Hi, we are Kai and José. We recently bought a 7200 m2 plot in the outskirts of the beautiful town of Ille-sur-Têt in the south of France in the foothills of the Mount Canigou (Eastern Pyrenees) where we are starting a permaculture forest garden project with dry toilet and tiny house. If you love the simple life, we think you will love it here. We're in the early stages of preparing the plot, getting recycled material, designing, building plant beds etc.
Workawayers will be hosted in our home until we can get the cabin built on the plot, but you can also live on the plot in a tent or in your van, if you travel in one.
I have 2 PDC diplomas and am currently (May 2021) doing my 5th course with Rakesh Roots 'n Permaculture (highly recommended!), in this case on Forest Gardening, so if you are interested in permaculture I am sure I can teach you a lot of what I learned. You will experience the early and medium stages of starting a PC project, which I think is the nicest part :)
My partner and I are working on the plot (almost) every spare moment we have and we are mostly building raised beds, fencing, building the wooden structures, installing the water access, taking care of the veggie garden etc.
We are looking for people who are not afraid to put in some hard work and who are happy to do tasks alone if necessary.
if you have skills in carpentry, DIY, and know how to work with your hands, if you are enthusiastic, hard working, dynamic, resourceful, and pro-active, you are very welcome!
We both have a good work rhythm and really don't have time to host someone who needs to be constantly pushed.
We are both outgoing, fun-loving and positive people.
Update December 2021:
We urgently need people who are good at carpentry, e.a. building simple wooden structures!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
There are several things I hope I can offer you: language exchange (I speak German, French, Spanish, Dutch and English so you can train any language you might be learning or wish to learn. I can teach you how to cook vegetarian/vegan meals and you can participate in my design process to start a permaculture garden. If anyone is up for it and there is time, I'd love to try and make vegan cheese. Depending on the season, we will make preserves (chutneys and marmalade) and we can make bread, homemade cosmetics etc.
The surroundings are stunning so you can enjoy hiking and discovering the Pyrenees in your spare time (I'm happy to go hiking on weekends!).
Main projects at this point in time (January 2021 through to september 2021):
- repair fence
- build fence with reeds
- Designing the forest garden and the whole PC project
- Designing and building the dry toilets
- Designing the tiny house for later
- gathering recycled material
- gathering wild trees and plants for replanting
- building 2 yoga platforms out of pallets
- preparing raised beds
- planting hedge
- pruning trees
- Build a cabin
- Dig canal for water access
- Dig rainwater deposit
- build rainwater deposit & root cellar
- gather (recycled) material for the tiny house
- build "kitchen" area
- build pizza/bread oven
- build rocket stove for cooking
- designing greenhouse
- building greenhouse
- build tiny house
- build outside shower
- Design natural pool
- build natural pool
Cooking will not be considered as part of the helping tasks, so that will be done outside of helping hours.
In the garden, we've only just started cleaning the plot, so basically everything needs done there. Things like initiative, reliability, commitment and respect are very important to us, but behind all the serious talk, we are generally quite relaxed and flexible.
This host offers a language exchange
I can help teaching Spanish, English, French, German and Dutch. I would love to learn Arabic
Accommodation will in our home at 1,7 km from the plot (all commodities) or in a tent on the plot if you prefer that (there is a brook for water (washing) and we will provide drinking water and food. No electricity available on the plot at the moment but possibility to charge mobile phones and laptops a.o. at home if necessary).
We don't eat much meat and the main meals will be generally vegetarian and healthy (very little white meal, sugar, dairy etc). Breakfast will be simple and lunch will be cooked together. Dinner is not provided, so it's for yourself to provide (buy and cook) as I have irregular work hours.
If you want to eat more meat, drink alcohol or eat white bread, cookies, junk food, sugary stuff etc, you will have to buy that yourself. Otherwise I have no limitations in regards to food and drink, but obviously won't accept anybody getting drunk whilst on my property.
General rules are simple: don't be lazy, clean up after yourself & be open if there is any problem. Communication is key to you having a good stay here.
The nearby airports are: Perpignan/Rivesaltes (30 min), Carcassonne (80 minutes) and Gerona (80 minutes) or Barcelona (150 min). Carcassonne and Gerona are connected by Blablacar, bus, train... If you have a problem in getting to Ille, let me know and we'll discuss possibilities.
Ille-sur-Têt is connected by train so you can get almost to my door by train from anywhere.
If you get to Perpignan, you can get to Ille either by bus or train for 1€. Transport in this area is brilliant as you can get everywhere for just 1€.
I normally teach most afternoons, so the rhythm will be mainly mornings helping with the projects (+- 9.00-14.00), afternoons off.
Weather permitting, we can have barbecues outside most days.
I have a bike you can borrow if you want to explore the surroundings. When I'm free, I'll be more than happy to go hiking with you and explore the surroundings myself as I haven't had much time to do any sightseeing. If you like the city, you can go to Perpignan or Prades by bus.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
If the accommodation on the plot is ready, yes. In our home, sadly no, as it's not suitable for pets.
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week