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help exchange   Host 14304
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Oloron Sainte-Marie
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2.3
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 14304
Country: France

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Last Updated: April 25, 2017

Hi there, Manue and Tobias here. Where? The Bearn? A well-kept secret in the South West of France. A beautiful and diverse region with its own timezone - 15 minutes behind the rest of France. It has everything that you need including food, wine AOCs, music, culture, rivers, mountains, surf.

Here a two piece orchestra (with riffs as an agricultural scientist/viticulturist/inventing/building type, art therapist, dance specialist), are slowly setting up an organic/permaculture inspired project on a jewel of a piece of land (see fotos - the diamond shape). The soil (a clay sandy mix), aspect, exposition and shelter are all beautiful - sadly the land had been neglected for 4 years so there is lots to do. Just entering the 6th year. We have been living on the land for over a year.
Planned work:

UPDATE - The veranda/hangar and water system are all but finished. The rest is general agriculture, along with the other projects below. Come and join in!

Market gardening setup and management, forest garden setup and management, a small copy of chinese pond agriculture to be setup, water management setup, small animal husbandry, composting.

Most weekends we shall be selling produce at local producers' market.

construction of cold frames, geodesic green houses, verandahs, compost dunnys, animal shelters, tracks and paths, ponds, etc

Apres work/Fun: Relaxing is important in the Bearn. The Departement - Pyrenees Atlantique - has the ocean and the surf beaches of Biarritz and Les Landes (1Hr); skiing(40Mins), walking and climbing the Pyrenees; swimming, rafting and landart creation in the rivers. When it is wet there is indoor climbing. If the weather is bad in France then it is usually better in Spain which is but a hop-skip-jump (1Hr - see foto of tapas - yum) away through the Somport Tunnel. The Bearn also has a food reputation and a number of Wine AOCs. Weary muscles can relax in my mobile sauna.

The routine is that there is no routine. We would suggest 5 hours per day. But then there will be days with no work done, others with more etc. We try to get the work out of the way early to have the afternoon for fun/adventures. Generally we slip the weekend i.e. work saturday but then take monday off in order to enjoy the mountains with less people. We are also happy to negotiate.

If you are fun, fit and have a sense of responsibility and humour please get in touch. Only people who have a positive, smiling attitude to their life need apply.

English, French, and a smattering of Spanish, Australian, Portuguese and kiSwahili spoken. WiFi available. If you have an appetite for TV you are likely to go hungry.



In your application email, please confirm if you have any allergies and food likes or dislikes as this enables me to shop accordingly.


Beware THE WORK WILL BE, in most instances, OUTDOORS, PHYSICAL and OCCASIONALLY MONOTONOUS. Please do not apply if you have a grumpy, moody personality or lack strength and motivation.


As one of us is a recovering smoker, non-smokers are preferred.


As a precaution, we ask to see, and to copy, your passport on arrival, we hope you understand and respect this, it's because helpers do live as part of the team and we need to ensure that we have taken every measure to ensure everyones' security, including other helpx helpers. If you are unwilling to share your details, we are unwilling to share with you. Please respect that this is for everyones' security.

Likewise, for our peace of mind, please also have available your health/accident/travel insurance certificate/document - for non europeans travel insurance is better as this saves costly calls to insurance providers.

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