help exchange   Host 4387
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Help Exchange

All Year: just about..!
Area (ha): 6.4
Persons: 1 to 3 +more/ tents
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 4387
Country: France

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Last Updated: May 27, 2020

Looks like the madnes of this virus of mass deception is calming down and wecan legaly take in people now, so :

Aloha everyone, I am Mark! AT THE MOMENT we are looking for people to help with our on-going Permaculture Design:
(Please read profile full so you know what you are getting yourself into, thank you ! )

We are "off grid" and ajusting to our new lifestyle, the listing is not complet but still gives you a good idea whats going on. We have an old satalite conection that we use once or twice a week with a generator that is in transformation from diesel to reused cooking oil..!
So slower replys to email so please be patient, thank you..!

Six years ago we got our hands on an old run down farm (from around 1780ish) with 16 acres of land, of which 4/5th is usable, the rest is good for the planting of trees.

I currently live here in my mobile home on a full time basis with my eight year old son Sirius who stays with us every other week. A cat by the name of Shere Khan, the hunter! (but super friendly). There is also about 20 sheep.

All the buildings need renovating and we have put priority into growing food to feed everyone who comes to help and excess food goes to the local community.
There is plenty of accomodation in the other 2 mobil homes and plenty of space for tents.
We are doing most of it on a shoe string with recycled materials, we do what we can with what we can get our hands on.. ! We will be starting on the buildings this summer (2020) when there is enough people with enough energy to get things mouving.

"The Green Bean will be a Working Permaculture Farm (one day soon) grounded in a vision of a Positive Future"….
(I like it, its coherent and it inspires me..!)

« a natural evolution from passive armchair ecologie to active co-creation.. »

Who am I...?
I`m Mark, I speak fluent English and French with a little knowledge of German and even smaller Spanish. I really need people who speak fluent english or french (we need to be able to comunicate well please..! ).
I have been an ecological militant for certain number of years...... I was in exile and have even been jailed..( life is full of surprises luckily:-)). I had a good shout, met some great people.
But eventually I got depressed and felt I was not making a difference (ok, I was expressing my anger while still being the victim).
After many diverse life experiences and a bit of research; on why are we here, what is our role.. etc… I decided to start to change my main focus: from "what i didn’t want" to that, "that i wanted". And that has started an ongoing process.. from which I feel much happier and healthier, constructive, creative and closer to nature….
( I say; « that is pretty cool » with a good feeling inside, as those moments are lived more and more often.... :-))

IN this transition period (the last 15 years) i have been occupied with promoting composting toilets, (mostly rentals with some construction). With over 1,830,000 people using our compost toilet`s along with the hundreds of events we did: shows, sports, expositions, markets, festivals… all types of events ( were people meet, drink and eat). This has been accomplished and now is the time to start new projects here at the farm.. !
I have put some info at the end about the compost toilets….

The Project

The old world is dying (I dont believe anyone can deny that anymore), so let it go gracefully, no need to hurry it up or even slow it down.
Lets create the world we want (history starts now), we all have our part of the new world that we want (our story) and at the Bean for me it is one of the many places to exchange that knowledge, to write our story and to create the world that we want with the tools we can share...
This is the new world, so let`s create it!

PRIORITYs at the moment:

*Gardening/Growing food for people who will be coming to work on any of the on-going projects. This is a priority! (Healthy food for healthy body + mind + ..?)
*Repairing the roofs and walls to be able to have a growing room or fruiting for the mycelium and different strands of mushrooms. (we have just about enough materialsto do it).
*The continual clearing of land (brambles etc.) We also harvest nettles as a crop as do many other plant to make fermented plant extract to heal other plants.
*Setting up a sloar panel installation. (we just need a regulator to jump from the 12V sytem to the 24V). We werre looking for an alternative to batteries, but have been provided with some upcycled ones for now until we can make an alternative. (probably a lake and pumps in the future to store energy).
*Modification of a diesel engine to run on filtered, recycled cooking oil + a HHO system or other possibilities.
*Even more water recouperation! We have 16,000 litres of storage space and soon another 12,000. We also looking for guttering.
*Digging a new channel to take water to and from the water tank.
*Prepairing the holes for the next tree plantation.
***We have all the pieces now to setup a solar shower so please, if you have done this before, come and share!

So anyone with that experience or has good life skills (handyman/woman), your help would be really useful...!!!

A big thank you for everyone who has helped this last while were we have filtered hundreds of litters of recycled cooking oil to run the generator this winter along with many many other jobs including the planted just over a thousand trees. AND a big thank you to the team of 6 that have just taken up all the barbed wire around the farm THANKS EVERYONE....!

Here at the Bean we are in the middle of a massive forest that stretches for miles. Within 30 seconds walk you are out in the hills and there is some beautiful country out there to be explored, every valley has its micro climate and its plants and wild life.

There is a third, and very shortly, a forth Mobile Home at the farm so i can put up more people and plenty of room for tents. There is starting to be more and more choice for accommodation and for more people as the project goes forward..! The cold season is still here so you will need warm cloths and your sleeping bag. With climate change we never realy know what is going to happen in the valley.. ! We are going more and more into extremity`s of different weather conditions so be prepared...!

I am eating mainly vegetarian (but not always), there`s plenty of veg in the garden and I am well know for my salad sauces..mmmm. If you have special needs or diet, please let me know before coming. I have nothing against people eating whatever they choose ( im not on a crusade ) nor do I have a problem with people drinking alcohol (BUT i dont want drunks), i must admit i dont like cigarette smoke ( i smoked myself for 35 years ) just not in my presence please, thank you.

Complimentry information:

People are asked to do there share of cooking and cleaning. Also helping sometimes with Sirius who is now 8 years old son (he is so cute)

There is an internet connection at the farm now ( a satalite connection ) it is limited.!!! It works well for everyone to check emails etc; please no streaming and downloading.

There is a 1€ bus from both Perpignan to Quillan (18,5km from here) and a 1€ bus from Carcassonne to Esperaza (14,5km from here). Ask me for timetables.

There are possibilitys of long term stay too.....!

I have a hyper sensitivity to unnaturel smells like : perfume, aftershave lotion and deoderants, Please during your stay do not use them, thank you. There are organic alternative ask Mark.

Oh yes, i am sorry to say NO DOGS please, thank you.!

Also, I feel it important to talk about how things are going and not let things build up, "we are all learning together" that might just be what the word « life » means (we are all learning together) .. Let it be healthy for both/all parties. And if someone wants to end the experience they should feel free to say without fear …

It is very exciting, theres is soon much to do, it gives lots of choice, never a dull moment...!
( check our the feedback )

I am looking for quite independent people with enquiring minds who are not afraid to work and have fun. People just looking for a place to crash/sleep it is elsewhere you will find it.

It is important for me to express clearly: That this is not a "community" as such. Yes, we are setting up an Working Permaculture Farm AND it is Me and my Sisters place and not a free for all..!
It feels strange having to write this, but/and, we have had quite a few people turn up just helping themselves to whatever they want and not asking for things..? I believe it may have something to do with the words "center and permaculture", some seem to think this has an automatic connection to community. Just because we are working to be free of the enslavement of the capitalist self-destructive society and want to invite a different future to the one it proposes for ourself`s and our children`s, does not mean that we are hippies or marginal extremists..!

If you feel you could help with any of these and other on-going projects please feel free to contact us, we need your help, thank you..!

Ok see you soon, safe travels whatever road you take....

Mark, Family and Friends

Compost Toilet info:
Using the compost toilet is about getting back into a healthy cycle and giving back to the earth" Humus" in the form of compost. That by putting humus back into the soil we help restore the bio-mass, what dose that mean: by putting large quantities of humus back into the soil raises the water holding capacity of the earth, thus a greener landscape that will draw clouds and create the opposite effect of that of desertification..! as well as benefits like; Raising the capacity of absorption of CO2 (carbon sinks) And putting non negligible sources of nitrogen potassium and phosphor back into the soil.

For More info ask Mark, Ok see you soon maybe.....

reviews (25)
Helper: Izabela Netto Pereira Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Brazil Date: September 21, 2018
Hope it's not too late! I had a really good time at Green Beans farm! Mark ha... view complete review

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Helper: Irene Pons Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: July 27, 2017
"The green bean" is a magic place! When you arrive there you feel peace, you ... view complete review

Helper: Jadie and Piers Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: July 15, 2017
Hi again, our second time with mark , we came down to say hi to all the lovel... view complete review

Helper: Pauline Seifert Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: March 5, 2017
I stayed with Mark for 2 weeks in October. It was an incredibly amazing, mind... view complete review

Helper: Jadie and Piers Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: November 25, 2016
We had a crazy and fun time with Mark at the Green Bean and with all the othe... view complete review

Helper: Patricia Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: November 9, 2016

Helper: Patricia and Maxim Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: November 9, 2016
I stayed two weeks with Mark. It was the first HelpX experience that I did on... view complete review

Helper: Thomas and Elodie Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: June 22, 2016
We stayed at the Green-bean with Mark and Sirius for 2 weeks. The life over t... view complete review

Helper: Roberto and Jorge Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: April 18, 2016
I didnt want to write anything, but maybe people thinking of going to Mark´s ... view complete review

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Helper: Cyrille and Sacha Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Belgium Date: December 6, 2015
We stayed at Mark's for two weeks and it was for us a really nice and interes... view complete review

Helper: Sylvie Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: July 30, 2015
Mark is an infectiously energetic host doing a lot of inspiring things in his... view complete review

Helper: Adam Fulton Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Ireland Date: May 27, 2015
My name is Adam, I'm 28 years old and I stayed with Mark Howie at the Green B... view complete review

Helper: Dillon G Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: April 12, 2015
Mark is a dedicated, inspiring craftsman with a sophisticated vision of the r... view complete review

Helper: Paul and Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: March 30, 2015
Mark was our first helpx experience and we stayed with him for a week in Janu... view complete review

Helper: Marie Couturier Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: February 10, 2015
I stayed with Mark around 8 days, was realy interesting! Mark is a nice and f... view complete review

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Helper: Rowan Howard Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: November 11, 2014
Mark is a real character, very funny very welcoming and a fountain of knowled... view complete review

Helper: Georgia and Jack Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: August 22, 2014
Staying with Mark has been one of the best help x experiences we have had so ... view complete review

Helper: Angela Luedke Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: May 24, 2014
One guarantee after staying with Mark is that you will leave healthier and mo... view complete review

Helper: Briain Walsh Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Ireland Date: March 28, 2014
Hello fellow travellers. This is for you as much as it is for Mark. So i stay... view complete review

Helper: Kata and Paul Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Hungary Date: March 17, 2014
Bad experience for us ...mark is moody, arrogant and selfish even if he claim... view complete review

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Helper: Ho Manchi Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Hong Kong Date: September 14, 2013
There're so many many things I would like to say but I don't know where to st... view complete review

Helper: Glen Alexander Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: March 26, 2013
I housesat for Mark while he was on vacation in Peru. Mark has a great s... view complete review

Helper: Alex Ardelean Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Romania Date: February 19, 2012
Mark is a very generous and optimistic person, with a very clear understandin... view complete review

Helper: Nick and Dee Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: December 30, 2011
What can we say, what a character. Had a fantastic time being taken on tours ... view complete review

Helper: Fabien TRISTAN Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: France Date: April 29, 2009
I stayed for over 1 week to his place and I can to tell you Mark he's a reall... view complete review

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