We are a family of four (boy age 7 girl age 2.5) Nicolas and I are a French-American couple, looking for help on all levels. Preferably looking for other families with kids of similar age.
We all speak french and english fluently, and prefer if some french is spoken and understood by our guests, as we often have others helping us that only speak french.
We are very creative people, constantly coming up with things to do, and sometimes doing nothing at all. Dialogue is very much a part of our daily life and we love sharing information, philosophy, and generally being curious. If you prefer to be alone, this might not be the place for you :)
Nicolas works on our land all day. We are looking for someone with tree falling skills, knowledge of wood working and building expertise. Any knowledge of permaculture, trees and plants, land sculpting and mushrooms is a bonus. He really needs someone who doesn't need hand-holding, is confident in working alongside french speakers and can work independently when given a job to do. He is a fountain of knowledge and loves to share with people that love to learn. You must be strong and able bodied to keep up.
I (Michelle) am an art teacher at the local collèges (middle schools) as well as an artist on the side. I have a part time schedule, but I work everyday. That said, most of the work at the house is shared and as a mom, I could definetly use a helping hand.
Also, we are always in the process of renovating our home, currently very comfortable and spacious, but needing some finish work. On rainy days we are stuck inside, specifically working with limestone mortar and wood. Our main projects are finishing a basement room, walls, electricity and rerouting plumbing.
We live in a very small hamlet of about 20 people. Its along side a river nestled in a valley in the Mont d'Olmes region of the Pyrénées mountains. We are 3km from the main road and another 12 minutes to the nearest shopping village. Having you own transportation is a huge bonus we can currently take 1 to 2 people with us when we go into town, but if you want to be more independent...it's up to you.
This may seem a bit specific, but based on previous workaway visitors, I find being clear and concise is the best way to go :)
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
If you are looking to get away from anything busy, the city, the routine of normal, this place is for you. Its a very magical and beautiful area, with plenty of hiking, nature and fresh air (recently rated best air in France). Closest cities are Foix and Lavelanet, one hour from Toulouse.
Help with childcare/house - Looking for someone with childcare or education experience, to watch our son and daughter occasionally when we have work to do (cutting down trees, loud woodworking tools) and to help keep an eye on them in general. He loves being around the farm, working and helping, and he's a wonderful little guy to have around. Eva is still young, but she is quite active in our busy lives. Cooking skills are a big plus. help with house maintenance is expected.
Farm/garden/animals- We will be adding chickens, ducks, and sheep to the mix this year. We are currently building Warré hives to start bee keeping. None of them require much work. We are working on installing gardens and trees on our land that we've been clearing, as well as digging out a bolivian green house. The work also involves using a mobile sawmill to process timber into boards. The farm is still at an early stage, so there are many different activities to discover, practice, and choose from according to your preferences/skills. This experience is best suited if you have a true interest in permaculture / alternative farming techniques.
Building/Renovation- Expect to learn a lot, and discover/improve all your building skills. Wood work is a big part of the activity (this summer projects include : a new chicken house, kitchen cupboards, interior walls, outdoor furniture, a big library, bee hives...), but stone masonry, electricity, mechanics, plumbing, tiling are also part of the day to day life. There is so much to do that we can offer you a choice depending on what's relevant to everyone's needs.
Forging: Bonus! Nico has learned forging this past year and practices very often. If you are willing to learn of have any knowledge, all the better :)
You are welcome to set up anywhere on the land (many choices) camping, in a camper car, or van. A fire is permitted on the land as it is not dry here at all. We can set up dry toilets and an outdoor shower. You can also assist in the building of tiny houses or tree houses, that can eventually be squatted in. We have electric and water, but use dry toilets. We also have wifi and fixed line phone but no mobile service in the house (you can get it around the village sparingly). We have a guest room with double bed available most of the time, our home is open for use, kitchen, laundry, the terrace and garden, and eating together is very important to us :)
Ariège area is full of amazing places to visit. There are plenty of caves, hikes, fortified castels, lakes, rivers, climbing. Great environment to practice French or English with us and our friends and family. If you love being in nature and love the mountains, this place is like no other.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours a day