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help exchange   Host 45661
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All Year: apart from winter months
Area (ha): 1.2 ha
Persons: 1,2,3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 45661
Country: France

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Last Updated: October 30, 2017

hi :)
see below for our profile on the french wwoof website. some extra info: paul is an 'artisan du batiment'.in his case this means he is an allround renovator (insulation, plumbing, masonry, electricity, bathrooms, etc).i have always been active in building and renovation projects too. my official qualifications are in massage therapy,and in Drama and ESOL english teaching. since 2013 i am registered as a small agricultural business (with numéro SIRET)

Bonjour, nous parlons français et anglais ici. Voici notre profile en anglais:

Paul (francophone) and me, Marjolein (anglophone), settled on this 1.2HA property, with several abandoned buildings in September 2011. We are in the Lot, just 1 km from Teyssieu (46190). Paul is French, and an 'artisan du batiment'. I have lived in Holland, England, Wales, and New Zealand before moving to France in 2005. My jobs and activities have been varied. We are both from 1960. And we each have 3 grown-up children who live elsewhere in France and around the globe.

Our mottos are: explore and observe, simplicity rather than consumerism, diversity rather than monoculture, and not taking ourselves too seriously!

Paul often works for customers in the area (redoing their bathroom, insulating their roof, etc etc). I run the land project at home. I love it, and have plenty of knowledge to share.

During our 6 years here, we have come a long way in renovating the buildings. The house and the barn are now fully functional. And we now have the luxery of: water, electricity, telephone and the internet. We have composting toilets, and a reed bed for grey water (from shower and kitchen).

I have planted large quantities of berry fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gojis etc), aromatic plants, basket willow, fruit and nut trees, and many flowering plants. By and by things are starting to crop. Selling the surplus (fresh, frozen, or processed) is coming along. We are still working on a website.

2017 has seen the arrival of several beehives. I would still like to create a big pond for edible fish, and to keep pigs in our woods, one day... Dreams are free!

Re wwoofing: I sometimes had wwoofers working with me in New Zealand, and I have worked as a wwoofer myself during my early days in France. Sometimes it works really well. Other times the host, or the wwoofer, is disappointed. It's best to be realistic, to communicate your needs, to be flexible, and to joke and tease a little!

A first week will serve to get to know each other and the work. You're welcome to stay longer if we're all happy to continue. It happens that people stay for up to 5 weeks. But that is about our limit with the same wwoofer. Unless you're that wonder person all hosts dream of ;)

For us it is critical that you are: 20 or older, active, have basic practical skills, love the land and are interested in a wide range of activities. If you speak French, that's a bonus as Paul's english is limited. Activities include all land and gardening work, and maintenance and renovation jobs. Many wwoofers ask what their main job will be. The answer is: it depends on your skills, and how you work! And of course on the season, the weather, the current projects etc etc.

Extra activities that we may do together or that you could do in your free time, are: making soothing skin balm, tapping birch sap, making a willow basket, drying herbs, making fruitleather, experience making essential oil (with alambic of 75 litres), and making use of our collection of books and films.

Remember it will not be a holiday! More like an allround learning opportunity. The activities are often physically demanding. At the end of your (5 hour) working day (5 days per week) you will probably be tired, but hopefully filled with new information and inspiration. Some cooking or doing the dishes is also part of the package. In exchange, you will have a sound bed in one of the 2 caravans, a hot shower, plenty of good (mostly organic) food, a bike to use, wifi access in/around the main house, a beautiful view, our minds to pick and our experience to draw from.

We will always write back quickly to your request. Please treat us with courtesy too.

All the best and see you soon! Marjolein and Paul

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