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help exchange   Host 17003
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Help Exchange

All Year: March to mid-November
Area (ha): 2.5
Persons: 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 17003
Country: France

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Last Updated: July 23, 2018

We have been living in the Languedoc, in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, for nearly five years now. With the help of family and volunteers, we`ve been working to transform the property into an organic smallholding with small-scale holiday accommodation, and to move towards a sustainable way of living.

With two-and-a-half hectares of woodland, meadow, orchards and vegetable garden, as well as sheep, chickens, cats and guinea-pigs, there is always plenty to do.

We welcome volunteers from March until October, staying for 2 - 3 weeks. In the summer season we have a small number of paying guests, and really appreciate volunteer help to look after them, and to look after the grounds, the animals and the garden. Out of high season, there is project work to do - small-scale construction, decorating, gardening, woodland management and maintenance.

We welcome people with practical skills and ideas to undertake new projects, but out of season, enthusiasm and commitment are more important than particular skills. In season we welcome people who have experience of working in the accommodation business and customer service, and are also happy to help with gardening and animal feeding.

Our lovely village has a brasserie (the social centre of the village) and a restaurant, castle and swimming lake. It is in the High Valley of the Aude, surrounded by Cathar Castles, organic vineyards, beautiful walks, rivers and lakes with kayaking and water-sports. We are about 45km from Carcassonne airport and the TGV line to Paris/Lille, or 60km from Perpignan for trains to Spain; both have good (€1 per journey) transport connections to Quillan - our nearest town.

If you’re happy to help us with the animals, the guests, the garden and orchard, and the grounds, then we can offer a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and plentiful vegetarian food in beautiful surroundings in exchange for 5 hours` work a day (two days a week free). We are looking for people who are happy to work in more than one area - and on some days we will need everyone to pitch in with important tasks. For some tasks we will work alongside you, but for others you will need to be self-directed.

We have space for two helpers, and invite people to stay for two to three weeks. Accommodation will be in the main house in spring and autumn, and in the summer season in a cosy brick-built cabin which has 2 comfortable bunk beds and electricity (and heating), and full access to the main house for showers, wifi etc.

If you would like to join us, please let us know why you would like to stay with us, and what relevant experience/skills/enthusiasm you can bring to share. We look forward to hearing from you!

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