Hello ! My name is Sylvain, and I'm a found of nature gardener/farmer in his early thirties. Since I don't really give myself time to travel that much any longer I d be very happy to be part of your travels.
Some years ago a couple of relatives bought a 7 ha meadow next to their home in Cockaifagne and asked me if I wanted to do something on it. So I started experimenting there and got more and more interested into permaculture, agro forestry, food forest garden and so on.
Bernard and Ruth, the owners of the place are a sweet retired couple in their seventies. Bernard is found of paraglinding but when the wind is good ha gladly mown the lawn for hours and that his blessing to me ^^ His wife Ruth is from Switzerland and loves teaching languages to immigrants, baking carrot cakes and also does some little things to help. My friend Axel also comes to help sometimes as well and of course my lovely little dog Yoli is part of the dreamteam and tries to help by catching the voles.
My goals for the next years would be to slowly establish myself there, produce most of what I eat, make a living out of ma passion and help people around turning the lawn into fertile ecosystems.
The productions would mostly be fresh and preserved fruits, berries and mushrooms. Seeds, useful plants, and herbal teas would be great as well.
The tasks are various from giving a second life to pallets to taking care of the orchards and vegetable garden. We use to have geese to care of as well but the fox ate them all and we 're waiting for the right time to start our natural grass management program.
Me and most people I dwell with are vegetarians or eat really few meat and dairy. If you 're vegan, no problems we ll eat vegan with you.
In Jalhay, you ll find a nice lake, a tiny natural park named the high fens and a beautiful forest. I have plenty of montain bikes and maps you can borrow. From Verviers or Eupen, the two closest cities you can hop in a train that goes to the seaside in 3 hours stopping in Liège, Bruxelles, Gent and Brugges. Aarchen, Maastricht and Koln are pretty close as well. I enjoy kayaking as well when there s enough water in the rivers.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Beside what you could learn from agro ecology principles, I can also teach you why it actually matther more then never, but also how to play didgeridoo or a little bit of guitar, or bass or ukulele, some cooking recipes, freestyle beer tasting, the true meaning of life and how the repaire a flat tire on a montain bike. I also enjoy going out depending on the music.
I mostly need help with the vegetable garden and the orchads; weeding, doing seedling, ect, mowing, harvesting, building and maintaining the sheds, petting Charly the ginger cat whose need of cuddling could turn it hairless, chopping wood.... Sometimes we also do some canning or such things. Help with cooking is often welcome too ^^
In summer I often sleep in Cockaifagne in an old trailer as It's low confort and privacy I d like to build something else for the guests when I ll have got the time wich as everyone knows means never gonna happen. ^^
Otherwise I stay in my family house, where my broter's room is available most of the time and a double bed for guest in the living room as well. My mother is a great person, especially if you 're interested in energetic healing and never ending phonecalls. There are nice forests around and a beautiful lake 5 minutes by bike from the house.
I also have a room in in a big house in Fraipont near Liège where I live with three women and a men my age and little men some month old. There's a kind of guest/music room before my room that's available too and a huge living room. My house mates make quite a good company. The area is quite nice there as well and there s a train station at 1 kilometre. It's also possible to stay there as coach surfer.
Nature is pretty enjoyable in my area. You ll have internet with cable, books in french and english, few some in spanish, few in german. I can provide you with montain bikes and maps or show you around if I have some spare time. Jalhay is easy to get to by bus from Verviers but I can eventually pick you up somewhere if you're not far or if you lack of hitch-hiking luck.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 2-8 hours a day, 4-5 days a week (Maximum 25 hours/week)