Help restore a French flour mill and an organic vegetable garden in Aveyron, France



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    Last activity


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    within 2 days

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    Super Host

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Nathalie is an interior architect, project manager and all round dreamer who could no longer be contained in a small terraced house in the London suburbs! She has jumped in at the deep end and taken the step to embrace French life in a Mill in the Tarn Gorges, Aveyron - a UNESCO area of outstanding natural beauty. Nathalie is developing the building to create a retreat centre, hosting week long creative (artist led) and holistic, spiritual wellbeing retreats. There will be a workshop space, as well as a seperate ceramics / artist's studio. She is a practising ceramic artist also. The flour mill dates back to before 1735. The refurbishment of the flour mill is being undertaken with respect to its heritage, and retains many of the original beautiful features. The aim is to be as self sufficient as possible. She needs help with refurbishment of the interiors of the building. Anything from cleaning down walls & old machinery, still lots of flour dust around. Help putting insulation in-between rafters. Treating areas for woodworm. Small carpentry jobs.(AND BIGGER CARPENTRY JOBS) Painting with lime wash, sanding & oiling floors. Any building skills a super bonus. Would be great if you are comfortable with power tools - including table saw. Outdoor jobs.. Moving wood, cutting wood. Stacking wood- wood jobs basically! Preparing area for vegetable patch. Planting bulbs. - digging jobs. Using petrol strimmer. Jet washing jobs. Walls/ patio etc. Organizational jobs.. - moving stuff around. Knowledge of drip hose irrigation system & River pump Any electrical & or hydroelectric engineering knowledge a super bonus! Help with designing / building a hen house, and chicken run. A large part of the plan is to reconnect the existing turbine & become self sustaining with hydro electrical power harnessing the river. And grown as much food here as possible. Simultaneously Nathalie is hosting 2 x Airbnb spaces whilst works are on going (different part of building)
    We will be a creative centre for the local residents as well as visitors fromma Cross the globe.. The neighbours & inhabitants of the village have been nothing but supportive & nurturing in assistance & positivity towards the project. If you have a passion for community / art / exchange / collaboration.. And feel you would like to part of The Project & add your own dynamic energy in helping to facilitate change & you also have an ethos built on trust, love, sharing & Community, and you have a skill set that you feel would be useful.. Then please get in contact!
    In the doorstep is the magnificent Millau Viaduct. Stunning landscape that will take your breathe away. Rambling climbing, parascending, rivers lakes & waterfalls for wild swimming. Millau is a vibrant town with market twice a week, bars restaurants & medieval streets & Towers. You will be in the heart of knights Templar territory here, so much history to explore!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travellers will benefit from living in an amazing building, in the nurturing landscape & along the banks of the River Cernon.The village is serviced buses and trains in & out of Millau. Nathalie hopes to inspire others to take the leap & follow their own dreams, by demonstrating what can be achieved if you trust & follow your own heart. Nathalie is currently learning French and hopes to practise both English & French with Volunteers. Volunteers will have free time and space to follow their own practice, be that pottery, painting & drawing, writing. Permits available locally to fish the river (river trout). Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, great for cyclists, walkers and runners. Visitors to date have all really enjoyed their time here!

  • Help


    Our project so far has been built with the love & support of friends, family and, some local trades people, but mostly amazingly talented, generous & kind Workawayers! I have been totally blown away by how committed to helping & pushing the project forward that people have been, its been so utterly heartwarming. As well as moving the project forward, there has been the added bonus of beautiful friendships forming. Currently I am working on a ceramics project & need to focus most of my time working in the ceramics studio. . But But as I have some empty rooms I'm thinking perhaps I can still host some wonderful workawayers if you are happy to work independently? Or perhaps with another workawayer, with not the usual amount of imput from myself during the day. I've included a (pretty extensive list of works below, to give you some idea of skills level required. I trust you to be honest in your capabilities! This is a project that needs a engaged, energetic, high vibration people.
    I'm looking for someone (or a couple) or perhaps 2 individuals? With following skills, experience in using a small tractor, can confidentially use a chain saw fo cutting logs, an axe for chopping & organising wood for the winter. Some one that has skills & is competent at using power tools in a safe way. Good at cleaning, daily chores etc.
    Current jobs that Nathalie needs help with doing:
    *chopping wood
    * creating concrete slab for outdoor shower, bath & sink area.
    *Laying crazy paving
    * building outdoor shower area walls with reclaimed ripple tin, and treated timbers.
    *pulling first fix electrical cables
    *putting up exterior lighting

    * insulating & plasterboard ing between rafters & tape & joining as required.
    *Digging up & Moving baby beech trees to new position
    *building raised beds with reclaimed wood.
    * pulling up weeds & tilling the earth with mini tractor.
    *sanding floors
    *changing out old floorboards
    * linseed oiling floors
    *Installing curtain poles
    * making curtains with sewing machine
    and any other skills you wish to offer.
    *occasional cooking.
    *installing some exterior insulation to underside of an internal floor.
    *jet washing exterior walls
    * converting wooden flour silos into mezzanine bed decks. Creating self-contained apartment within the main Mill building 2nd. First fix plumbing insitu
    * creating 2 bedrooms & concrete floor. On ground floor

    If you're a community spirited, hands on person and want to escape the city, and be inspired to instigate change in your own life, this is the place for you! Look forward to hearing from you

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation is offered in various rooms. Some rooms maybe shared with other Workawayers (same gender) . This will be agreed in advance. There are currently 4 bathrooms which guests can use. Nathalie will happily prepare 2 meals a day. And happy to offer cooking lessons!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Two days free time per 7 days are given for exploring the beautiful surroundings. The ancient town of Millau is close by, accessible by train/ bus and the surrounding scenery is wonderful for walks. Great views.Nice spaces to relax & chill out by the river here also.znd when it's warm enough the river is lovely for a dip under the waterfall at the end of the garden

  • 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 host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    I have plenty of parking & happy to host van life peeps!

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Only if in their own van/ camper etc

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (4.6)

Communication: (4.7)

Host ref number: 587551535389