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We are a British & German couple with two little ones, who decided to step out of City life and buy an old water mill last August- perfect timing considering how the world has changed.
We are well travelled and looking forward to meeting new interesting people who can enjoy our little paradise and leave some of their creativity, skills and passion ... their "footprint" on the mill by being here and contributing to its charm. We want to respect the place and freshen it up, as there hasn't been much work been done the last years. We hope for help inside and outside the house and great skills, cultural and spiritual exchange.
This huge Mill building used to produce high quality metal work like medical instruments- a specialisation that has been famous in this area since Roman times. It was restored 20 years ago and turned into a Bed & Breakfast- we have lots of plans to turn this into a more self sustainable home for our little family, friends and select visitors. We also have a 4 bedroom guesthouse with wooden beams & staircase where our guests can feel at home but also have some privacy.
The whole valley is also full of fossils... the prehistoric sea base having been pushed up by a glacier. Next to the River also runs an old long boat canal between Champagne and Bourgogne.
Set in 3 Hectares with a river, lots of rare birds including Kingfishers and many fruit & nut trees (plums, walnut, apples etc) and interesting plants (Hopps, Oregano etc.) there are lots of very old walls and an old fortification that we would like to uncover and understand. There is an old iron working village and roman road also at the edge of the land and across the river there are dozens of 5000 year old burial mounds. We have a good metal detector and it's hard not to make finds on our land - so if you like history, come and have some fun. We also have Kayaks, bikes, fishing rods, a decent bow & arrow, VR goggles, Slackline etc. for free time. The internet is not great though but we have a lot of DVDs.
We have a lot planned- some already started.
CURRENTLY we are looking for a workawayer with a little hands on experience in tile laying (bathroom) wood working (stairs) etc. and also an architect to help design a couple of changes (new room layout).
In March we tale delivery of a purpose designed 100m2 fully hydroponic greenhouse (tunnel) and our dream is to not only produce most of our own organic fruit & veggies using heirloom, non GM seeds, but also to be able to use the Mill as a base for learning about healthy eating and developing small hydroponic systems for balconies, cellars and gardens. We are at the start of this farming adventure and would welcome guests with some experience (Wwoof Wwoof!)
Part of this project is to turn an old stables into a Seedling nursery so if you have some carpentry skills, then these would come in very useful.
The glacier also delivered a huge sandstone Rock onto our now doorstep... said to contain healing properties and has been enjoyed by many ill people over the years. I suspected there might be water under it, and after a few hours hard graft found it... we want to develop the rock area a bit and maybe out in a small Zen pool.
We are also in the process of expanding a water source in the fields that is in the bedrock just below the ground.
We also have a lot of trees that need some love and hedges that need a major cut, a drive to re-gravel etc.
On a hill next to the main house parking, we want to plant a selection of flowers for all round colour... a hill of colour...
Water Electric Generator
The old mill room still houses part of the 100-150 year old machinery, but it needs to come out. We want to install a 10KW generator (and battery system) so that we can move over to electric heating.
New Swimming area:
There is a big swimming pool area in the river, but the existing decking is old and we prefer to put in a concrete base, closer to the water. It mean some welding, lugging stones and concreting. But there will be a nice BBQ and beers to enjoy after you have enjoyed the water.
Modernising the Buildings:
We have quite a few plans for the main mill including installing a more 3 story suitable staircase and modernising some bathrooms.
We also have a 150m2 top floor to build out, a stable to convert to a greenhouse and a garage to convert to a workshop. So if you like such projects, you have some choice.
In the Guest house, we want to modernise some of the rooms, but still retain it's old style charm.
General Domestic Help.
We spend as much quality time with our 2 year and 8 month old as we can but there is always something to do... if you are a e.g. a travelling single Mum or just okay to help with some household chores, this would be a huge help.
Basically, are you a respectful, curious person who likes to share and learn? Then you will feel at home here.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Travellers benefit by getting to know us and our vision and lifestyle and contributing to the establishment of our special place to share with open-minded people. We learn each others point in life and perspective. Also you can learn about the different plants in the area, living in nature, establishing self-sufficient living.
The place is big and we need help and would like to work together in many different areas, depending on what the Workawayer can and would like to do. We can have several people staying here at the same time. At the moment we have four rooms ready at the same time, each with space for 1-4 people.
We listed some of the tasks above and the skills or experience can be summarised below:
General building / bathroom tiling
Landscaping & Hydroponic farming
Domestic support (childcare, cooking & cleaning)
Creative help:- teaching Lina the piano , generally teaching of music, art
Physiotherapy/ massage as we both struggle due to work/small kids with tension and neck pain
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.
We offer travelers to stay in a seperate guesthouse that is attatched to the main building, where you have all you need. Two bathrooms, one of them with bath, both with showers and toilets, and four bedrooms in total, where minimum one , maximum 4 people can stay in each room. The guesthouse has a communal area upstairs with a nice view on the garden and communal book / TV area. Also a fully equipped kitchen and eating area.
In your free time you can enjoy your time the way you would like to. On our land there is plenty to do for someone , who loves nature, as we do :) Hiking, cycling, walking, running, inline skating (all along the famous path along the canal from Bourgogne to Champagne) , Kayak/canoe on the river, Swimming, join Yoga and stretching with Lina, Forest walks, Relaxing, Meditation, Rare bird watching, Metal Detecting, Archery, Virtual Reality to only name a few options :)
We live in the middle of nature, between Langres and Chaumont, two very nice old towns. Especially Langres is famous for its medieval flair and the history and philosophy of Diderot.
Chaumont is supported by young vibes and influence such as street art and sports and quite modern. Both of the towns have weekly markets with local products. The region here is very natural and also has some lakes within 20 minutes drive.
Here, you really can forget Covid.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have 2 entrances to the main property but the main drive is very narrow. A normal panel van is fine, but more than that, you will be better to take the bumpy but much wider track. 7m is no problem... above that you might want to look on Google Maps first.
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