Hello workawayers! We are pretty new here and would love some help with our project and allow you to discover a beautiful part of France that has not yet been overrun with tourists!
We recently bought a 17 hectares (44 acres) corps de ferme/farmhouse-of which 1.5 hectares are vineyards. Our dream is to transform this old farm into a chambres d'hotes/tables d'hotes (bed and breakfast). This paradise is located in Aveyron, just over the border with Cantal-a beautiful and quiet piece of the French countryside.
There are 5 buildings total on the property. The main house is in very good condition. The other buildings need some work! We have an architect who will be helping us transform the old barn and build an extension on the main house.
For the workawayers, we are still in the beginning stages and need help in the gardens, trail building and clearing, moving and/or cutting logs, sanding, cleaning up & getting working the four à pain (pizza oven), painting and general outside work. Currently, most of the work is outdoors in the large garden.
The property itself is beautiful with expansive views of the river 'Lot'. It's a place of quiet and nature, no big city nearby. Lots of walking trails directly on the property with a ruisseau (stream), some waterfalls too! There are wild boar, deer and other wildlife right on the property. In mushroom season, we have cepes, girolle and other mushroooms to hunt.
If you like hiking, biking, fishing and just being in unspoiled nature, then you will love it here! Also good wine! We have vineyards on the property and a friendly winemaker who rents them out from us. He makes fantastic wine and the area is home to a small pocket of other lovely regional wines
There is much to discover in this beautiful region-we are just 30 minutes from Laguiole, which is in the otherworldly Aubrac, where you can eat amazing local food. Some of the most beautiful villages in France are nearby to us (within 30 minutes-Conques, Estaing). Rodez is 45 minutes away and has many cultural offerings including the musesum Soulages.
We are an American/French married couple with an energetic Whippet puppy named Holmes. He's very nice with other people and dogs too but like all puppies, he is a bit over-eager and excited.
We have been workawayers ourselves so are very keen to provide a good experience for those who can come to help us. We traveled/worked and lived in South America/central America for 5 years.
We were so inspired by our travels, we have decided to settle in France to open up our own B&B. It's become our dream now. After almost a year of searching, we finally found the place to realize this dream. We would love to share it with you!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
We can speak English or French with you. We both speak those languages and some Spanish too. We would love to share the local foods/specialties of the region also.
Update to the projects:
There is a variety of projects for you to choose from depending on your skills and what you like to do. We like our workawayers to choose what they want to do so always will offer you a choice. If you are not happy with a project, please just tell us and we can change the tasks for you. We usually work in the morning because that is what we prefer but if you would like to work in the afternoon-that is possible too. We are really flexible with the work hours and the jobs. It's nice to have clear communication both from us and for you so everyone is happy. Here are some examples of what we are doing:
We would really like the four a pain (wood-fired oven) up and functioning (the structure is already there-has not been used in many years). The floor of the oven is damaged-the brick just comes up with your fingertips and the roof needs cleaning, however, it's in good condition. This is a bit of a skilled job- if someone has experience laying bricks for a floor similar to this- we would love to tackle this project.
The large garden has been repaired, the wall rebuilt and now we are in the process of framing the buttes we created using the principles of permaculture-sheet mulching in place using the materials from the property (leaves, compost, grass, etc). Last year we had planted many vegetables but our buttes and all the vegetables got ruined by sangliers (wild boars). We need help fixing the soil and the borders around each (with large wooden planks). Also, we would like to dig out and prepare more garden beds adhering to the same principles (sheet mulching).
We have planted a few vegetables this year but the idea is to get the structures and soil ready for next year.
2 small ponds have already been constructed but one got ruined by a small landslide we had last year. We are in the process of repairing the damage done by the landslide and could use help rebuilding the irrigation system that was also ruined. 2 more small ponds have been dug out and we need help to line them.
We have many old trails on the property which have a lot of growth on them, that need to be cleared and we want to make the trails wider and more accessible for our future guests. So trail-building skills are welcome! Trail maintenance is ongoing. We always need help keeping the trail clear. Knowing how to use a strimmer and/or chainsaw is helpful.
We built a fire pit and brought a picnic table down by the waterfall-a great spot to camp if you like that sort of thing I can lend you my tent and equipment.
We could use someone who could help us with the floor of our terrace but we are waiting for someone to come first to break the rock. The area is uneven and a bit rocky. This is a future project that is currently on hold.
And we always need wood chopped and brought to the wood shed!
We are following the principles of permaculture - so if you know about permaculture farming, it's especially helpful for us-we are just novices-figuring out things as we go. We are open to advice.
We have a lot of general outside jobs like raking, clearing sticky bushes, gathering logs or splitting logs-using a chainsaw, strimmer is helpful here too.
We have safety equipment too like masks and goggles and many tools at your disposal.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
You will have your own, private room in the upstairs part of the main house. It's a very large room with an amazing view of the river 'Lot', the vineyards below and the countryside. The king size bed is brand new! We will provide all linens. There is a toilet adjacent to the bedroom upstairs but no sink or shower.
There is another bathroom downstairs with a shower which will be shared with us.
We sleep downstairs, so plenty of privacy is assured to you. We are happy to spend time together but respect your space and privacy as well. There is good, strong WiFi but no TV in the bedroom.
Meals will be included-we usually eat our main meal at lunchtime. I'm an experienced cook so am happy to share lots of different dishes together. We eat mostly vegetables and some meat but not so much. If you have a special diet, I can cook you something to accommodate that. For dinner, it's usually just a tart/quiche and salad or soup but plentiful portions. I make as much as I can homemade including breads.
Helping to clean up is expected-doing the dishes/unloading the dishwasher. Also keeping your area clean and helping to keep the bathroom clean is appreciated. We like to keep a neat living space but aren't freaks about it either.
It's best if you are in good physical condition. The property is on a big slope (there are not many flat parts!) and accessing the trails requires climbing up and down. We do have walking sticks to assist if you need or would like them. Also, many of the jobs require lifiting (logs or stones), digging, raking-so being in good physical condition helps.
The house is located within walking distance (about 5-10 mins) to the village of Le Fel-but please note, outside of an Auberge (with a fantastic restaurant), there is not much to do in this tiny village. There is yoga every Monday at the campground.
Montsalvy is just 10 minutes drive and they have a small but nice market every Thursday, Entraygues-sur-Truyere is located 15 minutes drive away and has a larger market every Friday. Both these towns have supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, etc.
We would be keen to show you around a bit but are trying to get a lot of work done too. We will pick you up from the airport/train if necessary. We are 25 minutes away from Aurillac which has 4 flights a day from Paris (cheaper than a train ticket and faster!).
We expect 4-5 hours of work per day/5 days a week for working with keeping flexibility in mind, as far as days/hours are concerned.
A car is ideal in this region but we can show you around too.
The region boasts some delicious cheeses (roquefort, lots of different goats and cows cheese), charcuterie, lots of local specialties like fouace, farçous and the best cheesy potatoes in the world-Aligot. The nearby Marcillac offers a larger selection of wines but our own Entraygues-Le Fel offers AOP wines that are really lovely.
We are non-smokers, so please ask you smoke outside-away from the door!
We are easy going and adaptable. We have traveled ourselves for a long time so can get along easily with a variety of people and also understand the demands of long-term travel.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Strong wifi signal
Dogs that get along with other dogs.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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