I am a newcomer to hosting, working on and looking for help with two (still early stage) projects in 'Suisse Normande',a particularly scenic area of northern France:
1) setting up a plant nursery focusing on mostly wild species for my favoured naturalistic style of gardening and
2) an ecobuild involving some new structures and the renovation of a house and barn ruin using largely mud and other traditional materials on the site.
The land situated on the edge of a hamlet deep in the countryside had a well but now has piped water and an electricity supply. English is likely to be the main language and some at least basic knowledge of this would be desirable. I am able to manage some French and very limited German but very much welcome all nationalities for the richest cultural exchange.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
The area is especially interesting for its dramatic landscapes. It is reasonably close to a lot of major Normandy attractions, such as Mont St Michel and other major historic sights. The wildlife is also exceptional, the property being situated deep in the countryside. Individuals can also expect to improve their English (if it is not their first language), and their French speaking skills.
Those with carpentry, electrical, plumbing, any building or at least DIY skills would be especially useful but an interest in contributing to, or learning about, low environmental impact building is important.
With the nursery work volunteers will learn about propagating and growing plants. Having a horticultural background while an advantage is not essential.
A driving license would be useful as help may be asked for with one or two garden shows attended, possibly in other countries in Europe. I will be very happy to devote some time to exploring attractions of the region as not having lived in the area for long these will be new me also.
If you do not have your own car we can collect you from the nearest public transport. I am looking for a maximum of six volunteers.
Accommodation is very basic at present - beds on the earth floor of rooms of the house or barn or tents if preferred. Meals mostly not vegetarian (although some special provision can be made) which I hope visitors with some culinary ability will volunteer to cook occasionally, will be a hopefully communal experience where ideas can be exchanged.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours a day (perhaps less if a trip is planned in afternoon), 5 days a week