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Help Exchange

All Year: yes
Area (ha): 0.55
Persons: 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 29830
Country: France

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Last Updated: November 9, 2017

OUR PROJECT = Rehabilitation of a old stone farmhouse in the forest/ working on our vegetable garden & creating water bassins

As a family we started to change our life style to a more responsible one ( re-use of materials, less waste, vegetarian food). We are learning continuously and like to share experiences and pass a message to our kids.

We are looking for people who can share their experience and could help us to convert an old farmhouse into a sustainable living accommodation.

We live in the South of France between Provence and Ardèche area at the border of the "Cevennes" mountains/natural park area. Aa beautiful natural environment, but not isolated. We have two little goats, cats and chicken and a friendly dog called 'Noek'. There is lively family atmosphere with kids from 10 to 23 years old. Mixed culture (Dutch, French) and we all speak English.

Inge has her atelier/little shop in the nearby village where she designs and create vintage style clothing and home decor, partly created with reclaimed fabrics .

Her daughter Nina is the model for the photos we take of new clothing collections and she makes jewelry from reclaimed materials also. All photos are taken in the surroundings of our house ( ).

1. Photo’s of the project and tips for things to do and see in the surroundings you find online here :
2. An article about our project in the Guardian was published in 2016:

- Main meals are shared with the family, or you can make your own. Our vegetarian meals are as much as possible prepared with the plants we grow in our garden or from the local market.
- Our vegetable garden lies in front of the house where we just finished the construction of a greenhouse out of reclaimed windows, and a water collecting system. The water supply comes from our roofs and an old well in the forest.

- Accommodation for volunteers is in a camping-car or spacious bell tent and there is space for camping on the land.

- Public transportation available (you'll find a bus stop at a 5 minutes walk from our house). Mountain bikes are available to explore the surroundings.

At our place you can gain skills in organic gardening, ecoconstruction, approving your French, working with reclaimed fabrics and/or learn to make nice vegetarian meals. We have made a dry toilet and are collecting rain water for our garden and creating our own filtering system for grey water.

At the moment we are working on insulating the walls of the house with lime/straw, Repairing old shutters, painting wood walls, digging out a basement, creating the solar/wood-burning water heating system, work in vegetable garden, wood cutting in the forest etc.
If you have skills in eco-construction, gardening and/or carpentry you could help to move the project on.

- Inge can always use help in her workshop where she creates home decor and clothing with reclaimed materials.

But all help is welcome of course !

Jan & Inge

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