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We need volunteers from end March 2018.
Our project is based on inclusiveness, permaculture and sustainability. The core criteria for everything we are designing is "can it be accessed by a wheelchair or zimmer frame" where possible. We have built a cob house for the chickens which was great fun and hard work. The Wallipini garden is dug out and we are putting on the roof. We made the donkey shelter out of pallets. It also has a solar electric fence, water harvesting and plastic bottle insulated walls where possible. We will be as self sustainable as possible. We plan to extend the outside shower block into a one bedroom cottage with straw bales, then covered in cob and Lyme washed. We intent to build a natural swimming pool.
What has changed since we started is that we are now looking to have as many different ways of sustainable living as possible and hoping to be able to show case these on the land.
The land will be accessible for all (as far as we can) so everyone can enjoy tending the vegetable patch, collecting the eggs and the cob cottage will be on one level.
It's a really exciting project and one that is flexible so we can adapt for new ideas as we go if we wish to tweak or find new ideas. We really need volunteers to help as, although we are fit for our age, we do not have the strength that we used to. But we love chatting and being with people and cooking so you will be fed well and our priority is to look after our volunteers well.
We are both english but live in France. We have four dogs, a cat 10 chickens and 3 donkeys plus a baby donkey. We are hoping our families will be coming to visit us often as we are very family orientated and our families live all over the world. I bought this "summer camp" because I fell in love with the area and land.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
These are interesting projects that all interwork so everyone will get an opportunity to have a try at everything. The cob buildings will be built one layer per week (which gives them a week to dry before the next layer goes on) so when the layer is done the garden will be built or other projects will be done.
The Wallipini vegetable garden is effectively a underground greenhouse and have raised beds so it will be an inclusive garden. Access will be easy for everyone and because it is raised elderly and wheelchair users will be able to enjoy harvesting it as well. We aim for all our projects on the land to be inclusive. So the swimming pool will have a beach (ramp) to enter rather than steps.
The whole project is very inspiring and is an opportunity to build unusual projects from planning to the finished product.
Inspiration and ideas will be coming from a friend who runs a charity which focuses on sustainable farming in Tanzania, my nephew who will be trained in Australia in permaculture and another nephew who works at a permaculture school in Oregan USA. We are hoping that all 3 of them will be here for the projects.
The land is 2.5 hectares near the Lot river close to Puy L'eveque which is about 1.5 hours north of Toulouse, SW France.
We are planning several projects to start in April 2018.
Straw build extension to make a one bedroom cottage.
Make a coppice fence.
Adding roof to wallipini
Sorting out the right plants for the wallipini, the hanging garden and the rubble sacks.
Improving water harvesting.
Cob outside seating area with cob sofa.
Making a natural swiming pool.
Extending the edible forest.
Planting on a small flood plain. Sourcing right plants etc.
Renovations to house in rainy weather.
Make a long pathway across the land.
Currently the house and land is a summer camp for teenagers. By next April we plan to have the house habitable, it may not be beautiful but all the facilities will be on which means everyone will have a bed.
There is plenty of land if anyone prefers to camp. There will be 3 meals a day catered for you and we are happy to cater for any special dietary needs where possible. There will always be a vegetarian option and, if requested, a vegan option. There will be one day off a week for me from cooking.
The local town is called Puy L'eveque. It is beautiful. Right on the river Lot. The river is about a 10 minute walk from the house and is huge. Boating, fishing, canoeing etc can be done. The town is about 1.3km so easy to bike in.
We will have a couple of bikes and if possible I will get another couple by then. We have 4 dogs and a cat at present but no doubt this will have expanded by next year. We plan to have a couple of speciality sheep and alpacas just for breeding. And lots of chickens to help maintain the vegetable plot.
We now have 4 donkeys, one who is 2 months old.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week