Volunteer farm, forestry and handy work in Midi Pyrenees, France



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    We are trying to revive the degenerated Domaine surrounding our Château, which nowadays consists of an animal farm with 25ha of hilly pastures, a 45ha forest, a saw-mill and some holiday homes. When we (Bianca, who was trained to be a nurse, and Paul, who had been stuck in an office for far too long) were in our mid 40's, we decided to get away from it all. So it was in 2005 that we left our studying sons behind and emigrated from the overpopulated Netherlands to the tranquility of rural south-west of France. We have embraced some of the local Gascon lifestyle, in which we like to enjoy a full table, both food and company, after a hard day’s work. Our son Tobias joined us early 2014 to start up bee-keeping as part of the farm activities. In spite of all the progress made, the domain never seems finished. So YES, we do welcome volunteers to help out on the farm, with the forestry and to generally fix-up this quiet Gascony glory!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Animal Care
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Help


    In one project, we will saw tree trunks in to planks and beams with which a shed and a barn need to be renovated. The large branches are to be (machine) split for firewood, and all the medium and small branches will be shredded into chips for the wood burner of the central heating. A secondary destination for the planks and beams is to convert the roof of a large hangar in to an area for solar panels to generate electricity.
    Another project is to renovate a building that in the 1950’s and 1960’s housed the farm workers. The idea is to change it in to a shop (boutique) to sell our farm produce, especially honey. In case you might be interested in bee-keeping, there are already a few "past" workawayers who started their own hives at home, based on the experience and knowledge they pick up from Tobias.
    Meanwhile the decoration and renovation of the main house is not yet finished, the surrounding garden, adjacent vegetable garden scream for attention and general maintenance at the farm and the two holiday villas and pool is never finished. Of course our animals (mainly beef + bees) require continuous care with which we welcome a helping hand...

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    The 3 guest-rooms in the mansion share their own bathroom. We will provide for your preferred breakfast but you'll have to prepare it yourself. But the other 2 meals will be prepared for you, a cold meal at lunch and a warm meal in the evening. Laundry can be done. The daily chores will be shared by all who enjoy the household.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We have plenty of experience with (mostly young) people helping out at the farm, being it family, friends and WorkAwayers ever since 2005. We started with a group of 15, family and friends, including our 2 sons and some of their friends (city boys and girls) who helped us out during the summer holidays. They all enjoyed it and some so much that they returned regularly in the following years. The last 5 years we had, on average, a dozen WorkAwayes visiting us every year, and some of them left a review on this Internet site.

    As a consequence of most of our activities we virtually live outdoors starting April. On a daily routine, the closer we get to the warm season, the earlier we rise to benefit from the early light and avoid the heath. We do warm lunches, which often cause the inevitable siesta.

    We know that our place sounds idyllic to some people, so we prefer to be straightforward about what people may expect here. You should realize that it is a lot of physical work around a farm/forest? Don’t be afraid to break a fingernail occasionally or to get your hands and knees dirty. Sometimes we even do some muscle fledging, backbone-building work, and that goes for the both of us (in our fifties).

    From experience we would prefer to have WorkAwayers as from the age of 21 years upwards, and for at least 2 weeks.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    a campervan or motorhome can easily be parked on our premises, but having invited WorkAwayer to come and stay with us, we do prefer to shelter them in the big house.

  • Can possibly acccept pets

    Can possibly acccept pets

    we have had WorkAwayers visiting with their pets (dogs only) , which worked out fine with our own free roaming dogs and cats but only if the visiting pet.. eh, no, dogs only, is well behaved and can sleep outside together with our dogs. No cats or dogs allowed inside the house !

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

Kelsy's Texan BBQ
Hannah: TAdaaaah!
M&M: how's my tan, Engy?
Tia, the amazing amazon
Philip, the poolman
Alice & Hannah, rabbiting
Hannah hates pictures
Jamie, the strimmer
Aline & Julie have broken-in Samba
Georgie in action
Does Aline like suckling calves ???
Lovable Jung
Adam couldn't resist getting mud on his face.
evening snacks
wanna bite?
the catch of a mushroom-search
Panorama aux Pyrénées
Bianca & Paul
I love my beef!!
storing the grain harvest
storing the hay harvest
wood chipping
Le Château
overview of the estate, norhwards

Host ref number: 17768577314b