Work with cob in 300 years old stone house in Normandy, France



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We're Geert and Marjan, a Belgian couple (born 1962 & 1972) with a little girl named Jeanne (born 2012). We're restoring an old house, some outbuildings and a huge barn. The house is about 300 years old and is very charming. We're renovating the place whilst keeping it ecological and authentic, using old materials and techniques.

    We have 2,7 hectares of land, containing a garden, a swamp and pasture with 2 apple orchards from which we make every year in autumn our own cider and calvados. It's situated in a very nice and quiet valley, about 7 kilometers from Coutances and about 18 kilometers from the sea!

    A little more about us: we love nature and old houses. We like outdoor sports (climbing, mountainbiking, (ski) mountaineering, kayaking) although we don't have much time for these now with our little girl and this renovation project. We both like working with our hands, Geert has followed furniture restoration course in evening academy, and Marjan has followed photography, learned to make stained glass and became then hooked on sculpting with clay. Furthermore she dreams of being able to make everything herself from scratch and live self-sufficient. Plan is also to make a bit a living from ceramics, by selling my work and giving workshops...


  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We can learn you how to restorate and renovate a building in an ecological way, whith old techniques using natural materials. Working with cob, wood, but also gardening, permaculture, cooking with herbs, wild plants,... We can also teach you everything about making cider, calvados, pommeau...

  • Help


    For the moment we can use especially some help with the barn:
    - working with cob!
    - wood construction, masonry,...

    but other help is welcome too (see here below):
    - weed control (bramble), gardening: all year round
    - construction of a vegetable garden (permaculture)
    - cider making (end of october - beginning of november)
    - cooking, looking after Jeanne (speaking French to her!)
    - electricity works, plumbing,...
    - renovation of the attick
    - restoration of old stone & cob walls (masonry)
    - Wood construction & carpentry
    - Construction of a biological waste water treatment by infiltration in a reed bed
    - improving our French :-)

  • Languages spoken

    Greek: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Beginner
    Spanish: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    You can stay with us in the house: we have 1 spare comfortable bedroom in our house, with a double bed. If necessary we can put an extra mattress in the room. Furthermore there's place enough to put some tents in de garden... (we have 2 small tents, mattresses and sleeping bags)
    You can take a hot shower or a bath. We don't have television, but we've got a huge fireplace or a beautiful sunset to look at!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live about 7 kilometers from Coutances which has a train station. We would be happy to pick you up over there. Near our home is no public transport.

    We live at the countryside, very quiet, with many small but hilly roads and tracks, perfect for people who like nature, hiking, mountainbiking...
    The sea is about 18 kilometers further away. Mont-St-Michel is about 1 hour by car. Of course we would be willing to get you to places you may wish to visit (in the neighbourhood) on your days off.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day 5 days a week

wall waiting for its final layer of cob
this wall needs some cob in may...!!!
pouline and poulette and a part of the vegetable garden
apple press arrived!
workawayer Christine collecting apples
the three of us
the back of the barn on this moment
the front of the barn on this moment
the back of the barn before the start of the renovation
the barn...before the renavation
la peche a pied... which we love!

Host ref number: 155856832199