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...
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
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...
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 :-)
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!
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours a day 5 days a week