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help exchange   Host 19561
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Help Exchange

La Rochette
All Year: No
Area (ha): 0.4
Persons: 1-3
Category: Other
Host ID: 19561
Country: France

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Last Updated: August 23, 2013

Very small and rural homestead/smallholding with a large vegetable garden and small orchard and an assortment of outbuildings and annexes in various states of repair. I've been living here since 2010 with a couple of dogs, a couple of cats, a few chickens and a whole lot of homegrown produce. I need help (25 hours a week to be covered how you like) with general gardening duties - absolutely no experience necessary - keeping the small vineyard (150 vines) under control, picking fruit, weeding, mowing, digging, planting - whatever seasonal tasks are on the agenda. It could be pruning one week and picking cherries the next, or digging up carrots or planting a herb garden. It's very diverse! There's also a lot to be done on the house, including simple stuff like painting right the way through to helping me gut and refurbish the kitchen and bathroom. I have electric, but no television. The internet connection is superb, but in summer, the only reason to come inside is to escape the heat!

I don't offer stays outside of April-September because it gets cold here and there is not so much to be done outside the growing season.

In return for your work, you're welcome to guided tours of Cognac, Jarnac, Angouleme, La Rochefoucauld and the likes - wherever takes your fancy. There's a few lakes with beaches about 20 minutes away by car, though it's easily cyclable. The coast at Royan is about 2hrs away. Bordeaux is an hour on the train. There's lots of canoeing, lots of freshwater swimming, lots of outdoor pursuits and very little by way of a social life. It's an ideal place to work hard and then relax - it's what I do! I can give you French, Spanish, Portuguese or even Japanese lessons if you like. It's pot-to-plot in my house, so whatever comes out of the garden goes in the pot. It can be apple crumbles one week and grape jelly on a fresh baguette the next! Lots of outdoor living.

Angouleme, the nearest city, is 2hrs by TGV from Paris. I'm in between Limoges, Bordeaux and Poitiers. The Dordogne region is 30 minutes away and you won't find a better tour guide or someone to point out the best places to go if you want to explore by yourself.

I'm an experienced traveller myself, very easy going and very accommodating. You are free to go completely rustic and sleep in the cabin at the end of the garden, or to stay in the house with me. Jobs will be pretty much dependent on what you can do and what you're willing to do. I cook vegetarian and meat - not fussed about either - though there's usually a lot of French-style stuff on the menu, of course!

Having had a great helpx season in 2013, if anyone is interested in setting up a stay for 2014, feel free to get in touch!

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