More than 2 years ago now, after a long search, we bought our little peace of heaven in a forest in Flemish Brabant. We call it "Our Little House in The Forest". We were looking for a small house with enough land to begin living the way we want, as self-sufficient as possible!
Our house is situated in a forest at the end of a dead end street on an open patch. It's roughly 2500m² and we try to grow our own food (meat, vegetables, herbes). There is one house across street and a light post, that's about it. Recently we had the opportunity to buy an adjacent piece of forest. We did not hesitate, we have a lot of plans for it (if Belgian regulations allow it off-course :-) ). UPDATE: It's officially ours :-)!!
A little more about the family members, we are Leslie (close to 40), Felicia (36) and Amber (7). Before buying this house, we lived in a co-housing where we learned a lot, there the idea of living as self sustainable as possible further developed. I (Leslie) am the bonusfather off Amber, but that is just a "name", to me she is my daughter and to her I am her father.
We have several projects we want to realize, among others renovating a pickup unit, building a walipini, adding more types of animals, .... On top of the list currently, with highest priority, renovating our house. Helping out with the renovatio is not something we expect from our guests, if you can free up time for us by helping with the everyday chores, we will be more then happy. If you do want to help out renovating or have knowledge to share, we won't stop you :-).
Some keywords to describe us: self sustainable, permaculture, natural gardening, respect for earth, human and nature around us, eager to learn and share knowledge. (ok, these are not just keywords, but you get the point I think :-) ).
(more pictures will be added soon)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
We see workaway as "sharing knowledge", as a way of broadening our world view, as a way of gaining insights from different kinds of people and perhaps, as a way of expanding our circle of friends. We don't see this as "free labor" and also don't want just "your labor". Share your thoughts and ideas with us, give us your feedback (but be gentle please ;-) ).
Our knowledge consists of (among others), permaculture, different types of food preservation, making and canning juice and other beverages, (ecological) gardening tips and tricks, alternative building, growing meat, fruit and vegetables, tanning, knowledge about meat, vegetables, fruits and herbs and alternative use of "weeds" aka foraging :-) .... These are some of the things that can be experienced hands on.
We love to learn new things all the time, so our knowledge gets bigger by the day and we love to share that knowledge with you!
We like to think out of the box and don't really follow mainstream ideas about maintaining a garden. Join us in brainstorming and coming up with new ideas.
Our latest "brain dumps" are building our own rocket stove as a first step for the outdoor kitchen and converting/renovating/decorating our pick up unit (so people can use it). Join us!
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
On a day to day basis: animals, garden, processing food, etc. ...
Short and long term: realising some of our projects (contact us for the really elaborate list of ideas we have :-D )
If you know your way around a contruction site, we are renovating our house by ourselves. Well, to be precise, Felicia's dad will be doing the majority of the work but I (Leslie) will be helping him as much as possible. We would appreciate help here but we don't expect this from our guests. By taking over the daily chores you would already be helping out as that would free up time for us.
Next to the renovation of our house, our first priority would be the pickup unit. So, any tiny house specialists who want to teach us their skills, you are more then welcome! We have a general idea on what we want to do with it, but nothing is written in stone. We are open for any and all suggestions!
- space on the property for your own accommodation (RV, tent, other ....)
- we have a tent for 4 people, including one matras that sleeps 2 people. (we are open to investing in more material should it be requested by someone)
- in the (hopefully near future) a pickup unit to sleep in
- currently there is no room in the house to sleep and live, since we are renovating.
What we provide:
- 3 meals a day (allergies or other needs, let us know)
- some snacks
- water, juice, thee and the occasional liquor we make ourselves
- use of laundry machine
- WiFi and electricity (if needed)
- in agreement with the hosts, transport for trips (dropping of at train station or bringing you to a location)
- use of bikes (1 electrical and one man powered)
- use of shower and toilet
- flexibility (we are not people of really tight schedules)
- opportunity for socializing but space to be on your own if wanted
- open and honest communication
Our house is situated in an area of Belgium where al lot of fruit orchard are situated. Brussels is only a short hour away, easy accessible by train. So is the rest of Belgium as it really is a very small country.
A lesser known touristic area, the Ardennes is relatively close. We can suggest some places, depending on your preferences.
We live a little remote, so easy acces to public transportation is not available but we are happy to help wherever we can.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Leslie works from home as a Test Automation Specialist. He works 4 days out of 5. The internet connection is stable and fast.
We have a few parking spaces that can be used by RV's, Van's or caravans. You are all welcome :-).
We are open to this, but as of now we don't have any experience in doing so. We have 4 cats (they won't be an issue) and a large dog. A Hovawart, roughly 45 kilo's. He is really friendly to people we accept in our house, but he is a little bit to enthusiastic at first. He will need to get to know our guests and after a while, we are sure that he would even protect and guard you. He can be locked away but as you can probably understand, we prefer not to and let him run around as much as possible.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week (flexible)