My name is Jacques, South African by birth, have been living,traveling and working in europe since 2001 in all sorts of domains. Spent 8 years living on an isolated farm in the Pyrenees mountains, recently taken over half share of an organic sheep farm in the valley d'Ossau at the foot of the Pyrenees. I live on the farm with my daughter and as is common with most South Africans, our door is always open to welcome people in.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Culture there is plenty of, cheese-making is not unique to France but as far as i am concerned they are the best at it. Learning the process and assisting in a practice that has been around for centuries has for me, as a South African been an enormous privileged. Learning the language (my associate and our workers are french) is also a real bonus. Being involved in organic farming in rural France, taking part in the local events, drinking in the beauty of the countryside and mountains, all add up to experiences that changes your way of seeing, approaching and living your live. The "big city" close by, Pau has all that a large town can offer, Henry 4th castle for those interested in history and for those interested in coffee shops and shopping, well, there's more than plenty of that to go around. The historic town of Lourde is not to far away and is good for a day outing. We go to Pau twice a week to do markets so transport is no problem.
We are an organic sheep farm at the foot of the Pyrenees in the valley d'Ossau, 40 hectares of prairie and and a bit of forest, a 'cabane' in the mountains where we spend the three summer months of the year grazing our sheep and cows. Winter months are spent milking our sheep and making cheese. Knowing the farm and farmer for the past three years i have recently associated myself and am now part owner of the farm. I have taken on the old farmhouse (which is where i live and you will be lodged) and i need a hand establishing a garden, a herb garden and help with the general maintenance of the house and its surrounds. Farmhelp there is plenty of (if that interest you) helping with the milking, cheese-making as well as cutting firewood (yep, that's how we keep warm) and a myriad of small day to day tasks. My winter project is to get a greenhouse going for the next summer season (plenty of help needed with that) We will also be welcoming volunteers for short periods of time who will be sharing the house, so, cooking cleaning and household tasks are part of the everyday life for all.
You will be lodged in the farmhouse ( and yes, there is running water ;-) ) in one of the three bedrooms set aside for volunteers and workaways. I have made it as cosy as possible, bathroom shared with the rest of the inhabitants. Internet, slow but existing, food, organic omnivore, and as on any farm, dogs and cats (although the dogs stay outside, the cats have free roam of the house.
I love to cook but unfortunately the farm work does not leave me much time, we have a set menu for the week and do a what they call in french a "tour de role' which means every one gets his turn, and have no fear, there is a dishwasher!
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