Think you don’t have a green thumb?

At Green Elbows, we're convinced you're naturally good at nature.

What Is Green Elbows All About?

So much more than a community garden—

The Garden Lab is a space for experimentation, learning and play.

Tucked behind the world-renowned surfing reserve of Ribeira d’Ilhas, the Garden Lab is a gathering place for beginners and experts alike.

Here, we bring people closer to nature and introduce them to the gardener within.

Here you will learn the basics of gardening step-by-step, ultimately harvesting armfuls of your own food.

Here you will join a community of people who want to step away from it all, escaping to this idyllic place nestled at the foot of Ericeira’s hills.

While The Garden Lab is the cornerstone of Green Elbows, our vision is to help anyone in Portugal grow with confidence. This year we are launching the Gardening Essentials Course for those who have their own gardens and are ready to get theirs hands dirty at home.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to help you grow, wherever you may be.

Our Mission

Why are we here?

We want to bring a little green into your every day.

We want to welcome you into slowness and wonder.

We want to help you (re)discover your love of growing and nurturing nature.

Who We Serve

Why are you here?

You once sprouted a bean plant in a paper cup and want to re-find that magic.

You want to eat tomatoes fresh from the vine and melons warm from the sun.

You’re ready for a little green oasis in your corner of the world.

You want to discover the hidden green side of Ericeira.

Our Services
Green Elbows Founder

Who is Rebecca Burton?

A sustainability expert with over a decade of experience in responsible sourcing and conservation.

As an undergraduate, Rebecca started out in landscape architecture and ultimately transitioned to international studies. As a master’s student, she focused on corporate social responsibility and now works to advance responsible practices in the mining sector. As for the gardening world, Rebecca has grown vegetables everywhere from third-floor patios to hidden valleys. She’s thrilled her various paths allow her to work with people from around the world to celebrate and conserve the green world.

A native of Utah, Rebecca lived in New York for a decade before moving to Portugal in 2019. An avid traveler, she’s visited gardens, parks and wild places in over 50 countries, with each one informing her approach to design and cultivation.

In Lisbon, she’s a long-term volunteer with the Open Gardens Festival and served as a weekly volunteer at Monteiro Mor Botanical Garden in 2020. She completed New York Botanical Garden’s Summer Gardening Intensive in 2019, as well as several courses at Lisbon’s Gardening School.

Rebecca has been designing green spaces for people living everywhere from Brooklyn to Zurich and grew her first vegetable (a single bean) at six years old. She is especially driven by the concepts of re-wilding and Half Earth—a global call to protect half of the world’s land and seas for the long-term health of our planet.

Meet Our Team of Mentors

Our mentors are a group of passionate people, each proficient in a specific topic. Together, we’ll explore all facets of gardening throughout the year.

Rebecca Burton

Expert in Sustainability & Regenerative Practices

With a background in corporate sustainability, the founder of Green Elbows brings us her expertise in preservation and regenerative practices.

Dr. Jessica Dittmar

Expert in Soil Health & Regeneration

A soil scientist with 15 years of experience—Jessica is our go-to resource on understanding and nourishing the land.

Rachel Taylor

Expert in Seed Saving & Genetic Diversity

A committed activist for seed saving, Rachel has established seed libraries throughout the region, including at The Garden Lab.

Mário Calhandro

Expert in Traditional Farming Practices

A native to St. Isidoro and an avid gardener, Mario shares traditional practices perfected across generations.