Permaculture forest garden project and tiny house in Languedoc Roussillon, France

  • Favourited 55 times
  • Last activity: 15 Jul 2024



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    Hi, we are Kai and José. In 2020 we bought a 7200 m2 plot in a small town near Perpignan in the South-East of France in the foothills of the Mount Canigou (Eastern Pyrenees) where we started 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've now passed the early stages of preparing the plot, getting recycled material, designing, building plant beds etc. and are working on the tiny house and the planting of (more) trees, as well as improving the water system.
    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 in May 2021 I did 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 José and I are working on the plot (almost) every spare moment we have and at this point in time (June 2024) we are mostly working on the tiny house, improving/expanding the irrigation system, finishing kitchen, bathroom, dry toilets etc.
    Also, as time allows, we will continue building raised beds, building the wooden structures, taking care of the veggie garden, planting/sowing the medicinal 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.

    Things we have achieved so far:
    (January 2021 through to July 2023):
    - repair fence (check)
    - build fence with pallets (check)
    - build fence with reeds (partly check)
    - Designing the forest garden and the whole PC project (ongoing)
    - Designing and building the dry toilets (1 done)
    - Designing the tiny house for later (check)
    - gathering recycled material (ongoing)
    - gathering wild trees and plants for replanting (partly check)
    - preparing raised beds (partly check)
    - Dig pond (check)
    - planting hedge (check)
    - Planting fruit trees (ongoing)
    - pruning trees (check)
    - gather materials for cabin (check)
    - Build a cabin (started)
    - Dig canal for water access (check)
    - Dig trench(es) for water access (We're on it :) )
    - Dig rainwater deposit (check)
    - build rainwater deposit (check)
    - Build root cellar
    - gather (recycled) material for the tiny house (partly check)
    - build tiny house (= refurbish existing building) (We're on it :) )
    - gather (recycled) material for the conservatory made of old doors and windows (check)
    - build conservatory (check)
    - build outside shower (check)
    - build "kitchen" area (check)
    - build pizza/bread oven
    - build rocket stove for cooking
    - designing greenhouse
    - building greenhouse
    - finish pond
    - building 2 yoga platforms out of pallets
    (...) = all the things I forget to mention ;)
    Later stage:
    - Design natural pool
    - build natural pool

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    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.
    As this is a permaculture food forest project, you can participate in my design process to start a permaculture garden and I will be more than happy to share what I know about the permaculture approach in gardening but also as a life-ethics.
    I can also help with some holistic life-design.
    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!).
    I am passionate about psychology and if you need it, we can have some deep conversations about any part of your life you may need some help or guidance with (or just a good ol' chat).

  • Help


    Main projects at this point in time (July 2024):
    - finish kitchen roof, ceiling, floor.
    - finish outside shower + dry toilet
    - Build the cabin
    - build pizza/bread oven
    - build rocket stove for cooking
    - Design plumbing system for kitchen and shower
    - Refurbish existing building
    - designing greenhouse
    - building greenhouse
    - Designing and building the 2nd dry toilet
    - gathering recycled material
    - preparing raised beds (= weeding, building the (very simple) structure, covering with manure and hay)
    - planting hedge
    - Watering trees
    - build pond (already dug)
    - gather (recycled) material for the cabin for the volunteers
    - Dig more trenches for water access
    - Improve fence (wind protection)
    - lay stone path
    - Design natural pool
    - build natural pool
    - Continue designing the forest garden and the whole PC project
    - building 2 yoga platforms out of pallets
    Later stage:
    - dig and build root cellar
    - dig rainwater deposit nº2
    - build roof for rainwater collection nº2
    - dig and build rainwater deposit nº3

    Cooking will not be considered as part of the helping tasks, so that will be done outside of helping hours.
    In the garden, we're well on our way but more or less 50% still 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.

    We looove a good debate about just about any topic (some basic Spanish would be a plus as José doesn't speak much else ;) ) and we love playing board games in the evening.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    I can help teaching Spanish, English, French, German and Dutch. I would love to learn Arabic

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be 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 hardly eat any meat or fish and the main meals will be generally vegetarian and healthy. We provide some staple foods for breakfast and dinner (no dairy or meat). Lunch will be cooked and taken together. Dinner is normally not provided, so it's for yourself to provide (buy any extras and cook) as I have irregular work hours (this is subject to change but don't count on it).
    If you want to eat 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 (or high) whilst on my property.
    It is 100% not allowed to smoke in the house.
    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.

    Please keep the house clean and care for it as if it was your own.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The nearby airports are: Perpignan/Rivesaltes (30 min), Carcassonne (80 minutes) and Gerona (80 minutes) or Barcelona (150 min) and you can get here by Blablacar, bus, train...
    Our town is well connected so you can get almost to my door from anywhere.
    If you get to Perpignan, you can get here either by bus or train for 1€ (Transport in this area is brilliant as you can get everywhere for just 1€).
    If you have a problem in getting to us, let me know and we'll discuss possibilities.

    I normally teach most afternoons so the rhythm will be: helping with the project in the mornings (leave house at 6.45 in summer or 8.45 in winter (or anything in between). Start 15 minutes later. Stop 5hrs later. Cook and have lunch, afternoons off.
    Weather permitting, we can have barbecues outside some days.
    You can explore some of the surroundings by bus or train. 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.

  • 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

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    If the accommodation on the plot is ready, yes. In our home, sadly no, as it's not suitable for pets.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 546945681371

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Join me in my small paradise in the heart of the forest lakes and rivers, in the Natural Park of Pilat, France
Let's VanLife together and develop sustainable projects across Europe, currently French Atlantic coast/islands