help exchange   Host 41081
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3.5
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 41081
Country: France

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Last Updated: August 12, 2015

My name's Laurent, I'm an organic vegetable farmer in the south of France, in the Hérault department and I run a small –3.5 hectares– organic market garden located near a sensitive environment, consisting of the adjacent pond and listed site, water catchment of the Cevennes mountains, 15 km away from the city of Montpellier and only a few minutes from the Mediterranean sand beaches.

I'm looking for enthusiastic and engaging people who are keen to discover the different facets of our beautiful occupation and also to have a holistic view of how a small-scale – 1 ha– organic vegetable farm functions.
We grow almost a hundred of various vegetables and fruit each year with organic and biodynamic methods – heirloom tomato, pepper, melon crops, flowers, etc... –
We've also done some tests for one year with permaculture and agroforestry –practice of including trees in crop production agroecosystems–.
We only use local direct food marketing –organic food baskets, weekly markets, AMAP: a local system in which the customer pays in advance and in return, over a predetermined number of weeks, the farmer delivers a basket containing a dozen or so varieties of organically grown fruit and vegetables to a drop-off point near peoples' homes–
Type of help
During your stay, participants are taught basic skills such as :
Direct sowing outdoors and in glasshouse.
Sowing in mound and transplants.
Raising of planting stock in nurseries.
Transplantation in open ground in glasshouses/plastic tunnels and outdoors under plastic sheeting.
Weeding, hoeing, thinning of the seedlings -everything manually-.
Finally harvesting.
Fruit and vegetable cleaning.
Packaging, storing
Transportation and distribution –handling needed for loading our truck with vegetable crates and market stand equipment or other service such as preparing the organic food baskets to deliver our AMAP–
Selling in the local markets and delivering weekly organic vegetable baskets.
Vegetable and fruit processing –coulis, jam, juice, etc...–

We have also on-going eco-buiding projects:
an earth oven to bake bread
a small pottery studio –ancient art–

We welcome people who are motivated and keen to help us in our small organic vegetable farm and/or interested in the new eco-building projects.
Participation is open to all experienced people and novices alike.

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