We are originally from the UK, working and living in France as Property Guardian's. We bought part of a dis-used dairy farm 3 years ago and are renovating it. We are both middle aged, love the outdoor life and are Gardeners by trade, but have a varied background. My passion is the garden.
Ed has been a Landscaper/Gardener/Farmer/in security all his working life.
I have trained in different occupations - Vet nurse/Personal Fitness Trainer/livery stable manager/massuesse and so on. I I have many hobbies, and volunteer at the local dog refuge.
Ed likes to shoot (targets, not animals) and is multi skilled in most aspects of renovations and running and sheep care are his main hobbies. We also enjoy films and he loves Star Trek!!
We've lived in Italy/North Wales/France and many locations in the UK together , 5 years on a boat in London but otherwise always in the countryside. My family was military, Ed served, and we both enjoy physical work, though I spend far too much time on the computer/tablet/phone these days!
We have 20 Ouessant sheep and 2 rescue Jack Russell types, one old and one young and have chickens where we work, so we have lots of fresh free range, organic eggs and veg from the veggie garden.
Anyone who comes to us will have plenty of opportuntiy to share skills. I am gregarious (Ed doesn't get a word in edgeways) so our visitors can be assured of a warm welcome, some good home cooking/wine/beer and a comfy bed. We rarely eat meat, so vegetarians are welcome. In return we will be wanting our visitor to help with gardening, cooking, housework, walking the dogs, assisting with clearing our old farmyard of weeds, painting fences and sheds, and to enjoy our remote location.
We are especially looking for people who are good at stone pointing as the interior walls of our farmhouse need pointing!.
We would like our visitor to help out with renovations and maintaining the surrounding grounds. There is a private caravan to sleep in, hot shower, basic kitchen and laundry facilities when we are there, a doulbe room with en-suite shower when we are our workplace.
I could collect you from the station in Lisieux, Paris is a 1 hour and 40 minute train journey away.
I often go out to the beach or on long walks with the dogs, so it will be a great opportunity to travel around Normandy, visiting places like Mont St Michel, the beaches, Bayeux etc, as there is lots to see and do in the warmer months.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We speak English and I am learning French, but anyone with any language is welcome provided we can communicate - if all else fails ... there's DeepL the translation app to help!
Depending on what task need doing, visitors could learn;
animal care - sheep/dogs/chickens - feeding/recognising illness/keeping in ideal conditions etc
assisiting me hedge cutting using manual tools (experienced people will be able to use power tools) and manning a bonfire to burn dead foliage
It is essential that our visitors enjoy being in the countryside, don't mind getting dirty and like animals!
Help at our farm is a priority but help at both locations would be great.
pointing and painting
cooking and light housework
walking the dogs
gardening and planting if the weather allows
English and limited French
Visitors will have an en-suite bedroom in a typical old French detached house in the beautiful grounds of an old Manoir, with wi-fi and all 'mod cons.' while we are at our workplace. The internet is reasonable at the house.
At the farm it will be a warm, dry private caravan which is situated in a barn. There is a hot water shower in the house and a basic kitchen with washing machine but the main part of the house is not yet habitable.
I go into Vire for coffee and to use the internet as it's not connected to the property. From Vire we can visit Granville and Mont St Michel amongst other places.
We are guardians living deep in agricultural, Normandy countryside. It is peaceful and beautiful with woods and lots of walks nearby, we have all the essential facilities. I was a volunteer myself for 6 months in France, at four different locations, so I am well aware what is expected, though I am new to hosting visitors. We are not religious and are very eco minded.
Work clothes/walking/work boots/wellies and old clothes will be needed as visitors will get dirty. We will provide work gloves, any necessary protective clothing (i.e. minding the bonfire) and tools.
We often have a beer or glass off wine in the evenings, and love to exchange stories with people. There are books and a TV for DVD's if visitors like to watch films and a radio but no live TV. We have wi-fi but in rural France it is not very fast, so streaming movies is not encouraged unless it's on our main TV.
I love to walk and go out for coffee, so there will be opportunities to visit local coffee bars/local food markets/shops/tourist spots/ beautiful sandy beaches and our neighbours. I have a pushbike if visitors wish to use it, and a copious amount of dog walking is also actively encouraged!
There are no local bus routes where we live but we can drop off/pick up on days off.
Paris is one hour and forty minutes away by train from Lisieux, our main largest town, and our smallholding is near Vire, and Lisieux has a brilliant Saturday morning market.
Visitors will be expected to work productively alongside us, keep their living area clean, respect our values and have spending money as meals are provided but we don't expect them to help themselves to food all day long.
Coffee/tea and squash/water will be 'on tap' and sometimes beer/wine in the evening.
Please make us aware of any allergies or dietary requirements (sorry, 32oz steak and champagne is not available... lol!) We look forward to welcoming you to our home.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week