We live on a dairy farm in the Franche-Comté (or sometimes referred to as Jura) mountains in eastern France near the border to Switzerland. This is in the heart of Europe and a couple of hours drive from Germany, Italy and Austria. Our farm house was built in 1765 but not much is left of the old house apart from the thick stone walls, we have extensively renovated and extended the house into the old barn and cow shed. The new farm buildings around the yard are now used for the farming activities. We are probably not your usual farming family, Fabrice who runs the farm is also the village Mayor, he dedicates a lot of his time in dealing with various village projects and challenges. Helena (that's me writing) doesn't work on the farm but weekly commutes to Zurich where she works in Financial Services. Our eldest daughters have moved out (25 and 26) our son Alex 18 is half living at home half travelling and our youngest daughter 16 is still at home. We have also a couple pet goats, three cats and two dogs (a Border Collie for the farm who lives in his pen) and a Chihuahua who lives on the sofa. We are easygoing people, we cook mostly local food and have a huge kitchen for those who like cooking. The area we live in is very beautiful and a short walk away is the Source de la Loue, a river flowing out of a cave as well as walking paths around the forest and Gorges de Nouailles. There is a lot of nature to see around here but also we are a short driving distance away from Switzerland. The farm is in a small valley just below the village, there is no public transport, the nearest bus stop is about 5km away. The fast train to Paris has a stop about 30 minutes drive away. We are happy to lend a bike or the car (as per agreement).
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
In return for your participation we are happy to provide you with your own room and meals, help you in improving your French or introducing you to dairy farming if you want to know how that works. You will get to taste the local cheeses and wines. You will have your weekends free to roam about the countryside or travel to nearby countries. Also if you are a budding garden or interior designer you can do your own mini project with a small defined budget.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have lots of ideas so projects could be a number of things and we would seek to match projects with individuals skills and interests, here is a list to give you an idea: design the garden surrounding the house and the look of the small surrounding valley, help create that garden and help us create a vegetable garden (we have a new green house but we have no clue what to grow in there), home decoration (I have a couple of rooms I would like to redecorate), interior design (I would like to redesign the whole upper floor), teach us to cook (we like cooking but would like to know more), help us create a wine cellar (what wines to buy and how to store), help me clear out my huge walk-in wardrobe and put unwanted clothes on the internet, help us clear out the garage and put unwanted items on the internet, help me persuade my husband that we should have our own chickens and help me build a pen for them, but also more classically handyman work, housekeeping, help with shopping etc. Together we can define which activity of the above you do, it also depends on the time you want to spend here and what interests you the most. We are fine with a couple if you both help out, max 5 hours 5 days a week.
The room is a medium sized double bed room with internet access. The bathroom is shared with the family. For shorter stays we also have an independant room downstairs that we sometimes rent out to tourists. The cats do not live inside but the do come into the house from time to time, therefore not suitable for anyone with cat or dog allergies. We have plenty of parking space if you come with your own car.
The area we live in is very popular for walking, trekking, trail running, mountain biking and in winter snow sports. With prior agreement we can lend you a car for sightseeing during the weekend.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week