I've spent years doing a variety of jobs - from English Teacher to Shaitsu Practitioner to Diving Instructor to Photographer to Internet and Marketing Guru - in many locations around the world.
I know have settled in a small farm in the limousine - a beautiful and largely ignored part of central-west France.
Here I am looking to realise my dream - I am developing the farm into a Permaculture Development Centre and Yoga/Wellness Retreat. - in essence, a Learning Center and Retreat Venue for people to experience and learn about modern sustainable living. This will be a slow process as money is limited and so looking for capable, willing hands to help it along a bit, and have some fun on the way.
There are many parts of the project to get involved in - some key ones listed below - as well assisting with the online promotion of the centre - so many types of skill required and welcome. a good approach to life and work are the most important things - although if you are a builder or plumber, that will also help! ;-)
As part of this, I am also looking for people who are interested in longer term house sitting opportunities to keep things ticking over for the times when I find I have to go away for a short time. Get in touch if you are interested in that a longer term stay like that and we can discuss the details.
Its not all about work for you I know (I've travelled as a WorkAway guest), and nearby there are lakes and rivers with facilities for sailing, canoeing, water skiing, swimming, horse riding and many other activities to take part in. There are also classically traditional french towns, markets and chateaux to visit, or just sit and enjoy the view - there's loads of stuff and its a beautiful area - This is why I chose to live here!
At the farm itself I have several mountain bikes for people who want to explore the area, so there is plenty to do when not helping on the project.
*️️*️️*️️ new update!
- Now actively looking for someone with plumbing skills to look at getting outside taps and link to rooftop solar heating put in - contact me if you are interested and I will explain the project more fully.
- Also looking for someone with internet/web development/social media skills to help set up web presence
(still interested in more general help as well but these are two key projects we would like to tackle this summer)
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Peytavaud is a small hamlet of 10 houses in beautiful countryside. The village of Bussiere Poitevine is 5km away where you can experience the classic french Boulangerie, Boucherie, Tabac, coffee shop, small weekly fish and vegetable markets as well as two small supermarkets and a pharmacy for essential supplies.
In the countryside around there are several marked paths of different lengths and difficulty which can be tackled either on foot or by mountain bike (which is a great way to around here). I also have my own longer routes, which usually include a good place to stop for lunch.
The towns of Bellac and Le Dorat are only 15 minutes drive, both with their own historical attractions as well as more advanced services and transport connections.
There are also several other beautiful historic chateaux towns nearby, weekly traditional farmers markets where I love to go to and will take those who want to come along - they are great fun!
Because it is in the country, the majority of French people in the area are very welcoming and accept you will not speak great French but, if you make an effort and try, then they will make an effort to understand what you want. As long as you smile and are not embarrassed by getting it wrong - repeatedly in my case - then you will get what you were after and your French will improve without you noticing.
Overall, I understand that this is your vacation and not a forced labour camp! but a good work ethic will be helpful
I have travelled extensively around the world for the last 25 yrs, have run bars, restaurants and hotels and been a tour guide for extensive trips roughing it through the outback of Australia so I hope I know what makes a good host and what people from other countries may be looking for in their stay in France. I can also help in planning your trip further on if required.
If there are specific things in the area you wish to see, then I'm happy to re-arrange my schedule to incorporate a trip there if possible; Mountain bikes are available for local transport, and there will always be time to just hangout and enjoy being where you are.
There are several key projects currently going on at the house. which one takes precedence at any particular time depends on the weather, skills and materials available etc.
- The house itself is solid beautiful traditional farmhouse several hundred years old. It is perfectly habitable with a new roof and all utilities (including internet) connected, a new bathroom and ungraded modern wiring downstairs. Aside from this, the inside is an open book and help is needed for plumbing in a second and maybe a third bathroom, rewiring the rest of the house up to modern stds and general building work to create new rooms and spaces specifically to house students for both Yoga and Permaculture Courses - converting small barns to sleeping areas, creating a classroom etc. General " I can hold a hammer" levels will be welcome, but anyone with actual trade skills in plumbing or electrics would be great!
- The land surrounding the house - 5000 sq metres - is being developed into a site for Permaculture to both provide food for the house and areas for practical instruction so people can have hands on experience and learn how to grow food in their own place - no matter how small - so assistance is required in both the planning for different areas - for those with the qualifications - or just willing labour - for those who wish to learn. This is constantly evolving so i can't say now what we will be doing in June or July, for example, but there will definitely be some work digging holes and planting stuff!
- Building a Yoga Shala - designs for an earth floor with coconut matting and a wooden frame to support climbing plants which will provide natural shade are in place - to link in with the Permaculture principles - so general labouring, ideally from people used to gardens and have green fingers and some garden building experience would be great!
- general cooking etc are all welcome but there is not a requirement for a full-time cook at present - every one is expected to lend a hand to all jobs but if someone want to mix leading the cooking with the other roles then that would be great.
Overall, this is project to try to revitalise this part of the french countryside in a sustainable manner and i'm looking for people who want to be a part of that, maybe learn something new for themselves and definitely have some fun doing so.
mixed range of accommodation
- Weather is generally good in the summer so camping is a great option (there is plenty of land, and even a separate orchard - I have a few tents available but check before coming - it might be best to invest in one yourself if travelling on afterwards - I can advise you what is good. A 2-3 man dome tent can fit a double futon inside so this can be a very comfy place to sleep!
- Upstairs there are two large rooms which are intended for use initially as small dorms - single deck beds only, plenty of space
- small barns are part of the project to convert to summer living use - each can sleep 2-4 people.
Good, wholesome basic meals will be provided and the expectation is that people will eat together.
There is a reasonably equipped kitchen in the house so preparing meals is easy enough.
in general, for breakfast, bread, cereals, fruit, fruit juice various dairy products will be around.
Lunch would generally be cold - salads, cold meats, cheese bread etc
for the evening a cooked meal - casserole, pasta, curry, etc with fresh steamed veggie will be on offer.
for any snacks or if you want something different there are some decent cheap restaurants nearby and two small supermarkets in the village which also has an excellent bakery and butchers.
I also will pass by the main town nearby of Bellac where the large supermarkets and other stores are if something more specialist is required.
This region has so much to offer:-
- Chateaux towns,
- real french country markets,
- lakes and rivers with an abundance of leisure opportunities - swimming, sailing, canoeing, hiking and mountain-bike trails, bird/nature watching.
- it is also a great region for photography and, as a photographer myself, i'm willing to help people out with best places to see what they are after.
With all these, i'm happy to re-arrange my schedule to so we can get to see what my guests want - within reason! - as its fun to see something again through other people's eyes.
Mountain bikes available for trips you want to do yourselves - longer loans potential for those staying longer periods.
- the west coast is 90 mins away for wonderful beaches, surfing, kite surfing etc so great for a weekend break - car hire is available locally for as little as 5 euro per day!
For wider travel, the area is ideally place to further explore other parts of France being fairly centrally located and with a TGV (high speed train) station in Poitiers less than an hour away.
Also great location to travel down to Spain - trains go to Barcelona and beyond - or to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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