Join our family adventure and help building a dream in Ardeche, France



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    within 6 days


 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are a family of 4 from Amsterdam with a house in the Ardeche Verte. Jeroen (47), Vanessa (44) and our boys Boris (4) and Oscar (3). We also have chickens and a rooster, a dog, a cat and hopefully some borrowed goats by the time you arrive.

    Long story short, we were on a holiday in 2014 and fell in love with the house and garden and ended up buying it even though it was in very very poor condition. Now 7 years later (many many kilometers on the road traveling between our two residencies) we have put in a lot of time, sweat and tears. We have created multiple new concrete floors, 2 new roofs and a lot of comfortable (but not fancy) space. Above all we spent a lot of time there with friends and family away from the big city.

    Now the time has come to accelerate . We plan to leave Amsterdam in 2023. Before we can do so, a lot needs to happen still.

    And that's why we need you!

    To create a place where we can start making a life and a living we need to finish as much of the spaces in and around the courtyard, create some more guest areas and adjust the terrain to our needs.

    We are looking for people who are willing to do physical work and preferably also already have some skills in building or gardening. Ideally for a minimum of 2 weeks (we had people over for less but experienced it takes some time to adapt).

    Also there's a lot to do in the garden and vegetable gardens. For instance we want to create a pumpkin tunnel this year (april), create some new vegetable gardens and making a fence for the goats we can borrow this summer.

    Simultaneously we are looking for someone who can help taking care of the kids during the summer holidays. They attend the village school 4 days a week when school is in session.

    We can offer you a great place to be, a lively family, good food and skills to learn.
    The house is only a 10 minutes walk from the village. Although there's not much more to do then to get your bread and croissants... It's a 15 minute walk downhill to the river 'Doux' where you can find multiple great places to have a swim or just to relax.
    Lamastre is the nearest bigger town where there's a market twice a week and where we do our regular shopping. A bus goes there (bus stops in front of the house), but only a few times a day. If you have your own car, Valence is close and there are many other interesting sights to visit in the area.
    off-course it's a great place to start a hike or take your (mountain) bike...

    About our project.

    The former farm is built around a courtyard and is an accumulation of 5 buildings. So far 2 of them were completely gutted and now fixed with new roofs and floors. One is almost finished. This is the house we now live in with the boys.
    Of the original 30 ha of mainly vineyards, there's only almost 2 ha left and part of the property. Most of it is 'sauvage' now but there's still one part where some of the old vines are to be found.

    A part of the old house is dedicated to the stay of people who want to help us.
    The long house and the middle house (as we call it) where we have cleaned and fixed the essentials. We lived here before we finished the one we are in now. It has its own bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms. It's in poor condition but it's dry and quite charming. Don't expect anything to fancy but the mattresses new and comfortable.

    Jeroen is a very skilled entrepreneur and so far we have done almost all the work ourselves.
    Starting this spring our focus will be on the courtyard and adjacent spaces.
    Work will include but not be limited to ;)...

    creating stone steps (from the same stones the house is built of)
    demolishing some stone walls (mur en pierre)
    creating a new roof over the hangar, mostly woodwork. This is the biggest project
    Making a few more concrete floors, some masonry, insulate and posing dryboard on a ceiling.
    water and electricity
    potage, vegetable garden
    forest management
    making an animal fencing (a neighbour wants to lend us some of there animals)

    Vanessa loves to cook so a lot of her time go’s into it. She make jams, preserves and pickles too. If you enjoy cooking you're more than welcome to join. If not that’s also fine, you will still get to enjoy the food :). If you prefer some quiet time every once in a while you can also cook or eat alone, you will have enough private space to enjoy.

    We are NOT native french speakers so if this is the main reason for you to visit we might not be the right family for you. If you want to improve your english (or dutch :) this is the place to be. We plan on raising the boys bilingual (dutch, french). They go to school in the village when we are in France but it's still quite hard for them. Jeroen and I are fluent in English and Dutch and also speak some Spanish, German and obviously some French.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are a very creative couple. Wether it's building, gardening or cooking i'm sure you will find something inspiring to help us with. I love to cook on wood and make use of the produce we find around us. We always end up making tones of confiture and lemonades in summer. Also if you want to improve your conversational english we will be more then happy to help you with this.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    As briefly explained above we will need help with keeping an eye on the Boys and with our building projects. The house and garden are not suited for small children so someone needs to be with him all the time. We are completely rebuilding the house. right now we're working a lot with stones building walls in the courtyard but there are a tone of jobs that could be done. Painting, stripping, woodwork, garden work.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I would love to learn more french and could teach you english.

  • Accommodation


    as described above you will have your own wing of the house with basic but very nice bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    we have a small dog named Spook, a new cat Cloe and some chickens. There is a bus stop in front of the house that can take you to the nearby villages, it just doesn't go very often so planing is key... If you arrive by train, Tain Hermitage is the best way to go. we can probably arrange to pick you up at the station.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We can offer you good internet and a nice place to work either inside or in our court-yard.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    A lovely tree covered parking space with easy access.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We have a dog (Spook) a new cat and free running chickens. Our dog can not stand other cats but other dog's are no problem as long as they don't hunt our chickens.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day (more if you want :))

Host ref number: 828445397911