Meet the Team
While the core team is made up of Melania & Peppi, we have lots of friends and helpers who continuously support our vision and mission in many ways. This is our way of building a community hub while providing a sanctuary for nature and humans together.
Peppi is a visionary from the island of Malta. He is an experienced & certified ecological designer holding a Masters of Science in Ecological Architecture and a certified permaculturist, alternative farmer, teacher, consultant, and also the founder of the Permaculture Research Foundation for Malta. He has taught a number of courses over many years and spoken at high level circles including the Common Wealth Foundation.
Peppi started out working on permaculture projects at the young age of 21 while he was travelling in Australia. Destiny has put him on this path after a robbery incident that stripped him of everything he possessed including his passport and travel money.
He found refuge on a permaculture farm in the hills of Northern New South Wales where he traded his skills and volunteered on an eco center. He fell in love with the subject and philosophy of permaculture.
Peppi connected deeply with the mindset of permaculture and became passionate with the positive and integrative attitude that it promotes. He made it his mission to share this with as many people as possible and co-create projects to show case its potential.
From then on he worked on a number of projects in Australia until he eventually returned to Malta where he started the Bahrija Oasis project. Bahrija Oasis was an ambitious permaculture project on a dry, windy, and arid landscape which he together with his team of apprentices, helpers and volunteers developed over 18 years. His vision & design has bloomed the landscape with carefully designed & naturally occurring biodiversity and attracted many individuals, groups, reporters, researchers & documentary filmmakers.
In 2018 Peppi decided to look for another opportunity close to the ocean and the surf, and that is how he landed near Ericeira, Portugal. His original idea was to develop a forest garden while still run Bahrija Oasis in Malta, however, a year later, plans had to change due to travel restrictions brought over by the Covid scenarios.
He felt that there was more opportunity to create community around his vision in Portugal rather then on the island, and so together with Melania laid down the focus and the energy to build something new. And that’s how Zee Barn was born.
Amongst his activities you can find Peppi planting the forest, saving seeds, growing food, teaching, playing music, consulting others on their projects, sometimes surfing, and reaching out to others who form part of the Zee Community.
Melania is originally from Tuscany, Italy but she has a nomadic soul.
When she was only two years old, her parents took her to India and
thanks to her unconventional family she has traveled extensively since a young age.
She grew up exposed to oriental culture, Indian traditions, a Macrobiotic diet and philosophy.
In 2008 she left Italy, moved by an inner call to go for deeper Spiritual growth. Melania has been involved in various permaculture projects all over the world, where she discovered an inner joy and power in connecting with mother earth.
She loves to take care of the gardens and the kitchen at Zee Barn, where she cooks creative, colorful Macrobiotic vegan dishes made with our vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Melania loves to decorate her dishes with colorful edible flowers, as a form of art and meditation.
She loves to dry flowers and medicinal plants from the land and to find creative ways to turn them into pretty and practical homemade remedies, teas, oils, soaps, lotions and more.
She finds ways to eliminate waste and uses many raw products from the garden. In spring you will find her in the kitchen preparing fruit jams,fermentations, pickles and chutneys to preserve them for the winter.
She believes that the universal energies of nature are absorbed through the foods we eat and transmuted into our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Melania is also a committed yoga practitioner and teaches yoga at Zee Barn.
Her desire to learn and teach yoga took her to study in India and all over the world with seniors renomated teachers.
She completed her 800 hrs yogic studies in 2017 in Australia at the Byron Yoga Centre and she is doing an Iyengar teacher training as an evolution of her practice.
Melania's classes are influenced by the styles of Purna, Yoga therapy and Ashtanga, that she practiced for several years.
Her teaching is a mindfulness form of yoga, encouraging students to go deeper into the practice by moving and holding postures with conscious breathing, subtle awareness and focus on correct alignment.
She loves anatomy and the therapeutic aspect of the practice of Yoga.
Our support in digital communication
Laurene is our web consultant who helps Zeebarn's online visibility. She helps us share our story with you and others who are interested in making the world a better place. Her work ranges from website redesign to digital marketing strategy and social media advice.