We are a young American family in our late 30s with two children (7 and 9) that decided to leave corporate America and move to France. We purchased a 17th Century Chateau, it's small Hamlet, and more than 100 acres near Saint-Pons-de-Thomières in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is a historic preservation project with an agricultural component that we hope turn into an immersive Farm to Table experience specifically for families, but that is a few years away. Right now, we are working on restoration and setting up the farm.
The property is centered in the middle of a regional park in france but with several villages nearby. It was originally settled in the 12th century and has a group of houses from that period and a chateau that was built in the 17th century. 20 years ago it was abandoned and now we are working on bringing it back to life. We have cleared the overgrown property, installed water, electricity, showers and toilets and fixed the roofs on four of the outbuildings and the Chateau. We have definitely been busy, but there is lots more to do.
The Chateau property is breathtaking. It is nestled in the mountains with it's pastures in the surrounding valley. The woods are full of chestnut trees, deer, pheasant, fox and wild mushrooms. In the summer we have 75 bee hives that produce fresh honey. We also have a heard of Rove Goats that should start producing milk in the spring, a few horses, and lots of chickens.
It is a raw yet romantic France story and we are looking for people interested in sharing it with us.
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
We are Americans working through the transition of becoming French. Our language skills are lacking but the kids are fluent. If you join us, you will get to experience an authentic french village life and the best rural France has to offer but with the company of english speaking hosts. We split time between the chateau and Marseille where the kids go to school, so you will also have some privacy a few days a week and the opportunity to stay in our home in Marseille for beach weekends. Our neighbors are wonderful and welcoming. It will be a true immersion.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are looking for travelers who would like to spend a season or more with us working on the Chateau and it's grounds. We expect 4-5 hours of work 5 days a week but our flexibility will definitely allow you to use this as a base to explore France and Spain.
Construction skills are what we need most right now, but we are very skilled builders and can certainly teach you a lot as well. We could also use someone with an interest in gardening, animal care, or a great digital mind that could help chronical the chateau and build our web presence. We welcome couples or individuals but we are a stable drama free family and only want to add stable and drama free travelers into our lives.
For the right person or couple, there is a possibility of us hosting you for a long stay visa in France and the possibility of paid/permanent work in the future.
This host offers a language exchange
We would be glad to help anyone learn English while we are working on learning French.
You will have a well furnished private 1 bedroom apartment. It is small but authentic with a wood burning fireplace clean shower, toilet, sink and kitchenette. We do most of the cooking and you will be welcome to eat with us when you like. We will also furnish groceries.
A car will be provided for short trips around the area and the bus goes from the property directly to the TGV station in Beziers where you can catch a high speed train to just about anywhere in France or Spain.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
We have plenty of space and for the right family can make available a larger apartment unit.
We can accommodate pets that are kid friendly, get along with our dogs, and don't hurt the farm animals
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week