help exchange   Host 38518
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 38518
Country: France

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Last Updated: February 1, 2018

Hello everyone!!
We are a French family looking for helpers from February 20th onwards and for the whole of spring and summer.... and throughout the year!
A great variety of tasks at hand: interior decoration, barn conversion, garden, landscaping, paint jobs, carpentry...We are also looking for people who like to spend a little time with children! And we have horses -
poneys in fact - and a donkey! So the choice of what you do will also be yours!

We are a German/French family living in a beautiful farmhouse near the medieval city of Poitiers. We are close to many attractions: 15 minutes from the Vallée des Singes (a huge park with monkey running free), 1 hour from La Rochelle and the seaside, and 30 minutes from the famous Futuroscope, ... Our plan for next year is to start an organic garden project (permaculture), and to renovate some of the buildings to host artistic workshops. Our two last helpers helped us roof an old stone oven building, and we plastered the walls of a part of the house we are renovating.
We need some help with the decoration of our house and with our garden, so the choice is yours! If you like to work with wood, we have furniture to revamp/build, and any creative idea is welcome! If you prefer to be outdoors, there is landscaping, planting, weeding and woodcutting. You can learn how to drive a tractor.
We just started renovating a barn, and are about to install the floor. You could also just play with the children (aged 10, 7 and 5) from time to time, so we are free to work more efficiently! In exchange, you are offered a cosy room (1 or 2 beds) with your own bathroom, good - mostly organic - food (we will adapt to any diet), wine, and good company.
We have three outgoing and curious children who like making new friends, they speak French and German. The eldest, Milan, has Down Syndrome, and he is a lovely child. We also have a little dog, a whippet. During your stay you can use a car. The village of Payré is very close by (you can even take the boat directly from our garden if you wish), it has a beautiful park called "îles de Payré" (Payré islands) with an outdoors fitness track! I can send more photos if you contact us. We will probably get poneys in the summer (around June 2016) so there might be a possibility to help there also.
Apart from French, Yohann and I speak English, German and Spanish fluently, as well as Swedish (Yohann) and some Portuguese (Vera). We both work part-time in teaching. If you are learning French, we can most definitely help!
Our aim is to make our recently-acquired house and garden (we bought it a year ago) into a lively and stimulating place to live for everybody. We have a 6-year experience in participatory construction, since we have been building a straw bale house in the south of France. We will gladly share that experience with you (we go regularly and some helpers have come and have liked the experience!).

We have had about a dozen helpers so far, and it has been a great experience every time. We are still in touch with most of them! Helpers may stay anything from one to three weeks or possibly longer upon agreement - up to a few months, if things work out. We live 25 minutes from the centre of Poitiers, in a rural area. We can pick you up in Poitiers, but the nearest train station is Anché-Voulon (it's 5 minutes from our home).
We hope to hear from you!
Best regards, Vera and Yohann

Bonjour, nous sommes une famille franco-allemande. Nous vivons dans une ancienne ferme, dans un cadre rural, à 25 minutes de la jolie ville de Poitiers. Notre projet est de démarrer un potager bio et de rénover certains bâtiments pour en faire un lieu d'accueil culturel.
Nous avons trois enfants âgés de 10, 7 et 5 ans, et un petit chien très gentil, un lévrier whippet. Nous avons de l'expérience dans les chantiers participatifs, ayant construit une maison en paille en Ardèche sur ce mode. Ce fut une très belle expérience, et nous souhaitons poursuivre les rencontres avec d'autres personnes ouvertes, curieuses et solidaires.
Actuellement, nous cherchons de l'aide pour finir de décorer et d'équiper la maison, ainsi que pour le jardin (entretien, taille, bois), le verger, etc.. Nous avons mis en route la base du potager, selon des principes proches de la permaculture. Nous avons également entamé la restauration des bâtiments annexes, dont un four à pain en pierre (dont il faut finir le toit en vieilles tuiles) et une dépendance.
En échange, nous proposons un (ou deux) lit(s) douillet(s) dans votre chambre avec salle de bains, une bonne table (nourriture surtout bio), du bon vin, un accueil sympathique ...
La gare la plus proche est celle de Anché-Voulon. Nous pouvons aussi venir vous chercher à la gare de Poitiers!
A bientôt!
Vera et Yohann

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