Help care for our animals and with wildlife projects on an organic farm in the Dordogne, France

Country

France

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    06/07/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    We are a British family (Fiona, plus Katy - 16 - and Patrick -19) living on a 20 hectare organic farm in the Dordogne in south-west France since 2011.

    The farm has evolved from an organic egg farm to focus more on wildlife and ecology. We have plans to rewild the farm - recreating hedgerows and planting native trees, creating ponds and bird hides and restoring wildflower meadows and other natural habitats. We would also like to develop a permaculture food forest on our 8 hectares of pasture. Our animal family includes Elliot, a retired racehorse; Jerry, a donkey with a sense of humour; our dog Ushi, a Beauvier-Suisse/Lab cross; three cats - Lily, Jade and Ozzy; one rabbit - Totoro; chickens and ducks.

    The house is in the middle of our 20 hectare farm, so the nearest neighbours are about 1km away - peace and quiet guaranteed! It is nestled into a meadow with woods to the back and lovely views, especially from the back garden. The farm itself consists of woods and meadows and fields. If you like wildlife and nature this is the perfect place for you - birds, butterflies and wildflowers abound. And at night the stars are spectacular. We have a wood-fired pizza oven and a campfire and picnic area in the orchard if you like outdoor cooking and eating.

    We also have four large safari-style tents in our meadows and woods. Every summer we have guests coming from all over Europe to immerse themselves in nature and sample life on an organic farm.

    There are hundreds of walking and cycling possibilities straight out the front door, and we have bikes you can borrow. The River Dronne is 2 minutes away by car/ 10 minutes by bike, and is a lovely spot for swimming, canoeing, picnicking.

    Our nearest village, Montagrier, is very pretty, perched on a rocky outcrop, and has a very good restaurant and interesting church. Tocane St Apre is a slightly bigger village only 3kms away and has all services - supermarket, bakeries and butchers, bars and cafes, banks etc. The area itself is lovely to explore - plenty of very pretty villages, including Brantome - the 'Venice of France'. The nearest big town is Perigueux, with its medieval alleyways, Moorish Cathedral and boutique shops and restaurants. In short, there is plenty to do and see here, and the sun is (nearly) always shining!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Staying here would be a chance to speak some French, learn about wildlife and ecology and life in rural France. As we are a British/Australian family installed in France for the last 15 years, we have many cultures to draw from - and we love discovering new cultures and ways of being from the Workaway volunteers we've had over the years. As we offer accommodation to tourists on our farm there are always interesting people coming and going hailing from around Europe - plenty of opportunity to exchange and share and open horizons.

  • Help

    Help

    We would welcome help looking after the animals and helping with wildlife restoration projects. Tasks might include feeding the animals, collecting eggs, weeding or watering the veggie garden, planting trees, fencing, grooming the horse and donkey, picking fruit, foraging for wild foods, making jam and general land maintenance (strimming, pruning, grass cutting). We may also need help with cooking for us all - we love sharing recipes with our volunteers from around the world! There are hundreds or other projects just awaiting creative people who fancy leaving their mark on our farm - previous Workaway volunteers have created sculptures from scrap metal in the barn, built rustic fences and gates from wood from the forest, made signs, built planters from pallets etc. We have loads of tools and bits and pieces in the barn - you are only limited by your imagination! We welcome all ideas and contributions.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    You will be accommodated in a very comfortable, well equipped and spacious caravan with a hot shower, cosy bedroom and great views. We tend to all cook and eat together in the house or garden - a moment to share stories over some good local wine!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Spending time on our farm is an opportunity to escape from the rat-race and general stress of city life. The pace of life is totally different in rural south-west France, and being surrounded by nature is a daily tonic! As the farm is organic the wildlife is abundant - we have swallowtail butterflies, nightingales, golden orioles, deer, salamanders and midwife toads, amongst other things!

    In spring the orchids are amazing. At night we have bats and glowworms, and the night sky is spectacular as we are not affected by light pollution. Our nearest neighbours are about a kilometre away. You will be able to pick up some French, learn about organic farming, wildlife and generally experience rural French life.

    There are many opportunities for outdoor sports enthusiasts - cycling, rock climbing, caving, canoeing, microlight flying etc. We look forward to you enriching our lives too with your knowledge and skills - whatever you can bring to our projects.

    The farm is not far from the world famous Dordogne and Vezere valleys, where you will find a huge number of caves, including Lascaux, and countless chateaux. We are also near the famous wine-producing areas of Bergerac and Bordeaux.

  • 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

    5 hours per day maximum

Two chicks hatched in late May
View from the caravan
The caravan
Ushi, our faithful friend
Some of our chickens
Campfires and pizza nights are regular occurrences in the summer
Swimming in the nearby river Dronne
Canoeing on the river
The house from the hay meadow
The farmhouse from the back garden
We often eat outdoors - typical dinner including local bread and wine!
The living room in the farmhouse
Jerry our donkey








































Host ref number: 715641887436