Mirjam and I, we want to give life back to an old house in the beautiful Gorges du Tarn and rebuild the terrace gardens to its glorious days with a Permaculture eco-project, according to the regional culture and ancestral traditions.
The House is an old lady in the village of Saint-Rome-de-Dolan, in Occitanie. It was built back in the 18th century entirely in stones, in a caussenard way. But nowadays, she is not entirely adapted to modern living requirements anymore and needs some electrical work, floor isolation, woodwork, and a bit of masonry. The land has been untouched for more than 100 years and the drywalls have crumbled down the slope, draining the earth down the river, leaving only stone ways and wild bushes; a real shame.
I was working on my own to do basic repairs, my parents can't do much more since my father had a stroke 20 years ago that has left him paraplegic, my mother taking care of him daily... but I recently married with Mirjam, my wife fell in love with the place, although we live far away in the German capital of Berlin, we take the road every time we can to live/work there, and find pleasure to accomplish something which gives us some regenerative energy afterwards, a feeling of achievement and fulfilment. Mirjam is German, 47, art teacher and painter. I am French, 53, librarian. We both live in Berlin with our 3 children, 11,15 and 17 year old.
The main idea is to put the house and its land in an autark way of living, with the permaculture principals and bio farming, so we can live there for the whole year and abandon the city life forever. We do not have any fundings and will try to put crowdfunding in place to support a communitarian project, but that needs some prep...
we are remote- no internet connection
nearest train station of Severac le chateau where we often go shopping. This is also the town with the quickest road connection, the a75 from Clermont-Ferrand down to Bezier.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
The great thing with our project is that it is located on the Grand Causses, the outskirts of the Cevennes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with beautiful sights, rivers, woods, grots, vulture, and sometimes humans, as it is one of the less populated regions in Europe. This is more a spiritual retreat than a cultural exchange as such, where we try to apply permaculture philosophy and adapt the concept to this dried out region of France. Language exchange is one aspect next to the active/sportive activities in the region. This is also the land of sheep cheese, where Roquefort and bleu d'Auvergne is produced. we tend to travel around to discover other farms and learn from their bio-permaculture activities.
The house stands on a 1-hectare land built with dry stones on multiple parcels that need rebuilding in order to sustain our new eco permaculture project with regional plants, trees, herbs and chicken house.
You can help rebuild the dry walls, help with the planning and installing the water systems, install electric in the walls, replaster the vaulted roofing, cook and shop, and and and... As you can see, there is a lot to do!
It is an old mansion with a big living room, a cosy kitchen, an external laundry/toilet house, some single bed in a separate room, one big community room with 5 beds, one double bed, one bed-couch, and barely any doors in between...but with 255m², there is always a spot, and plenty of fields outside, you can put a tent anywhere if you'de like with the most astonishing view on the Gorges du Tarn!
We are not in the house the entire year, but as often as possible...
Also, as the village is in the middle of nowhere, and if you don't have a car, we would pick you up at the nearest train station of Severac le chateau where we often go shopping. This is also the town with the quickest road connection, the a75 from Clermont-ferrand down to Bezier.
We tend to work 4-5 hours a day in the morning and enjoy the nature for the rest of the day by travelling a bit around, swimming and canoeing down the river, going for long walks in the forest, or being artistically creative, painting and sculpting. We will try to have some bikes available as well. You can also cave with the proper equipment (we don't have that yet).
Both atheists but raised with Christian families, we believe to be free thinkers and open-minded persons. My wife has lived in Spain for many years, and I worked for a few years around the world. We are thrilled to start this adventure with you!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week