Help on my hobby farm in Alloue, France

  • Favourited 3 times
  • Last activity: 18 May 2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    I am a retired community worker and counsellor from England, now living in central France. I live alone with my dog and myriad wildlife surrounding me - birds and mammals of rural France. I have some land here that I am slowly developing into a no-dig food source from which I hope to produce as much veg to keep me going as possible. I keep a few chickens for eggs. I wish to create on my small plot of land a mixture of production (fruit trees, raised beds) and a 'nice place to be, with or without a book (trees to sit under,evening fires to gaze into). Nothing fancy but everything fanciful. I have spare (and self contained) accommodation in my house but also have an old Boxer van situated outside under my Lime tree acting as a very passable 'Shepards Hut' for anyone who fancies just a wee bit of outdoors 'camping'.

    This is all situated in central to south west france in the Charente region. I live on a main road which is not too busy but makes me easy to find. There are lots of direct walks from the property directly. ALLOUE (which is my postal town) is for instance a nice 45 to hour stroll through wooded back tracks (5 mins by car!). There is one small grocery store and one (not very effervescent- have to say) cafe/bar. It is advantageous to have your own transport (no buses) to get to the very nice town of Confelons on the river Vienne, or to the smaller village of Champagne Mouton. Both having good cafes and bars. But, with negotiations with me, transport can be agreed for pick-up or drop-off at train stations (Poitiers/Angouleme) and airports (Poitiers/Limoges)and local site-seeing.

    Generally, I am open for visitors who would like to 'just be' for a small time over a few days... in exchange for any help on the land (grass cutting / scything / improving raised beds / ideas for new developments - building outdoor pizza oven? - digging a new wildlife pond?), I can offer some basic accommodation, some food (unless you want to cook yourself in 'The Boxer' of in guest room). I am not a commercial business and any work/stay/visitors are welcome to be part of my home space whilst your here. I also have my own mediation routine and am happy to share silent time (similar to Quaker friends 'listening'). I hope to sometime have a darkroom for anyone who wanted to try some black and white printing).

    I would not want to impose any particular 'jobs' for anyone but allow you also to contribute what you feel up to in the time that you have. All I would ask is that you share with some task/project whist you were here.

    There have been times in my own life when I have really appreciated being able to 'take a bit of time out to think or sort something out in my own head'. Emotional challenge or life direction 'stuff'. If I can offer some of 'that' to some people, then I would be pleased.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    They can develop some understanding of what challenges there are in developing a no-dig approach to growing vegetables without huge resources. Learn to seek adaptive solutions to creating new ideas or functions in making a small piece of land progressively productive. Having some time to be in conversation with others if there ARE personal challenges that some are seeking help with (I am a trained and experience counsellor and and happy to do 'some' conversations that may be helpful to individuals.

  • Help


    I believe that the exchanging of our own 'stories' is an important aspect of being human. I think that a good balance of private contemplation and companionship is the way to go for all of us. If you came to me I think I would want you to be reasonably self dependent and comfortable in getting on with things that interested you (Tree surgery? Wood cutting? Building an Owls house? Planting some seeds?). My reality is that I am no longer 25 years old and find some of the grafting jobs all take a bit more time and cost in body aches. If you can take a bit of the graft on at times while I look on in wonder with a small glass of beer - then I would be very appreciative. I can cook some good food - I myself am not vegetarian but cook and eat mostly less meat food.

    I myself am not a builder or trained with my hands - but I have learned some level of skills such as basic plumbing, some electrics...if you were a person with good skills at plumbing and other house development skills - I could certainly welcome you to my home projects galore! (insulation, rewiring in places, plumbing in a solar hot water system!, redeveloping my basic Solar equipment...

    I would not tell you when to get up or when to go to bed, only ask that you put in say, 2 3 hours of gentle work in the day. The rest of the time you can walk, cycle, read, snooze...

    I generally cook a hot meal in the evening and have wine or a beer to help it wash down. Evenings can be spent talking together, of watching a netflix movie, or sitting outside looking at the stars (very clear skies about here). Being freely self sufficient!

    Come and see this part of rural france - come and share some thing of yourself and just chill.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    I have three double bedrooms within the house (one is MINE!). One room is specifically developed as to be a self contained accommodation with separate bed and sitting area, own kitchen area and toilet and shower. Dependent on season - I can also offer a more rough and ready (but safe and cosy) accommodation outside on the land in what I happy call my 'shepherds Hut' (a now non-roadworthy vehicle that was a converted camping car. Cooker/fridge and two single beds). Access to showers in main house)

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    To stay with me without own transport will be limited without you being dependent on me getting you to places but< there are many really nice places to walk in countryside and lots of nature to see. Wild flowers in season, mammals and birds in season. Some time to yourself is all yours! Sharing of transport it is possible to visit prehistoric dwelling sites of thousands of years ago. beautiful villages and Chateaux and of WW11 historical locals as ALLOUE is very much on the line between Nazi occupier and 'free france'. Resistance here was at its most potent.

    There are no buses here and taxi are very costly. Nearest train station in Ruffec (n Anglouleme), is 40 mins drive away.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    I have space for one camping car to pull in off road. No hook-up but some access to limited solar charging. Most french villages have camper facilities for water disposal and fill ups (often free).

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 2 - 3 hours a day, five days stay advised due to transport limits

Host ref number: 477896243572