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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1
Persons: up to 4
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 38172
Country: France

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Last Updated: March 7, 2017

Come and join us in the remote countryside of the Creuse, Limousin France. The Limousin is known for its lush green countryside, dense woodland of Oak, Chestnut, Hazel, Maple and its wonderful fresh lakes, there is so much to see and do for those who love the outdoors. Horse riding, cycling, fishing, kayaking, Hiking, Rock climbing, Swimming in Natural Lakes and streams are just some of the things available locally to keep you entertained. The Limousin has a rich cultural History, the town of Aubusson is about 40 minutes away where the tapestry industry used to thrive and there are many medieval churches and chateaux to discover and explore locally. The small town of Evaux-Les-Bains has a Victorian Spa and thermal baths, as well as swimming pool.

A bit more about our place:

We live in a small hamlet, and are about 10 kms from Evaux Les bains, and about an hour south of Montlucon - our nearest train station with good connections to Paris and London.

We are in the process of completely renovating an old stone farmhouse, with natural materials - the last inhabitants were in the 50's and when we bought the house there had never been running water and just one electric lightbulb for the whole house! There is a large attached barn which we are converting to living space, the small house which we are now living in is on its way to being finished - with natural lime plaster floors and artisan carpentry throughout.

The house sits on a lovely piece of land, surrounded by fields and woods, with a small river down a lovely track to explore.

We are trying to remain as off grid as possible, without having to lime render by candlelight (which we did the first winter we were here – its incredible how accustomed to turning the light on you can be and how much you notice it when you cant!!!)

There is still no mains water, here - we have a well for the vegetable garden and rainwater catchment for washing and cleaning, we have a UV treatment for our rain water which removes 99.9% of bacteria and there are no known heavy metals in our water. The toilet here is a composting toilet. We installed the electric to the house two summers ago but ultimately would like to work on installing wind and solar electric once we get to that stage.

We can host you in our campervan, and in tents either in the garden or in the small wood behind us.

We enjoy food, and will be eating delicious fresh vegetables from the garden in the summer months. We aren’t vegetarians and eat a healthy well balanced diet. Food in the Limousin is a passion, the meat (Limousin Beef) is divine. Gardening and watering the garden happens at least every other day, there is always something that needs doing, and it is just so relaxing.

We have two children - they give us plenty of joy and are integral to why we are here.

We worked as a family of helpers 2 years ago and enjoyed the hospitality extended to us and wish to extend it to others wishing to share their lives.

Following are some of the projects we are working on, that will continue into the summer, if you are interested you can get involved in:

• Building a straw bale oak framed extension and terrace using natural plasters, local straw, and a lot of MUD.

• Continuing work on a Reed Bed grey water and sewage treatment station, this is a fascinating project, a system where grey water and sewage are drained into consecutive filtration beds to remove impurities. Firstly passing through a fat trap, then into the primary Reed Bed where aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms reduce contaminant of the effluent. The runoff continues to two more filtration beds and a fish pond before discharging to the environment as clean water.

• Building an insulating second skin of straw bale in the interior of the house, lime plastering and rendering

• Artisan Carpentry on the interior of the house

• Vegetable gardening

• Building cordwood shelters out of wood to host visitors – using firewood and mud/clay to build small sleeping structures for visitors up to 5M2.

• Continuing work on the treehouse

• Building a vertical garden attached to the pond and pond terracing

• Planting apple and pear trees

We worked as a family of work-awayers 2 years ago on some great projects. We now want to host workers ourselves. You are not obligated to work for us, there is no minimum work schedule, we wish to open up our home to interesting fun people, purely for the joy of sharing our lives and the sense of community. If you do choose to come and help us with gardening and building we will reward your time with delicious food, campfires and laughs and thanks. We will agree a workable schedule with you – ensuring we are both happy with the commitment. We get up early (kids!) but didn’t used to so totally get it if you are more of a nightowl!

Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.

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