Help on a small holding in the Mediterranean Pyrenees, France

Country

France

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 1 month

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  • Description

    Description

    PLEASE NOTE: We only now do exchanges in May, & June and then September & October of each year. We do not do exchanges in July and August anymore.

    Singles and couples are welcome, minimum two weeks, ideally a month or more.

    If you play an instrument then you are even more heartily welcome!

    Grow your own vegetables, collect fresh free-range eggs and enjoy a Pyreanean Summer in acres of pristine forest, stream and mountain on the French/Spanish border. It is a remarkably beautiful area.

    Simon speaks English, German, Spanish and French. Ashley speaks English and French, Sophia speaks English and French and is learning Spanish and German.

    To see more about the help and accommodation, see the 'Help' and 'Accommodation' sections lower down.

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    We live in the mountains at the foot of Mount Canigou, 1hr from the Mediterranean on the French-Spanish border, in a truly beautiful wild setting. We are approximately 2 hrs north of Barcelona, and 1 hr south-west of Perpignan. We have a large old farmhouse with several outbuildings, a swimming pool and 11+ acres of land, forest and river.

    And we've no neighbours to see or hear of!

    We have a small campsite, with two 16m2 bell tents on wooden platforms in a forest near the stream: there is also a summer kitchen with hammocks and tents, an outside shower and dry toilet and large camp fire. This accommodates a maximum of 6 people in the summer months. Just friends, family and workawayers.

    We have solar hot water for three of our buildings and the main house. We use water from the stream, gravity-fed, and are installing a new storage tank with purification and filters. We heat almost entirely with our own wood.

    We grow our own vegetables, and plan to install our own hydro-electric generator with water from one of the old aqueducts that once fed the land when it was an apple farm.

    We have chickens and sheep, a Border Collie called Blue, three cats and a pond with fish … and there is plenty of local wildlife in our forests: wild boar, roe deer, foxes, griffon vultures ...

    We have lived in this southern-most region of France, overlooking the Spanish border, since 2005. Ashley is a trained classical singer, Simon a lapsed anthropologist, who owned and ran an IT company in Edinburgh. Simon worked in WWOOF farmsteads in the mid 90s (WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). We also ran guided mountain walking holidays for small groups in May and October.

    We love having down to earth, friendly, intelligent and multilingual guests!

    If you play fiddle, guitar or piano you are really welcome!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice
    Teaching

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You can improve your language skills. We are native English speakers, but Simon speaks English, German, French and Spanish. Ashley and Sophia speak English and French. Sophia is also learning Spanish and German.

    You'll experience a way of life that is quite different from how most modern urbanites live, and hopefully really enjoy it.

    So if you are a multi-lingual musician you are very welcome - especially fiddlers, guitarists and singers!

  • Help

    Help

    After almost 15 years there is a certain routine::

    During April, May and June - your help will include planting the vegetable garden, weeding, minor maintenance, painting, small building projects, strimming fields, fencing repairs, tending the animals.

    During September and October - your help will include, making minor repairs, painting, small building projects, strimming, tending the animals, foresty clearing, field tidying and fencing repairs.

    As this is an exchange, any skills that you can pass onto us will be much appreciated! We are acquiring new ones all the time! Language - music?!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, German, Spanish, French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You would have use of one of our apartments/gites or a room in the house with us.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Having your own transport would be useful for your days off, but it is possible without, as we could drop you off when necessary. Public transport also begins 6km from our farm, where buses will take you to Perpignan for 1 Euro. The next village is 3km: a 15 minute bike ride.

    The coast is not far away (1hr) and there are many small towns to visit in the area (in Spain and France). There are also plenty of mountain walks.

    To truly take advantage of being in the mountains and so near to the Mediterranean, and of being so close to Spain (Figueras 1hr, Girona 1.5hrs, Barcelona 2hrs), having your own transport would be a bonus.

    Bikes of course are also a possibility!

  • 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?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Standard workaway 25 hrs a week for board and lodging. Except during July and August: approx 18 hrs per week for lodging - 3 hrs per day 4 days a week, full day on Saturdays.

Our own produce ... ymmm!
Lovely sweet mediterranean tomatoes!
We produce just for ourselves. Eggs and plenty of vegetables from early Summer onwards …
This is our valley, the Vallespir. It is the most southerly valley in France and the hills to the left are the Spanish border. It's gorgeous!
Some early Spring clearing down by our river. We've picnic tables and hammocks down here for more leisurely days!
We've some 80m2 of growing beds ... and that's the chicken house in the background …
One of the Bell Tents on its forest platform during construction. We have two and a raised platform Summer Kitchen, shower unit all set in a lovely field next to the river. We have lots of campsite fires here in the Summer evenings.
Just one small polytunnel is necessary for all the tomatoes ... otherwise everything else is grown in open beds …
We've our own house, and four holiday gites with pool, as well as a small campsite with bell tents on platforms. Set in 11 acres on Mount Canigou with no neighbours.
The view from one of six terraces
The Casot, and the Main House ...
Ashley, Simon and Sophia ... Sophia is now 8. We've not had time to update photos though!
The main house, garden and pool. One of three habitable buildings. There are four additional gites and several outhouses.









Host ref number: 189539743879