We are an American/French couple: Greg, American and Anne, French. We returned to France at the end of 2016 after 29 years of expat life, mostly in S. America but toward the end in China. Anne inherited a large stone farm building in a small hamlet near the Village of Servas (Gard); some years back we started renovating it and there is still a lot to do. The renovation involves working with stone, lime plaster/morter (chaux) and wood. There is also a lot of work to do outdoors, including clearing land and rebuilding stone walls. We are also developing a large vegetable garden and would like to can as many things as possible. The village of Servas is calm, the weather generally good, and we typically indulge in good food: lots of veggies, good cheese and decent wine; we don't eat a lot of meat, but are not vegetarian. The village is at the foothills of the Cevennes mountain range and not far from great biking, climbing, rivers and hiking in picturesque landscapes! Anyone with interest in construction (no skill required), gardening, canning or simply helping out around the house is welcome!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Servas is a small, rather typical village in this part of S. France. Visitors would learn more of French rural lifestyle, at least for this part of the country. I'm a native English speaker and my wife is French; visitors could practice either of those languages with us.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Volunteers can help renovating the house using traditional techniques with lime mortar, help in the garden, cooking or general maintenance around the house. There is a lot to be done and room for all skill sets!
Rooms are of adequate size, if somewhat chilly in the winter, but bathrooms are heated and the water is hot! There is a room for couples and one or two children would not be a problem.
We have a few bikes available and highly encourage discovering the surrounding villages by bike. Our kids are climbers and we can suggest good climbing spots not far away; there are many nearby hiking opportunities and rivers for swimming. Public transport is not great but a trip the the nearby train station (Ales) can easily be arranged. There are currently a couple guitars and a piano in the house that helpers can use, and the area has a many music festivals during spring and summer months.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week