Hi helpers from the world! My name is Jean Luc! I`m 57 years old and Cathy ( my wife ) is too. We have a daughter who is 28 and a son who is 24, and they complete our family. We were born and have lived here in Saint Cernin as organic farmers for the last 30 years.
Please take a moment to watch this quick video to learn more about our farm!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7VL1G0g-YY or see it on our website
We are on HelpX and have been hosting volunteers since 2007 (11 years and counting!), not only because we need as many helping hands as we can get, but also because we love meeting diverse and intersting people. It`s very important for us to communicate with others about the danger of non-natural food, the disappearing of our trade (small, local farming), and share the joys and rewards of our magnificent occupation as organic farmers!
Our farm is located in the charming and quiet departement of Lot, in the southwestern region of France. Our farming practies are very diverse: we grow vegetables and fruits, and we have 3 donkeys, 4 cats and 2 dogs, too...
Volunteers help us in our farm with easy and small jobs like planting crops, working with seedlings, helping at local markets , giving foods to the animals, tending the garden, ect. The host season for 2017 will start around 20th of February and run until late October. In the early spring, the help will consist mostly in the cultivation of seedlings, then from April the sale of these in some nature-festivals organized by farms or smalls villages... (In addition, all around the year we go to the market once a week and twice in summertime). From now until mid June, it`s the right time to plant all our vegetables and corn so it`s ready by summertime, which is the best moment for crops.
You`ll share our life in discovering not only our work, but also our customs, like Occitan language, traditional dances, local food, and much more. During your stay , we offer you to join us in a "Bal" (a traditionnal dance meeting) held every week.
We are even able to communicate with you in English or in Spanish (or of course, French if you prefer!). Special welcome to Catalan`s people, whose language is quite close with our native language, Occitan). That being said, we prefer of course people who are able to converse at least a little bit with us in French.
Upon receiving your request, we will reply and will send you a more detailed file about our conditions of stay. In general, you just have to know that we ask four/five hours of daily assistance in the morning, most of the time and only from Monday to Friday (Saturday and Sunday are rest days). In the summertime, in case of incredibly hot days (above 35C°), of course we require your help earlier in the morning (7 to 10 am) and will continue a bit after 7 pm, so that way we avoid the hottest and most exhausting hours of the day.
Other important information: you will be accomodated in an independent studio that is both comfortable and well equipped (kitchen / living room + bathroom + bedroom) heated and near our home. From Monday to Friday, all lunches are eaten with Cathy, myself, and all other volunteerts in our home. Everyday, you have to prepare your own breakfast and dinners with the natural, organic ingredients we provide you.
Wi-fi is available on the farm!
Lastly, please note this important information:
1) I`ts not possible to receive you for time less than 14 days. In only one week, you can`t discover our country, and you`re not able to help us correctly.
2) Naturally, our preference is for people interested in our occupations, with an opening on the ecology and health of the healthiest life possible. That being said, we prefer happy, communicative and honest people, as sad and people trapped in their ideas and can bring others down!
3) The help on our farm concerns only farm activities and of course extra-free occupation on and out of the farm (we always help you to organize your activities and make sure that we`ll do our best). We want you to have the memory of a super stay for you and us alike.
4) Of course, Cathy can teach you basketry during spring and autumn time (during the summer, she works in a local museum where she explains all sights of the local and rural life of the country), but you have to pay for a minimum of 6 hours of training/day (50 euros is the discounted price for volunteers from our farm). But don`t worry; this is the only activity we would ask you to pay for, only because the training in basketry involves long hours and a lot of hard work! Visiting the museum is also a good way to discover this activity.
We hope meet you soon! Welcome in La Rivière!!!!
Please contact us for more information about us and the farm, the activities to do on and around the farm (bike, swim, dance...) Do not hesit to write us, we always do the best to reply you as soon as possible.
Of course your stay will be entirly free...no money will be ask for food, drink or accomodation. Thank you in advance!
Here are further details about the photos we posted below, in order from left to right:
1) Here you see by Phlox, one of our two male cats, doing a quality-check!
2) A photo taken at our LOCAL TRADITIONAL DANCE!
3) Jean Luc and Cathy , your hosts , do tourism sometimes too!!!
4) Here you see 2 of our 3 donkeys
5) Jean Luc, one of our previous volunteers named Wendy (from Taiwan) , and Cathy; photo taken in 2015.
6) A volunteer at the market (Maria-Carolina , from Italy).