All that was left to do was to find a name for it. And the name he chose is a double tribute: to his mother Maria da Purificação, and to nature, which is so simple and perfect. Pure + Simple.

Those were the best years of his life, but since that kind of work can get lonely, he closed the workshop in 2017. He then left for Coimbra to study organic farming. At the same time, he volunteered on several farms, Poial and Terra Alta. In March 2020, he joined the Noocity team to become a grower in Lisbon, while simultaneously developing the project Hortas LX by PuriSimpl, which not only sets up vegetable gardens in urban areas, but also holds workshops for children.

Convinced that the path to a better world is based on the verbs believe, act, and evolve, he dreams of creating a school of sustainable development, environment and the arts for children. Because education is the only tool that can secure the future. And because, of course, to change the world you have to start when you’re still a little sapling, and it's never too early to plant that kind of seed.

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