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The property is a former cattle farm in the vally of the river Oise, situated in the French countryside of the Thiérache (Hauts-de-France).
Since 2015 it is being transformed into a permaculture smallholding with a food forest, currently by Luc (49), originally from Flanders/Belgium. And as the tradition wants it, the pasture is being surrounded by a traditional hedge.
The idea is to be – as much as possible – self-sufficient. "Reduce, re-use, recycle". This also means using electricity, gas, heating and water wisely: “back to basics".
There is also some transformation and small restauration being done on and inside the house and the barn by using as much as possible traditional materials and techniques, or otherwise turning to modern ecological alternatives.
Help is always welcome with all of those transformations.
Depending on the season, help is also welcome with mowing the grass and doing hay or planting and upkeeping the hedges. They are laid in different styles, with a preference for cross hedges. Every now and then there is also wood that needs doing.
Ideally you are pro-active, able to work together, and at the same time able to get things done on your own.
Luc loves the French culture and savoir-vivre and would like to share that with you. He would like to learn more about you, where you come from, what thrives you and also find out how different (or not) the daily life is where you come from.
Staying here means participating in the daily life, living, cooking and cleaning together. Maybe you can even show some of the traditional dishes from where you come from!
There are four cats and a few semi-free range chickens.
Internet access is quite limited here – unfortunately – so there is no access for your own device. If you would like to have access, there is a computer at your disposal.
The property is at 11 km from the train station and Luc is happy to pick you up there!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
You are invited to participate in the French and Belgian culture.
I would love to learn about you, your culture, the daily life and taste the traditional food from where you come from. It would be great if you could teach me how to prepare some of the traditional food from where you come from.
I can teach you:
- about permaculture
- how to mow with a scyth
- different styles of hedge laying
- building and restoring using older techniques
- how to make traditional French and Belgian food
I am looking for help with biological/organic kitchen gardening and the transformation of the pasture (according to permaculture principles) into a food forest. Help is also welcome with mowing the grass and doing hay and planting and laying hedges.
I am also looking for help with building and restoring the house and barn, using traditional techniques and materials or modern ecological alternatives.
Dutch (native speaker), French, English
- a spare room in the house with a shared bathroom
- your own tent
- the hayloft ;-)
There are three cats (without acces to the spare room!) so I can't accomodate for animals, except the horse or donkey you are travelling with.
At less than 5 minutes walking, there is the Axe vert, an old small track railway that is today transformed into a walking- and cyclingpath from Guise to Hirson, and that is a part of EuroVelo 3 (Trondheim - Santiago de Compostela). Next to it is the river Oise, the perfect place to enjoy the peace and calm of the water and ideal for canoe or kayak.
There are quite a lot of nice forests and lakes nearby, among others the Parc naturel de l’Avesnois, the pond Etangs des Moines in Fourmies, the communal forest of Hirson with its Domaine de Blangy and its cascade.
There is the Piscine de l’Ile verte in Hirson with swimming pool, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, fitness and bowling.
Also worth a visit is the Familistère in Guise (the Utopia of Godin, the man from the stoves) and the abbey of Saint-Michel.
Parfondeval, wich is one of the most beautifull villages of France, is at half an hour drive.
The medieval city of Laon, situated on a rock of a honderd meters high, with a lot of things to see and its cathedral, is at an hours drive.
For those who love brocantes (flee markets): from April untill Octobre, there is always one to be found nearby.
Please note that public transportation is limited.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
About 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (flexible)