All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3
Persons: 1 to 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 6119
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Last Updated: January 22, 2018
we are currently seeking people to assist with routine animal care and woodland management, coppicing, cutting and stacking when the weather is dry. We are also renovating the property..A work in progress.
Originally from the North East of Scotland we moved to Central France and bought the abandoned farm in 2008 after selling up in Scotland in 2006 and down-sizing to a camper-van with our two huge dogs and touring around Europe looking for the right place to put down some roots. We are working towards being as self-sufficient as possible-renovating the buildings and developing the land using eco-friendly, sustainable techniques, resources and energy. We have one hectare of land surrounding the house and a further 2 hectares of overstood, abandoned coppiced woodland that we are attempting to regenerate to provide our fuel; building materials; material for basket-making; charcoal-making etc. and just for being a beautiful place to spend time in and have fun!
The hectare of land is divided into pasture for animals and a potager/vegetable garden and orchard for food production. We are joining up these areas to create an all-encompassing "forest garden". We currently have 3 milking goats, a buck and a family of kunekune pigs .
We also have chickens, a little scruffy dog & six cats !!
We aim to grow as much of our own food as we can and enjoy researching and trying out new/old methods of preserving this food throughout the year - pickling, salting, canning, lacto-fermenting, drying - we would love to re-build the old bread-oven and have just cobbled together a smoker for preserving food.
We enjoy a range of crafts and hobbies and have built up a wide range of skills which we love to share - wood-working and building, basketry, spinning wool, photography, art, needle-crafts etc, some elements of bush-crafting and foraging; and music - including going to see live music concerts, cirques etc. We have a wood-fired hot-tub built from cob. Helpers are welcome to use this wonderful relaxing and elemental facility!
We are still renovating the old farm-house but have almost finished work on the gite, which provides us with a small income over the Summer. We also have our camper-van to provide sleeping accommodation for helpers, family and friends that come to stay in the warmer seasons. We have a grass area set aside for tents also in case of over-spill! Wifi for internet access is available.
WE ARE NOT VEGETARIAN -WE DO EAT MEAT RAISED BY OURSELVES; VEGETARIAN MEALS FORM THE BULK OF OUR DIET - BUT PLEASE INFORM US IF YOU ARE VEGETARIAN
or have special dietary needs as we often have other people to cater for. We speak English ; French and some German and Danish.
We are situated quite a bit off the beaten track in a quiet and isolated spot in the beautiful green rolling hills of the Creuse (departement 23) in Central France. We are about 2.5km (just over a mile and half) from two villages that have a shop and an Auberge. The nearest largish town is 17km away. Public transport is practically non-existent, but we have bicycles available for use.
This area is known for being a paradise for walkers and lovers of wildlife - with loads of lakes, rivers, gorges and ponds- and lovely old villages with medieval churches and buildings to explore. Nearby there are facilities for horse-riding; fishing; kayaking and other water-sports; llama-trekking etc as well as some chateaux and other interesting buildings and places to visit.
This part of France enjoys the four well-delineated Seasons - Spring and Autumn are very beautiful and mild. It can get very cold in Winter with temperatures down to -15 degrees C with snow and cold winds from the North. It can also get very hot in Summer with temperatures up to 40 degrees C.
We welcome people to come and stay and help us in our daily life through-out the year (4-5 hrs daily; 5 days per week), the rhythm of our life and work is dictated by the seasons. Sowing, pricking-out and planting- always weeding and mulching!- various renovation projects and building and repairing animal housing and fencing; harvesting and processing vegetables and free-range, home-produced meat; woodland management; coppicing for fire-wood etc. We also aim to try out charcoal-making, basket and rustic furniture making etc.
We keep the Facebook page, see link above, pretty up-to-date with what we're up to, you're welcome to drop in and "like" it!
Hope to hear from you soon :o) Peter and Julie
The photos below show-
Top-left : Having a siesta in the woodland.
Middle : Weeding the peas and beans.
Right-Willow(dog) , cats and chickens sharing the whey from cheese-making.
Bottom left-new-born lambs in February
Right- Round-house building in the woodland progress so far. Framework in the round with a reciprocal frame roof structure all Sweet Chestnut - now taken down and re-erected in the forest garden at home.