Help build a self-sufficient place using ecological methods and materials in Chélan, France



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are 2 couples : Maëlle and Jérôme are living in an old farm, Lisa and Thomas in a yurt in the garden. Our project is to build a self-sufficient place, and to host old people who need assistance. We are restoring the farm with ecological methods and materials. When we bought the farm in 2014, it was uninhabitable. Before leaving our life in Paris, we spent a few summers working on it (mostly to build back the roof and one small living room) and we now moved in end of 2018. Until today, we have had mainly friends helping, which learned us a lot on how to work and live in group. We now want to share this adventure with as many people as possible !!
    We also started a vegetable garden this year and just installed 3 beehives on the land !

  • Type of help

    Type of help


  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Since we live in a small village, we are surrounded by a strong southern-french rural atmosphere. We collaborate with many local actors and participate to many cultural activities in villages nearby. We'll be more than happy to share all this with you and also learn from you !

  • Help


    We need help to rebuild two bedrooms with half-timbering using soil-straw mixture.

    The present halftimbering (see pictures) is 150 years old and is abandoned since 50 years. In order to restore this structure in an ecologic way and to end up with a passive house, we choosed a soil-earth solution. 
    This solution will fit in easyly in the existing structure, plus it has good phonic and heating capacities. All materials used here are local, the technics requieres very low energy, which makes it a low footprint solution !

    The project we have here will last 2 weeks, and concerns only 2 rooms on the first floor.
    The thecnic is based on a mixture of soil and straw. We will first use ciment mixer to have a nice clay/water mixture, and then add it to straw in big bathtups.
    We will lift up all this mixture thanks to buckets and pullies.
    Then we will fill up the formworks with big wooden hammers.
    We will move on progresivly on the 4 different walls, starting from the bottom and going up 40 cm by 40 cm.

    There are three different teams all along the process, first one on the mixture, second one getting it up, the third one filling the formworks.
    For those who want to discover all the process, everyone will be able to change team every half day as all the technics are simple and easily handled by all. Also, Thomas, Lisa, Jerome and Maelle will be involved in all teams to help and take time with each one of you.

    We will be very happy to share these moments with you !

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    French, English, German

  • Accommodation


    For sleeping, we offer to stay in tents with mattress. Then we all share meals in a common kitchen and turn teams every day for cooking. There is a big fire place where we spend some evenings, and different places to chill out (sofas, hammock,...)
    There is an outside covered hot shower for everybody.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We only have composting toilets.
    Animals are welcome, please let us know before.
    We can accomodate you by picking you up in the nearest train stations (Lannemezan, Auch).

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4/5 heures par jour max, 5 j/sem.

Host ref number: 245919643278