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Orthez
All Year: no
Area (ha): 6 hectares
Persons: 3-4
Category: Other
Host ID: 93257
Country: France

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Last Updated: August 13, 2019

This is a guesthouse, cottage, organic permaculture garden, cat hotel, latino dance teacher... welcome to our family micro farm!
We are a family of 5: Christine(62), Flo(56), Mona(33), Chris(37) & Ayla(5) in 2019.
Christine lived in Bretagne, Haute-Savoie and then Marseille before starting the farm project. She is Chris's mother, is a nurse and cooking is her passion. In the team she is the cook and baker.

Flo lived in Reims, Paris and Marseille. She worked as a photograph during 16 years for Marseilles marins-pompiers (coast firefighters). She love cats, and she is the one in charge of the cat hotel. Christine & Flo are the ones who make most of the work with the guest house.
Mona is from Norway (Oslo). She has a bachelor in development studies and passed some of her study time in Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua. She has a big passion for dancing and with Chris she`s giving courses in Salsa and Bachata.

Chris left France after he got his interior designer degree. At the age of 22, he took a bicycle and went discover the world during 10 years (7 years on his bike). Mona and Chris met in Mexico. After 3 years of travel they made one year of volunteering through Portugal, Spain and France, aiming mostly permaculture places. They were thinking about creating a permaculture farm and voluntary work gave them the opportunity to see how it was working in different places. They learned a lot and saw that they were made for it. They are now the gardeners in our farm.

This is a permaculture farm, a guest house and a cat hotel, situated in the South West France (Pyrénées Atlantique). We started up this family project in 2013. The guesthouse is consisting of a bed & breakfast with 4 rooms, and a cottage that is rented out on a weekly basis. We keep open the whole year around but we have more guests in the summertime. In the garden we are following permaculture principles and we have 6 hectares of land to develop our project. We are not using big machines so it takes some time. We have one area with vegetables and small fruits where a lot of the production is on raised beds, and one fruit forest area that we started two years ago. Most of the garden production are used by ourselves, fresh or made into conserves. When we have a surplus we are selling baskets. We have several animals: chickens, pig, 2 goats, 2 sheep, ducks, cats and dogs.

Depending on different seasons during the year we need help with different tasks:

In the guesthouse:
- All year around – cleaning the guest rooms, cleaning the communal area and the cottage, cooking, baking bread, garden products into conserves (jams, chutney etc.) or drying herbs, house maintenance, hanging up clothes and sheets to dry, empty dishwasher.
- During high season its more of everything (cleaning, garden products etc) and less maintenance work. The opposite in low season.

In the garden:
- Spring: planting seeds, transplanting (if ready)
- Summer: planting seeds, transplanting, harvesting
- Autumn: planting seeds, transplanting, harvesting, raking leaf and collecting materials for mulch, compost and lasagna beds, making new raised beds.
- Winter: planting trees, raking leaf and collecting materials for mulch, compost and lasagna beds, making new raised beds
- All seasons: maintenance of the cultivated areas – weeding and mulching, cutting and raking grass, watering when necessary.Taking care of the animals: feeding routine, cleaning, maintenance of the parks.
! be aware that most of the “all season tasks” needs to be done regularly, so it can often be repeated !

We have 3 caravans.
If we have place in low season (winter), we can also receive people in the guest house.
We are also welcoming helpers staying in tents or vehicles.
Communal shower inside the house. Dry toilet.

We are looking for helpers that are independent, polyvalent, motivated and interested in our project.
To know that we have a 1 week trial, then discuss if both parts are happy.

what you can expect from helping on our farm:
- 5 hours of help per day, 5 days a week.
- 3 meals per day - Breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you know you need more than this you provide it yourself).
- everybody is helping with the daily chores like, setting the table, helping with the food, cleaning of the table and making the dishes after eating, emptying the dishwasher, help keeping the place clean and tidy, emptying the dry toilet etc.. This is a part of daily community life and is not counted as a part of the 5 hours of work per day.
-we are working on making a space for helpers to be more independent, so be aware of (when this space is created) that most meals and social time will be spent with other helpers or alone.
- varied tasks, in the garden and the guesthouse. Depending on the season … and hopefully some nice conversations and some good time :)

What to bring: if you have, boots for outside work and for rainy days, and clothes that can be dirty.

We have a small river on our land. Orthez the main city (11,000 people) is about 4km away. We are situated 80km from the Atlantic ocean (Biarritz, Bayonne) and 80km from the Pyrenees mountains.

We hope to see you soon, have a nice Helpx experience :)

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