Join us in our adventure to restore a 16th century Mas and create an ecological paradise in the Cévennes, in the South of France

Country

France

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    Last activity

    11/05/2022

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  2022 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    It's over 20 years ago already, that we fell deeply in love with the rough nature and amazing architecture of the Cevennes. Some years later we decided to follow our heart and leave our modern well organized lives in Holland behind. We stepped 'back in time' to restore an abandoned ancient (1592) Mas and it's domain in the Cévennes.
    For more than 15 years our family has been restoring this amazing place where we created our home, two workshops, a B&B, a stop over, a few holiday homes and a small Eco-camping. We reclaimed the completely abandoned fields and meadows, now home for our sheep and chicken, planted fruit trees, created vegie-gardens etc etc
    And during the season have the pleasure of hosting our guests that come to stay and often also dine at our 'table d'hôte'.
    The Cevennes offer an amazing scenery, wild and abundant nature and biodiversity and lots of peace and quiet. Activities include hiking, cycling, horse riding, canoeing, canyoning etc etc Nearby are some natural and historical sites such as grotto's, museums, vineyards, and french markets to visit. The river witch touches our domain, provides a wonderful place to bathe and to relax on a little beach.

    Our daily routine follows the rhythm of the seasons. In general:
    In winter and early spring we very much enjoy the peace and calm and observing the changes in nature. We do a lot of maintenance work outside as wel as inside and work on new projects (restoration and construction work of the Mas or new projects in the gardens, the camping site etc.) We work in our workshops to create our doors, windows and staircases, restyle furniture and (time allowing) make felted creations. And much of our energy is focused on preparing things for the new tourist season.
    In spring and summer we really enjoy hosting our guests, we cook them wonderful meals (mainly with our own (bio) products - veggies, fruits, eggs, meat etc) There are the animals and the gardens to take care of, and off course there is the daily maintenance, the cleaning and washing that keep us quite busy in high-season, which makes some help with things around the home, the gardens and with the animals even more welcome. (Note Workaway guests will not be helping with our hospitality activities. We have paid employees for that.)
    In November when the tourist season ends we have family and friends over or go for short trips ourselves. This also is the time to prepare for winter (firewood etc) and general maintenance (on the buildings and the guest houses as well as on the fencing and the animal sheds etc etc)

    2022. This winter we picked up again with some restauration and decorating projects. It always is immensely satisfying to see our dream restauration project advancing slowly but surely. Our stairway to heaven.
    For this spring again there is a lot of fencing to do and off course the annual preparations of the (perma based) vegie-gardens as well as the maintenance on the domain.
    During the summer we're usually very busy preparing for/ cooking for, and entertaining our guests so some help around the house, our gardens and with the animals animals would really be great.
    During summer and automne there' s also the joy of harvesting fruits and nuts etc etc and the transformation into all the Wonderfull jams and juices etc etc. And of course there's all the preparations for winter to do.
    Half November we close our doors for a bit and take our time to celebrate life with family and friends.

    Workaway volunteers who want to participate in our adventure are very welcome and warmly invited to contact us.
    We love exchanging with people from all over the world. Had quite a few woofing & Workaway adventures ourselves when we were young and are happy to do our bit to provide with interesting and joyful experiences in the adventures of others. Participating in nice projects, meeting and sharing with people who are passionate about what they are doing, makes travelling much more interesting we think. Together we will figure out the best way in which you can participate in our activities and also find some time to explore the amazing surroundings. You will have your own quarters, or if you prefer you can camp on our campsite (we can provide you with a tent and equipment).
    We ask our workaway guests to come for at least 2 or 3 weeks and preferably with two persons (a couple / 2 friends) so you'll get to know the place, be at ease, have fun and you can share in this adventure together.

    We are very passionate about our planet, the biodiversity and a simple sensible way of life, adapted to this amazing place we live in. We are flexi-tarians and adapts to local products. We eat (mainly our own) very healthy slow-food, including our veggies, fruits, juices, jams, eggs and meat. Meals are some times with and sometimes without meat. We are happy to provide vegetarian meals but we do not provide strictly vegan or completely gluten-free meals. We prefer good local products to all kinds of flown in trendy replacement products (that are scarcely available in our local shops)

    Please note that our 'little paradise' is a place of particular natural beauty, peace and quiet. Off-season there is very little party life going on around here. Also the villages around us tend to be really calm and quiet. This is why in the off-season period in particular, we really prefer hosting a duo workaway-guests rather than a solo. Even more so for fairly young and un experienced workaway-guests. Sharing the adventures make the experience richer and much more fun. Ofcourse if you are the experienced independent type of person who prefers traveling alone and likes the sound of silence, you are very welcome to join us and all the birds, beavers, badgers, wild boars and other wildlife....
    We should get a connexion to the fiber very soon (spring'22) but up until now the internet is very slow and slack! sorry.

    We live with our 2 cats and 2 dogs so if you are very allergic to them it may be hell for you over here...
    We both have reached our 60years of age (and stop counting from here on) Our children are working and studying abroad and come to stay with us every now and again but a lot of the time it's just the two of us and our friends that visit, and off-course during the season, plenty of interesting people from all over Europe.
    We speak Dutch, Frisian, French, German and English fluently.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    see txt above

  • Help

    Help

    We are working on our dream-project in the unspoiled nature of the Cévennes in the South of France : The resurrection of a abandoned ancient Mas (homestead), renovating it's buildings and it's domain and turning it into an ecological agro-touristic paradise.

    In general
    From February until June we can really use your help, working in the (perma based) gardens, preparing for the touristic season, working on a new part of the project...
    In summer and beginning of autumn we can use your help with general maintenance, the gardens, the harvesting and transformation of the harvest, the animal care and the housekeeping jobs.
    Late autumn we start with the preparations of winter (firewood, work on the campsite and the animal shelters, fences...

    2022.
    This winter we picked up again with some restauration and decorating projects. It always makes us really happy and satisfied seeing our dream restauration project advancing slowly but surely. Our stairway to heaven.
    For this spring there's again a lot of fencing to do and off course the preparations of the (perma based) vegie-gardens as well as the annual maintenance on the domain including the ecocamping. During the summer we're usually very busy preparing for/ cooking for and entertaining our guests, which makes some help with things around the home, the gardens and with the animals even more welcome. (Note Workaway guests will not be helping with our hospitality activities. We have paid employees for that.) During summer and automne there' s also the joy of harvesting fruits and nuts etc etc and the transformation into all the Wonderfull jams and juices etc etc. And of course there's all the preparations for winter to do. Half November we close our doors for a bit and take our time to celebrate life on with family and friends.
    We hope you’ll join us in this years challenges!

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You are very welcome to join us in our adventure. You will participate in our activities and in return we will provide you with board and lodging of course. You will have your own quarters, in part of a charming old house which is wonderful and still in it's authentic basic state. Or if you prefer you can camp on our campsite (we can provide you with a tent and equipment). Sometimes, in winter and very early spring (before and after the tourist season), we can provide you with a stay in one of our holiday houses.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The mas, and the many idyllic spots on the domain and in the area have much to offer and will make an unforgettable impression without a doubt. It's the ideal starting point for your explorations of the Lozère and the Gard. The wild beauty and rich nature of the Lozere and the Park national the Cevennes, the charm of the Mediterranean it's all in reach. Wonderful area for hikes and excursions (by foot, on bicycle, by horse or by car). An abundance of sporty activities can be pursued (e.g. hiking, cycling, climbing, cannoning, canoe, rafting, horse-riding, fishing etc etc). The charming French towns and villages in the surroundings offer a large variety of markets, terraces, restaurants, festivals and museums… a.s.o.

    If you like hiking and cycling we've come to the right spot (bikes are available but mind you our roads are very steep)
    There's a railway station nearby (Genolhac) in general we can pick you up from there.
    There's also the blablacar (carpooling) system that works rather well in France.
    In this area there is little public transport!

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 614183369916