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Congenies
All Year: summer, autumn & spring
Area (ha): 1 hectare
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 15965
Country: France

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Last Updated: September 26, 2013

We have been working on the foundations of the eco house and now are closed for the winter. Next spring we will need people who are strong and like working outside in a rural setting. Non smokers will get priority as will T-totalers!! The site is still very much a field with very limited facilities, so you ideally need your own tent and sleeping bag etc. The wild life and views are wonderful though and if you want a bit of peace and quiet then this is the place for you!

At the B&B we are looking for older people who have expertise in plastering, plumbing or doing electrics.

We are a British couple who have been living in France for the last 10 years. We run a B&B and a large organic garden. Caroline also teaches English to students doing degrees in tourism. Francis is retired and Caroline will be in a couple of years. In the next 3 years we want to build a straw bale house and set up a permiculture garden and orchard. To do this we have bought land in the Aveyron. We are bird & animal lovers and have a rescue dog and 10 stray cats have also moved in with us. Francis runs days bird watching in the local area.
We divide our time between the house and garden here and our new plots of land in the Aveyron.

We would welcome volunteers to help in either location. At the B&B there are gardening jobs of all types, building maintenance and decoration, a qualified electrician would be very useful. Plus animal care and some cooking, on evenings when Caroline is working late. Plus out of season spring cleaning type jobs. There is also an old barn to be emptied and tools and materials sorted out ready to take then necessary things up to the Aveyron site.

In the Aveyron the jobs include helping to manage the woodland, putting up bird nesting boxes, collecting and cutting firewood, clearing areas ready for regrowth. At the building site there will be work setting the foundations for the straw bale build and later building in straw. Later again all the other jobs needed to build a house. Around this there is also the establishment of the organic garden and orchard to be undertaken. All under supervision in a continuing learning process for us all.

At the B&B you will get a room, with its own shower room, to share with another volunteer, in the house. In the Aveyron it might be a tent in the summer or a bed in a caravan. Shower & toilet facilities here are eco, ie a composting toilet and a solar heated shower, that we all share. Water has to be brought on site at the moment and is therefore limited. All this depending on the number of people around at the time.

In both locations there is a lot to see and do locally when we are not working and there are bikes that can be borrowed to go visit the surrounding areas. At the B&B we have Roman ruins and beautiful garrigue landscapes. The land is in the south of the Massif Central and has stunning views over the river Tarn gorge and Cevennes mountains. Here there is fishing and all water sports within 7 km. Both areas have wonderful walking, biking and wildlife to see. Both are in small French villages, but the two areas are strikingly different. We are not near towns with a lot of night life and there is no public transport near us in the Aveyron. So we are looking for people who love the countryside and all it offers.

We are looking for people with a mature outlook on life and a love of nature who would like to live the outdoor life and help us with the vast array of tasks that will crop up as we build, garden and manage our wood. You need to be strong, fit and like hard work.

We can cope with vegetarians, but sorry, not vegans.

The land site is a smoking free zone, so no smokers please.(straw + fag ends = fire hazard!)

I will add exact work being done and help needed as time progresses, at the moment we are installing the composting loos and solar shower, but if you would like to come up and help with the woodland management email me for more details.

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