Stay and help us in the Sunny Vendee, France.

Country

France

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    Last activity

    17/09/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    Steve and I (Jane) have been living in France for 15 years and have recently moved to our rural idyll. We have an old farm house, perfectly habitable but in need of some refurbishment; a derelict cottage in need of total renovation; a workshop fully refurbished and ready to go plus 1.4 hectares (about 4 acres) land, lakes and orchards requiring tlc.

    Located in the Sunny Vendee we are just under and hour from La Rochelle, Les Sables d’Olonne, Nantes, Poitiers and surrounded by beautiful, typically French villages.

    We tend to host Workawayers for 2 weeks in the first instance, as after a fortnight we need a bit of us time, it's not just Workawayers, we're the same with family and friends as well. We do however have friends nearby who run a smallholding and also host Workawayers, so if you wanted to be in the area for longer, check out their profile:- Experience Farm Life in Rural France, search under Poitou Charente.

    In exchange for 25 hours per week Monday to Friday or, if you prefer to help a longer day for 4 days 25 hours between 9:00 and 6:00 Monday to Thursday we will provide:-

    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with wine and/or beer with dinner plus tea and coffee with cakes and/or biscuits. We should also like to say that whilst our meat almost all either home produced, or obtained from friends with a similar ethos to ourselves i.e. home reared in a welfare friendly environment, we are meat eaters. As a consequence, although we do eat vegetarian meals once or twice a week, we are not able to cater for vegetarians or vegans.

    Accommodation can be either in our guest bedroom, or in one of the eco lodges in the grounds depending on availability & season. The lodges (see photo) have a bedroom with a proper bed, a dining area (though you would still take your meals with us) with a fridge, kettle etc and a deck with comfy chairs. We also have 2 small bedrooms above the guests communal kitchen which we also use for our Workawayers when we have guests in both lodges or single Workawayers. There is a shower and toilet block by the house.

    We would be happy to collect you from a local train station if required.


    We would anticipate that most of the help would be outside to take advantage of that sunshine, retreating indoors if it gets too hot or decides to rain.

    We have quite a lot of terracing which needs repairing/rebuilding and land to clear so help with:

    Pointing with lime mortar
    Clearing woodland
    Clearing vegetation
    Preparing the vegetable garden
    Tree felling and logging
    General gardening
    General building work
    Housework and cooking – but only if you want to!
    Obviously instruction will be given should you require it.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Other
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    At the weekends we are often out and about visiting local attractions, beaches and fêtes, there are several of these which usually involve eating, drinking and dancing the most notable of which is on 14 July, Bastille Day. You would be most welcome to join us on these occasions.

    We currently keep chickens for eggs and breed Marans chickens and rabbits for meat. We also keep bees and if you are interested and would like to help with bees or animals you would be very welcome. Various preserves will also be made throughout the year and helping with their preparation is also an option. I think it would be fair to say food is a passion with us, we produce our own sausages, salami, hams and bacon; we make cheese, brew beer and smoke our own fish and meats. Currently we have friends who keep free range pigs, sheep and goats from whom we obtain most of the rest of our meat. If you have an interest in learning these skills let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

    One of our greatest pleasures is eating a plate of food that has been produced entirely by ourselves. Knowing everything that has gone into your food and that it has made very little impact on the planet is quite amazing. We try to live in a sustainable manner, that is, producing what we need with minimal impact on the environment.

    We cannot say we are 100% there, but in our previous house we were 90% self-sufficient in fruit and veg and the main reason we moved is to enable us to produce our own meat, which we are just embarking so that's a start. We are always trying to find ways of reducing our carbon footprint, minimising waste and recycling what we can. Having said that, we don't believe in making life too hard, and feel that it is possible to be responsible whilst still enjoying life's little luxuries. So come and join us, have some fun and perhaps learn some new skills.

  • Help

    Help

    We have quite a lot of terracing which needs repairing/rebuilding and land to clear so help with:

    Stone wall building
    Pointing with lime mortar
    Clearing woodland
    Clearing vegetation
    Preparing the vegetable garden
    Tree felling and logging
    General gardening
    General building work
    Housework and cooking – but only if you want to!
    Obviously instruction will be given should you require it.

    We would also eventually like to tackle the following one off projects:-

    Building a pizza oven
    Making a swimming/fishing platform into the lake

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Stay in the house or lodge depending on availabilty and season

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    At the weekends we are often out and about visiting local attractions, beaches and fêtes, there are several of these which usually involve eating, drinking and dancing the most notable of which is on 14 July, Bastille Day. You would be most welcome to join us on these occasions.

    We are no longer smokers but are happy to host smokers so long as they don't smoke in the house or lodges.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Chalky on Tour with the trusty trio.
Fedge complete
Great jobs done.
Sucessful stone wall building.
Hangar duly closed in
The Dynamic Duo
More Preserves
Spud Bashing!
Accommodation
A job well done
Look what we did!!
Sausage making big time
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Host ref number: 141428879574