I should be very happy to have a helper from 26th november until shortly before christmas or even from 29th october until 14th november. What work has to be done? Well, first of all the ducks and geese need food and they like to have their place cleaned. Most of autumn work has been finished, but there may still be a hut that has to be cleaned. If the weather is agreeable, a look into the vegetable plot would not harm. There are still leaves to be swept together, and if the weather is too bad or if the outside work is finished, there is still some renovation to be done. The wood of our miellerie has worked and has come apart in places and so it has to be redone. And the renovations of the baking house are not quite finished. Then the entrance has to be done up nicely. But don't worry, we just do one thing after the other.
My house is right out in the country, 375km south of Paris, 150km north of Lyon. The nearest small town with a super market is 12 km away, though there is a small store in the village, if one forgets something. I try to show helpers around, to see something of the area. Unfortunately there is no public transport. Summers are quite hot. In winter we rarely have snow, though it can get well below zero. A bicycle is available. ..........
Many of my geese and ducks walk around freely in the garden. In fact, three geese "tête barré" follow me around. They have adopted me as their mother, as they hatched in the incubator.
Who am I? I am Swiss but I live in France since 2002. I am still very fit, though I am not young any more. I have a small farm house- I do have someone who comes in the afternoons to help with the heavy work.
I raise geese, ducks, pheasants, all for pleasure not for eating. Some of them are quite special and rare. I also have some cattle, Scottish Highland or Kyloe. They are all very tame. 4 cats and 2 dwarf goats make up the rest of the team.
Work is very varied, helping with the animals, planting, weeding, helping with preparing wood or renovating jobs. In fact there is never a dull moment. And if I find somebody who knows how to prune my trees, he would be very welcome.
Just over a year ago my partner died. Since then I have tried to continue as before, with the permanent helper we have had already for the last three years. Today I must say, it just is getting too much for me. But how to cut down? I love working with the birds. Before it was my partner who knew everything about them, but in the meantime I have learnt a lot. As long as I have some helpers from helpX I manage quite well. I do hope to continue finding someone. I definitely would not like to give up. And it is not only the help I miss, but also the company, I had such good times with my helpers, exchanging experiences, talking and laughing together.
I can accommodate helpers practically all the year through. I like helpers to stay for at least 2-3 weeks, as it takes some time to know the different work. And of course I have to explain everything again to each newcomer. I was lucky to have one helper staying for 5 months (with her small daughter) and another one stayed for 4 months. But short timers are welcome too.