We are an English family and have lived in France since the beginning of 2005. We are Richard, a retired forester and Sue who is a teacher ( Hannah has now left home but visits from time to time.) We live on a 5 ha small-holding and our intention is to be as self-sufficient as possible. During the winter months, we cut wood from the traditionally managed bocage hedgerows to power our wood burners the following year. We have a small vegetable garden, that we are trying to enlarge and keep our own sheep and hens.
Richard and Sue have both worked in the countryside over many years and believe in maintaining a balance between their needs and the needs of indigenous wildlife.
Our own menagerie also includes three dogs, three cats,a horse and a miniature horse.
The property is an old farm complex and has several outbuildings, including a gite (a converted farmworker's cottage).
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We are immigrants to France and have first hand experience in learning to integrate with another culture. Our lifestyle is not basic but not extravagent and where possible we try to be self sufficient and pesticide/herbicide free.
We realise that it would be difficult for one workawayer to provide all types of assistance, so we will gradually work through a list of jobs and projects. Some are season reliant, others not. These include (but the list may be added to....)
*️️️️️️ enlarging and caring for vegetable garden
*️️️️️️ constructing and maintaining fencing
*️️️️️️ hedgerow management for firewood (chainsaws can only be used by
qualified users but a lot of the job is clearing and burning the branches)
*️️️️️️ building maintenance (including pointing/rendering/cob repair)
We would expect the volunteer to help with kitchen duties and general tidying in the house.
English and french (but not totally fluent).
Our house is of thick stone wall construction. Accommodation offered is either a bedroom in the main house or a caravan, (with access to loo and shower in the main building).
There is Wifi available but the volunteer will have to use own laptop/phone etc.
Smoking is NOT allowed in any of the buildings but is outside.
We are in an isolated location, but the nearest small town is just 2 km away. There is a pleasant river walk or the loan of a bicycle will get you there quickly. Larger towns are 25 minutes away by car/bus.
We can collect volunteers from nearby stations (Vire/St Lô/Lison/Villedieu les Poêles).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4 hours per day, 5 days per week