Experience rural France with a relaxed Franco-American family in Franche-Comté



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Nestled in the Jura Mountians, our family farm is destined to remain the place of many glorious reunions and fun times, as it has been for 100+ years. The house is a classic Jurassian farm house, which means that its origins were a home, a barn, and a stable, all joined side-by-side in one big building to utilize the body heat from the animals. Forty years ago it was renovated and the stable and barn were converted into more living space. The current incarnation has two kitchens and 10 bedrooms! Having inherited this home from his mom, my husband and I plan to renovate it into a more family-centric house with lots of rooms for visitors, but also generous spaces to get comfortable and enjoy each other.

    We're looking for some people to join in the fun (this is also work--but it will be fun, I'm sure!) to start the transformation of this place! We're going to need many people, and figure that while most of our workawayers will be unskilled, there will also be a lot of room to put those of you with more highly developed talents to use. Things that we've already identified that will need to be done: cleaning, moving furniture, measuring, yard work, painting, cooking, room measuring, organizing the toss-bin-label goods. Moving to more advanced things, we have furniture stripping, wood working, stairs-building, hanging/replacing shutters and gates, room arrangement and design, hanging shades. Basically, if you've got any skill and want to practice it, this could be ideal for you. OR, if you don't have any particular skills but have lots of energy and a willingness to pitch in, this could also be the place for you.

    Our names are Michel and Joan. We currently live in Tennessee, where we both are able to work remotely and independently and take long (working) breaks to go transform our French home. Michel was born and raised in France. He is a US citizen and has lived in the states for 35+years. Joan (me) was raised in northeastern New York state, and has lived in France for a few years.

    We have four adult children, one of whom, Natasha, will be living with you in the house. She will be responsible for overseeing/directing the work that you are doing--as well as pitching in herself!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We both are fluent in French and English. We love meeting new people and are excited about transforming our "new" house into a welcoming home.

    We will also be taking the time to enjoy summer in the Juras,and will be happy to bring people along to events/ lakes/ hikes when we head out.

  • Help


    The house is huge, so there's plenty of room for many helpers. This should also create a lot of fun, as positive people involved in transforming projects tend to be pretty great. There is every chance you will have a private room, unless you are traveling with someone and would prefer to share. The bedrooms are pretty big, so you will be comfortable!

    Bathrooms are another story, and not quite as commodious. There are two toilets in the house and two showers. Workawayers will be staying upstairs, and the preference is for you to use the facilities upstairs. That said, sometimes things must change a little, and we can be flexible.

    There is plenty of space for people to relax. The house is in dairy farmland, and there's a lot of hiking in the area. The Jura Mountains are a very popular summer vacation spot, and there are a few beautiful lakes within a 15 minute drive. Big cities are also plenty close enough for a weekend (Lyon France, Geneva Switzerland, Dijon France).

    At home we tend to speak Franglais, so if you have a preference for practicing one language over the other, just let us know.

    There is room for parking, if you bring a car. If you aren't driving, just be in touch with us about when you are coming in, and we can arrange pickup.

    Please let us know what you like to do and/ or are willing to do for jobs. As I said, there are a whole host of things that need to be done, so chances are if you've got a skill or an interest, we'd love to have you stay.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Private or shared bedroom, depending on your wishes. Shared bath.

    There is on-site parking available if necessary.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Rothonay is a village 25 minutes from Lons-le-Saulnier. Although there is not a bakery in town (a travesty!), one of us always is sure to get fresh bread and the occasional croissant au chocolat in the town right next door (10 minutes away). If there are no cooks in the crowd, we do a very passable job, but welcome anyone who wants to cook for some of their hours. The great thing about French food is that you can get really delicious stuff already prepared, so that cuts down on the time :)

    Work hours are negotiable, but getting started in the morning and working until a late-ish lunch may be the easiest way to get your 5 hours in. Then when it gets hot (which it will during the summer months) you can be relaxing, swimming, or walking in the woods.

    Smoking and illegal drugs are prohibited on the property. (Pot is illegal in France, FYI.)

    We only wish to have workawayers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please be prepared to submit proof of vaccination to us.

    If you have a pet you'd like to bring, write to us about them, and we will consider all requests. You are solely responsible for their safety, food, exercise, and others' safety.

    Sometimes we can drive you to nearby places as needed (within reason), and are more than happy to show you around the beautiful area.

    Feel free to write with questions. We hope to meet you and introduce you to the Jura Mountains!

  • 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

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    If you have a pet you'd like to bring, write to us about them, and we will allow within reason. You are solely responsible for their safety, food, exercise, and others' safety.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day, 5 days/week. We're flexible, though, and want you to enjoy this!

Host ref number: 566751951222