We have a small (new) permaculture farm in central-southern France, which is a work-in-progress, as are the farm buildings. Our daughter Everleigh has just turned one, so we are looking for a few extra pairs of hands to help with the renovation work, farm work, babysitting and helping around the house. We are located about 20 minutes from Tulle, the nearest town, and the nearest bakery is about 4km away. We are in the department of Correze, which is known as the "Green Country"; there are lots of trees and the countryside is undulating - very scenic for cycling and walking/running, which suits us as we are keen trail runners and triathletes. There are also lakes nearby which we often visit to swim.
We speak English (native), Japanese (native and near-native), French (near-native and intermediate) and Spanish (beginner), so guests could practise any of these languages. Packers would also have the opportunity to learn about renovation and/or permaculture, and spend time in a lovely part of France. On our farm we grow raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries (plants are only in their early stages) and most fruit and vegetables that are compatible with our climate. This year we are also starting to raise chickens and bees. We have a dog; Bruce (German Shepherd), who is very friendly.
We are not looking for people who are necessarily experts (we are certainly not experts ourselves), but people who are interested in our project, able to think on their feet, and willing to get in and give a hand, whatever the task may be. Possible tasks may include: eco-renovation of an old stone building, mulching, weeding, brushcutting, collecting firewood, and general help around the house. We expect volunteers to help us 4-5 hours per day.
We also try to have one person who can take care of Everleigh for a couple of hours a day, and help with housework. This person should have some experience in looking after babies, and be happy with not using their electronic devices whilst babysitting.
We have chickens, ducks and bees, so volunteers will be able to help and learn about keeping these animals during their stay.
We try to be flexible with working hours and trust our packers to keep an eye on their own working hours, and expect our worldpackers to also be flexible and punctual.
The old stone farmhouse we live in is quite basic. Depending on the number of volunteers we have at the time, travelers will stay in one of the bedrooms in the house or in a tent in a barn loft (we provide proper mattresses). We only accommodate worldpackers in the tents from April to October. As there are only two bedrooms in the house, you may have to share the room depending on the number of packers who are staying here. Please let us know if this is a problem and we will try to find a solution for you.
We have mountain bikes that worldpackers can borrow to discover the surrounding countryside. There are also pleasant walks in the area. We are both part-time translators so worldpackers will have time off while we are working. We are an easy-going couple but we do work quite hard.
In terms of meals, we have found that it works best both for us and volunteers if we have a balance between eating together and separately. This way, we have the opportunity to get to know each other, and the workwayers also get some time to themselves to get to know the other worldpackers or just to chill out. We eat together around three evenings a week (on weekdays), and for the rest of the time, we provide worldpackers with food they are free to use.