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St Hilaire du Harcouet
All Year: April - October
Area (ha): 4.5
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 7800
Country: France

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Last Updated: May 1, 2011

We are renovating a 17th century farmhouse in a beautiful part of rural Normandy. At the same time we are working on taming the land and hope one day to be completely self-sufficient. We raise kune kune pigs and sheep for meat. Last summer we introduced bees to the orchard and were delighted with our first harvest of honey.

Projects for 2011 include:-
1. Finishing the kitchen. We are building all the units ourselves from 100 year old oak.
2. design, lay out and planting of a formal herb garden for cullinary & medicinal purposes.
3. completion of construction of entrance extension to include a wet room suitable for the disabled. We are currently up to 1st floor height.
4. repair and cladding of animal accommodation.
5. rebuilding of stonework surrounding the well.
6. laying of patio and pathways.

In 2012 we plan to install an indoor solar heated swimming pool, get the wind turbine up and running again complete with computerised control panel and hopefully provide a shower & toilet block for campers.

We lead quite a peaceful but light hearted life, no tv/radio, though we do have dial-up internet facility, musical instruments, movie nights and ocassional impromptu sketches or recitals. There is always plenty to do and guests welcomed as part of the family and encouraged to muck in with general chores and offer 5 hours work daily 0800 - 1300 Mon - Fri either on the veggie patch, tending to the animals or helping with the renovation work. Harvesting & preserving continue throughout the growing season. A private caravan with fridge, tea & coffee making facilities is provided as sleeping and private quarters. There is a composting toilet in one of the barns and showers can be taken in the main house by prior arrangement. (Access to 1st floor is currently by ladder.) We can promise good food, good conversation and plenty of laughter. The use of a bicycle to explore the country lanes is offered. The views & sunsets are stunning here, zero light pollution so 3D stars at night!

We are on the Manche, Loire Valley & Brittany borders, just 5 mins drive from the market town of St Hilaire du Harcouet, 30mins from Mt St Michel and an hour from Rennes. Paris is about a 4 1/2 drive or accessible by train. The Normandy Landing beaches and Bayeaux are 1 1/2 hours away.

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