We are an energetic French-Australian family of 6 (four girls aged 8yo, 6yo fraternal twins, and a 3yo, and parents Jennifer and Thomas). We live in an modern, passive eco home on 14 hectares (about 35 acres) of land, consisting of a small orchard, lots of native woodland, some pasture, our house, and the original farmhouse. We live just outside the medieval walled city of Sarlat in the picturesque Dordogne region.
Our main project is to renovate the run-down farm house to give it the traditional "Périgourdine" façade. We also have a lot of ongoing activities on the land, including fruit and berry picking (seasonal); gardening and land maintenance; and wood cutting.
All of the kids will be at school during the day, but we hope you will enjoy interacting with them when they’re home. We don’t expect any babysitting duties, but they love to play kids card games, explore outdoors, do puzzles, read (or be read to), make cubbies, play with Lego etc and are always keen for some "new blood" to join them!
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
As we are a bi-lingual, bi-cultural family you will be welcomed into our international family. You will have the opportunity to practise your French or English - or enjoy comfort in communicating in either. Thomas and the kids are all fully bilingual, and Jennifer's French is passable.
In working with us you will have the opportunity to learn or hone your skills in house renovation/ restoration (for example carpentry, joinery, masonry), gardening using Permaculture principles, and tractor driving.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
If you are motivated and eager to learn then you’re a long way there! The help we need is mostly outdoors - a combination of more physical chores on the building site and other activities such as gardening. We are starting to grow veggies near the house and to explore different types of gardens.
Help would be no more than 25 hours a week (mostly in the morning) with weekends off.
We also expect that you would help around the house with some common chores.
Accommodation for one or two people is a room in our house which is equipped with its own shower and basin/ mirror. It can be accessed through the house or directly from outside. There is a double bed to sleep on and space to put belongings.
Meals (especially dinners) are family time - including you. Jennifer is the sole vegetarian in the house, but as she is also usually the cook we don't tend to eat much meat. We share the cooking and clean-up duties, which we anticipate you would be part of. We try to eat dinner together, although sometimes the kids eat first.
Sarlat has a bustling market in the historic town centre every Saturday and Wednesday - the largest in the region. You can access the town centre and other surrounds from our house by bike or on foot. There are many beautiful cycleways along the banks of the river for you to explore. We have both electric and standard bikes you are welcome to use.
Our house is about a 10-minute drive from the Dordogne River, which is great for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and sunbathing in the warm months, and for taking stunning pictures in the colder months.
The Dordogne area of France is known for its many prehistoric sites and caves, including the renowned Lascaux Caves, Les Eyzies, Castel Merle, and Rouffignac Cave - all of which are an easy drive from our house. Ideally you will have your own car for exploring.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Friendly dogs are welcome, however they must stay outside.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week