Must like children.
LONG TERM help would be ideal. As would someone with their own transport (we're VERY rurally located)
If you are young at heart and open-minded then read on....
We moved to France in 2008 from Scotland with the aim of living more ecologically and are passionate about sustainability. My 3 children and I live on the edge of the Perche National Park in a small hamlet and have an old house with barn and outbuildings together with 7 hectares (17 acres) of land. Our nearest village is 2.5 km (1 mile) away and the nearest town, La Ferte Bernard is 5.5 miles to the south with good facilities. From La Ferte Bernard there are easy, direct rail and road links to Le Mans (30 miles) and Paris (105 miles).
Accommodation would be in tents and food is sharing our daily repas. We are omnivores but I can cater for vegetarians. Currently I feel unable to provide a balanced diet for vegans so sadly we can not accommodate those with a vegan lifestyle. Thanks to two very fussy children, I do the catering so if you are someone who likes to be busy cooking then this probably isn't the place for you. Sometimes help with food prep is needed and a hand washing up is wonderful.
Three young lads aged 15, 13 and 10, a dog and three cats 'help' with the farm. Then there are the chickens, the geese, the ducks, the goats, and the donkeys.
Whilst I have been growing our own vegetables organically for many years, this is the first time that there has been the space to extend this to animals and field crops so anyone joining us will be participating in a steep but enjoyable learning curve!
Alongside organic growing we are also implementing permaculture principles and trying to reduce mechanisation wherever possible - we have used a scythe to harvest our hay. We are trying to get back to traditional skills, thereby protecting those skills and hopefully reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.
I have been a volunteer host for more than 8 years with various organisations.
It's good to have helpers all year round and long-term helpers are especially welcome. So long as you come with an open spirit and a smile, you will be welcomed with open arms.
Babysitting and creative play
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
It's a bit mad and hectic at times as I am now on my own with my 3 very noisy boys and that is part of the reason that I need some help. I guess I'm just looking to have a friend here, someone who would help with keeping the weeds back so that we actually get some veggies, someone who would like to chuck a bucket of food to the 4-leggeds in the evening whilst I'm making the evening meal, help harvest and eat/process the fruit and nuts, chop/collect some wood in the winter, someone who would play with the children, pass me a hanky when life gets a bit tough and just generally be around. I couldn't really say how many "hours a day" this entails, it's just living with us. I hope that I am being honest when I say that it wouldn't be really hard work. You would of course be free to go off and explore this lovely part of France and on those days I'm guessing that you'll be happiest to look after yourself.
Tents in the Spring/Summer/Autumn but a room in the house in the Winter.
I often have to go into our local town in the car and you could of course come with me. It has a cinema and a swimming pool (also an open-air swimming pool in the Summer) and a recreational lake. There is a market 3 times a week for local produce.
We have a bicycle that you can borrow if you want to head off around the leafy lanes.
If you want to go further afield, maybe catch the train to Le Mans (the atmosphere there during the Le Mans 24hr fortnight is electric!) or visit Chartres and its beautiful cathedral. Paris is a direct train-ride away.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week