Hello workawayers! We are 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 slice of 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 are just in the beginning stages and need help like gardening, 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. Most of the work is outdoors, although we have a few odd jobs inside (like sanding/painting) if the weather is really terrible.
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 no kids or animals (yet!). 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!
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco 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:
We could use someone who has experience laying concrete, as we would like to build a floor for our outdoor terrace.
We already got most of the soil ready by sheet mulching (composting in place), we planted our seedlings but still need help maintaining the garden. Also we would like to dig out and prepare more garden beds. Our irrigation system is set up. 2 ponds have been constructed. We will be planting fruit trees in the autumn, so could use some help with that.
Trail maintenance is ongoing. We always need help keeping the trail clear. 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 still need to do the pizza oven (the structure is already there-has not been used in many years), so if someone knows about laying bricks for the floor of it and first it needs a good cleaning.
And we always need wood chopped and brought to the wood shed!
Also, we have cleared the space for the herb spiral and chefs garden but need help getting the soil ready. We are following the principles of permaculture - so if you know about permaculture farming, it's especially helpful for us-we are novices!
We are creating a much larger garden as well and there are already some fruit trees but the soil hasn't been prepared yet so we need help preparing the earth for that. We have a natural spring nearby and want to use the water to irrigate the garden. So if you know about that, it's helpful too!
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!
For the pizza oven, the structure is already there but it hasn't been used in so many years. It needs a good cleaning and the floor of the oven needs rebuilding with bricks.
We have a lot of general outside jobs like raking, clearing sticky bushes, gathering logs or splitting logs-using a chainsaw, weedwhacker is helpful too.
We have safety equipment too like masks and goggles.
You will have your own, private room in the upstairs part of the main house. It's a very large room (sparsely furnished though) 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
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week