All Year: Yes
Area (ha): approx 3 hectares
Persons: 1-6 include families
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 6899
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Last Updated: November 27, 2014
****There is a semi permanent position available for a cleaner/ housekeeper and general second me!! and a semi permanent position for a gardener/and or DIY person as children, garden, house, animals, renovation = one very tired, grey, and prone to outbursts of drooling, lunatic, lady and bearded collapsed Frenchman! We dont have a tractor, so everything is done the old fashioned way, by hand with tools! ie splitting wood with a sledgehammer and wedge, clearing brambles with scythe etc
If you have not the time to read the whole description, here is a summary of the jobs we need help with right now. *WEB DESIGN * CHOPPING TREES, MAKING, STACKING, MOVING, LOGS * CLEARING FENCE LINES AND FENCING PADDOCKS * CLEARING FERNS, BRACKEN, BRAMBLES *HARVESTING * PICKLING * PRESERVES * GATHERING BERRIES, NUTS * STORING PRODUCE * PLANTING FOR WINTER * GARDEN MAINTENANCE * BUILDING A PALLET WALL, CEILING, FLOOR * MAKING A WOODEN SHOE RACK IN ALCOVE, A SHELF, DESIGNING A RACK TO FIT SHEET MUSIC IN * CLEANING * CHILDMINDING, COLLECTING, ENTERTAINING ** More pictures available of farm on blog link above**
Below this is a complete and comprehensive description of expectations and information, which we will assume you have read and agree to if you arrive.
Hello, I live in a Beautiful rural location with my children and partner, in a small hamlet with quiet town half hour walk away, 10mins by bike if you are fit or half an hour if you're like me, preferably with an ambulance following. The hamlet is considered a luxury hamlet because it is on the direct walking path of the old Roman Road and contains the watering holes recently restored. The name apparently derives from latin for road. It doesnt look luxurious! but the walkway takes you past the sacrificial stone. There are many beautiful areas around for walking or riding. The town has 3 watering holes, 2 restaurants, dentist, supermarket, hairdressers, doctor, 2 churches, bakery, 2 newsagents, physiotherapist,to name a few, but it is quiet. There is a local tourist hotspot nearby Lac de St Pardoux 15mins by car 30mins bike. You can learn watersports, ramble, cycle around a huge lake, loads of beaches, childs climbing frames, restaurant or quiet little spots hidden away by the water.
Household speaks English/ French AND would love to learn German. But any nationality welcome, even if I cant understand there is always pictionary and flapping my hands around in a vain attempt to produce flight. Sadly now I only have 1 dog, (who wets himself and pretends to be deaf he is 15) 1 cat and 1 horse, chickens and ducks, so there are animals to care for. We need help with and a huge renovation project with very limited income and non-existant budget. We re-use, up cycle, recycle anything we are given or that other people throw away. We are looking for people to help us move forward and continue on with a dream. People with horse experience welcomed (as they need some education) but animal friendly essential and child tolerant ;). Also this farm takes physical hard work, if you only want to amble about or sit on a computer, this is not the place for you.
House : Help required with general day to day life in the house, cleaning, washing, bringing in wood, children. Cleaning is one of the most important aspects I need help with in the house, as it frees me up to do everything else. If you do not like cleaning or are not prepared to help with this, you must specify in your application please so no confusion on either side. The house is large and EVERYDAY (not on days off)the whole of the downstairs is hoovered and the kitchen is cleaned and disinfected after breakfast and mopped. This normally takes an half to one hour depending on your work ethic and speed. On a Monday and Friday the whole house is dusted and hoovered and the bathrooms disinfected this normally takes approx 3 hours.
Animals:Horses (which can be ridden if helper has insurance for this), grooming PLANS :Building a field shelter (finished) and building a feeder. Chickens clearing out pens, feeding watering collecting eggs, expantion of new pen. Building a Quail house, Building a duck house on island in lake.
Gardening/Organic Veggie Patch :Various, depends on time of year as to what is required, clearing , weeding, digging, sowing, maintenance, watering, cropping. New patch planned for this year and building a potting shed and tunnel. We also practise the no dig option of planting to see if this cuts down the bugs and backbreaking work. Now looking into the square inch method so raised bed building needs to commence (finished) GARDENERS NEEDED >to help keep the garden under control!!
Business:*** URGENT HELP WITH WEB DESIGN NEEDED due to cancellation. We are developing and launching a range of vegetarian and vegan food to be sold in France. We are in desperate need of anyone with IT skills in web design, marketing, advertising, packaging etc.
Renovation/Projects : Intended for this year, extending the patio encorporating a gazebo, laying a swimming pool base, building a second kitchen, building a storeroom (finished feb 14), making shelves, makng doors, clearing 2 huge diseased trees and cutting into logs, reroofing greenhouse (finished feb 14)enclosing the greenhouse with glass (finished april 14), shelving greenhouse (finished april 14)extending the hen enclosure, building a block wall (laughing hysterically now) making shelves, laying a concrete base for second kitchen (finished mar 14) laying a base for library (finished mar 14)building walls in library (out of pallets), making a staircase (pallets)oh and yes if anyone knows how to design and build a kids multipurpose climbing frame. Building boxes for boxed,raised veggie plot. Outfitting a second bathroom, plumbing, tiling (URGENT). Mending shower in family bathroom (finished july14) Creating a fire pit (finished June 14) Putting in a second downstairs toilet. Starting a hive, as would love to get some bees. Moving the utility room. Chopping, storing and moving wood. Obviously this is a rolling list and some of these things have been 'to do' for 10 years, so if you see something that you think you can do that would be fantastic.
Food:Vegetarian/ Vegan or Wheat Free if specified please on confirmation letter, so first meal is catered for: We Provide 3 meals a day or if we are not here to cook, provisions will be left for a meal. Organic garden produce when in season and whenever possible. Breakfast, lunch (sometimes just bread and cheese, or sandwiches if working in the fields) and dinner. *If* you eat like a horse and require double size portions I would ask for 20euros a week towards your food. Detox diet, low cholesterol, fasting or juicing diet catered for (juicing diets will be charged at 25-35 euros a week depending on how many meals are replaced , as the quantity of veggies and fruit is multiplied by 3-5 x ) WE ARE STATING CLEARLY: Please do not help yourself to the contents of pantry, cupboards, we work to a self sustainable lifestyle, hence the budget is worked out to the cent/penny. What is on the table is what is offered, and is generous. IF YOU NEED MORE then supply it yourself, we cannot let one person have what we cant give another, and extra luxuries go to our children first. If you have a special diet or a special want then please state this. Although we use soja milk, we cannot provide soja milk to all our helpxers as it is very expensive, if you want this then please contribute. Cow milk is available. No food is kept upstairs please, space is provided downstairs, due to trying to control furry critters. Please do not bring any animal or fish products into our home.
House :We live simply, family orientated, Vegetarian,Non smoking house, but there is a barn or garden :D You are free to sit in with us in the evenings or we have a playroom, so when the kids are in bed it is a separate little lounge with a fire and tv (huge collection of dvds). There is also a TV and dvd player in the attic just for helpers) We ask for 2 evenings a week to have the sitting room to ourselves, to catch up and sort out personal things, this usually happens at a weekend. Looking for helpers that want to enjoy a bit of peace as there is no hustle and bustle! Although we have broadband ! and Wifi, this can be provided, if not abused! own laptop is handy, but there is an old one to borrow thats up to checking facebook and emails. IF YOU WANT TO SIT ON your laptop or phone etc all evening or on a day off, and stare into a screen and not join in with the real world, we would kindly ask you to sit in the dining room, playroom, or bedroom, this is non negotiable (the signal is adequate in the dining room for any need and if skype etc is required then just ask)as we find it detrimental to our limited time to relax and socialise. Its just not easy to feel comfortable with half a human in the room, we feel its akin to Bicentennial Man on charge in the corner... a wee bit creepy. If you need to work however and this is part of a pre arranged agreement then we are flexible as to hours/ needs just be open and honest before you come. Facebook, twitter etc does not usually come under work banner, nice try but no £200 for passing go!Free landline calls to Britain/ France/ Europe. There are 2 adult bikes available to borrow and a selection of child bikes. Also the possibility of a car, when we find a battery. You supply the fuel. The policy here is if you break it , you mend it. All transport modes are old but we dont throw things away if they look tatty, (otherwise the outlook would be grim indeed for me!) We have a piano, range of guitars, flute and sax at the house and welcome musicians too! We are both creative people and enjoy meeting other creative minds too, and hopefully learning new skills. I love drawing and my medium of choice is pencil, so any artist out there that can help me improve... come here!
Expectation: Unfortunately due to a bad experience on helpx we now feel it necessary to ask for 6 hours a day with 2 days off. But if you are a workaholic, feel free to keep going!! If most of the work is done in the morning, then that leaves the afternoon free too. We are extremely flexible but this should work both ways! and have found our gentle approach and nature has been severly taken advantage of. Sometimes a certain project needs to be finished and cant be left hanging in the air overnight, or it creates more work , if extra is worked then less will be expected at another time. We do not like to watch the clock as that makes for a bad experience, and we dont expect to have a helper throw their tools on the ground after 2 hours either, we ask our helpers to be self motivated and control there own time management as we are too busy. Usually days off will be on a Sat/ Sun unless otherwise asked for , or due to trips etc If something happens and you end up having days and days off it would be a nice gesture to make up the time or at least offer lol. Sometimes we have multiple helpers, please ask host if you are unsure of anything. We pop into the cities very regularly and always offer to take our helpxers or drop them off for the day when we can, usually once a week. We ask for a minimum stay of 14 days as anything smaller is too disruptive to the family.
If the dates you want seem taken, please email me, to check for a cancellation or alternative accomodation. Please say clearly if you do not want to share a room with other helpers. For example if we have 2 beds taken by females in the attic we would fill the 3rd bed with another lady before filling the other rooms.
Accomodation: Single bedroom: short or long stay
Single bed in shared room (female only) short or long stay
Double bedroom: short stay. 1-3 weeks. Big enough to be a triple or family (old fashioned cot bed available suits non standing baby or 3year-5year, travel cot also available)
Attic space: Needs new floor laid, (next project) More a space for travellers, single matresses on futons, double available, tv and dvd player and chairs to sit. Warm in summer and breezy...cold in autumn, brrrrr winter, brrr cold spring, but warmer than a tent and dryer!(although we have a fire to go in, that is another project) so nobody that needs extra comforts other than a clean open space and comfy clean bed. can easily sleep 4.
Double sofa bed: this is available, but situated in playroom.
Tents: Warm months only, unless you are insane. We have a small lake in the back field which is fenced in from the horse, although your neighbour will be a duck. Beautiful and idyllic in summer with all the flowers out and a warm breeze. Room to pitch 2 tents. (There is a 2man tent available to borrow, if you pitch it, clean it and pack it after use) The lake is stocked with fish, so fishing possible BARBLESS hooks only, no lead and not to eat. Safe to swim in too just ask my chidren and dog.
Airport/Getting here: Our nearest airport is Limoges: The nearest train station is La Souterraine, from Limoge this is about 14euros we can collect you from either the station or the airport but we would ask for 10euros per journey to go towards the fuel, to be paid on collection at station so we can refuel! we mainly run on biofuel, so for long journeys it is a necessity to ask for a contribution. A taxi service runs here of course but thats usually between 50- 80 euros, the cheapest tariff is 90 cents a kilometer up to 2.50 a kilometer. There is a bus also to the nearest town but it only goes once a day and it may only be the cost of an egg and a few marbles, but it is extremely unreliable and helpers have been waiting for it all day only to find it has been cancelled with no notice! Hitchhiking isnt recommended as it seems to be a custom to drive here while lodged in the back of another car, so this wouldnt allow you to be seen.
Workclothes: Wellies in winter or workboots, crocks or wellies in summer for garden, (selection of gardening shoes available) strong shoes/ boots if helping with construction, or there are plasters and a trip to the hospital) Cotton gardening gloves provided, and sturdy working gloves, but if you want something sturdy or have a special need please provide your own.
As a precaution, I would like to see a scanned and emailed copy of your passport (or official ID)before you set off on your journey here AND when you arrive I would like to see the original passport /ID and valid travel/health insurance. I hope you understand and respect this, it's because you do live as part of my family with young children about and we need to know that we have taken every measure to ensure everyones security, including our other helpx helpers.
If you turn out to be lazy, grumpy, cruel, deranged, nasty weird (not weird weird, or funny weird as you,ll fit in)on the run, or take advantage of being a guest in the home you will be asked to leave. Sadly have to add, if you intend to eavesdrop on private conversation and then argue with your host about contents, then you will also be asked to leave. Personal boundaries should be respected, this includes if my partner and I are discussing issues together, alone in a separate room, then this is to be treated as a private conversation. I am honest and trustworthy, kind and compassionate and would ask the same from my helpers.
Oh and a call out to anyone that does yoga/pilates, I need help to learn as everything hurts when I move and I feel as if my knees are sewn on backwards, we both walk around like extras out of The Dark Crystal.
If you ask for a space and its offered, reply with a yay or nay ASAP.
Perhaps I am old and crotchety and I am in danger of smelling of moth balls, but if I dont get a reply but can see you are messaging or spamming lots of other hosts the room will be offered to someone else. I really need help, not to be sitting pointlessly messaging people that have no intention of coming but are getting the travel 'experience' from the comfort of the sofa with a laptop. grumble grumble ;)