Hello there. We are a Matt, Ali, Olea (7) and Simeon (6), who in 2015 bought a large hill farm in the Vallespir, and we have been working hard and renovating it and creating holiday accommodation ever since.
Matt has done lots of things including working as a diver, a Marine, then a computer technician and is now a forester/farmer/builder!
Ali worked for many years as a chef on private sailing boats all around the world; and we have now settled with our family up a very beautiful mountain, near to mount Canigou. We enjoy the great outdoors, long lunches, friends, family & animals!
We live in part of the main mas and Ali's parents live in their own house, which is in one of the outbuildings. We have no neighbours, and the village is only 5 minutes away down the track, the Mediterranean coast (and Collioure) is only 1 hour drive away and we are very close to the Spanish border so trips into Spain are very easy, even just for lunch.
Now we having finished building Ali's parents place, and have completed building 4 holiday gites, plus the platform and summer kitchen for our yurt which we rent out too. Now we are improving our own house and working on marketing the gites and the woodworking department.
We have our own forest, saw yard, and a good workshop for making anything out of mostly chestnut & oak.
We also have a poly tunnel and large organic vegetable garden, and are starting to learn about and adopt permaculture methods.
Our aim is to become self sufficient, both terms of food and energy, and create an inspiring eco environment for restful breaks and various activities and to start making an income from fire wood and carpentry.
We have lots of animals; a donkey, 2 very friendly Pyrenean goats (who like to go for walks!), 2 dogs, 3 cats, various chickens, a flock of Cameroon sheep and 5 pigs. It's a great place for animal lovers!
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Apart from exploring this beautiful part of France, you could also learn about animal care, organic vegetable growing, the English language! This is also a perfect place for people interested in forestry, ecological farming & permaculture.
We need help in February & March to get ready for the season; painting, varnishing, gardening and we need to build a new chicken coop. We also need help in July & August as we get very busy with guests in the gites. We organise activities for guests and kids; things like walks with donkeys and stopping for a picnic, guided hikes, tours around the animals and lessons is taking care of animals, and showing kids how to tend to a vegetable garden. There will be help needed with animal care, taking kids to the pool etc and doing light domestic chores (a bit of washing up after meals and getting kids to tidy up after themselves!).
We can use pretty much any practical skills and can adapt jobs to peoples interests or skills. People who can speak French and English is helpful.
Spring and Autumn is retreat season for us and half term holidays so we are still busy with guests doing yoga, meditation etc and can use help around the farm, prepping/serving meals and with the animals etc.
Most of all we like positive, independent, practical and fun people who work well as part of a team but also enjoy some quiet time, and would enjoy sharing this wonderful place with us for 3 weeks- 2 months or more.
Best suited for a couple who have their own car who don't mind living remotely and enjoy nature, hiking etc.
English, French and rubbish Spanish!
We can offer a basic mobile home in a secluded spot with South facing terrace, compost toilet and hot water shower. Double bed and kitchenette with fridge. Comfy sofa on terrace. Wifi. Over the winter, we can offer one of our very comfortable gites.
There are buses that go from the village into Perpignan for 1 euro and we can offer lifts wherever we are going. There could be occasional use of a car when it's not needed; but having your own car is best!
This location is ideal for walkers, mountain bikers & climbers and lovers of peace and nature. There are many beautiful villages and small towns up & down the valley to visit, all the way to the white sandy beaches on the coast of France & Spain. Collioure is 'our St Tropez' (1 hour drive), Ceret is our biggest local town (30 mins drive) which has a great Saturday market, art galleries, restaurants etc. Barcelona is 2 and a half hours drive away.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week