Making A Crust

Since our move to France, the most commonly asked question is “How are you making money/a living/ends meet?”. For all those budding homesteaders or people wishing to live their dream but who are worried about their modus operandi abroad, I thought I would share our experiences of not only making ends meet but actually saving to build a house.

No Dig Gardening: Veggie Raised Beds – Year One

It was spring 2016, and into the vast world of growing veggies we plunged….

Dechen Chöling – Yoga & Writing

When an experience is so fundamental it is difficult to express the process, let alone the feelings in words. But that’s what I’m going to try and do. Rare time focused on cultivating consciousness, mindfulness, awareness; call it what you will, it was very precious.

Rubber Rings & Stoney Things

Tyres and gravel have been a consistent theme at Les Vignes Basses over the last few weeks. With a lot of help from our friends, many bad backs and copious amounts of alcofrol (surprisingly, it has come out level!), we have completed the rammed tyre foundations and the structural box beam.

The Mountains Are Calling…

Two weeks work in the Pyrenees is just too perfect. Working with Collett’s Mountain Holidays is such a highlight, allowing us to be in great places and meet such interesting people. We had a magnificent time with fabulous friends and guests, excellent walks and brilliant weather. Panticosa is always a delight to return to and…

Compost Toilet – Humanure

A major part of Permaculture is using what is naturally around you with a keen eye on reducing all waste and producing what you need sustainably. This post might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the aim is to highlight an under-talked about issue in the Western world; HUMANURE.

Snowy Scenes And Perfect Peñas In The Pyrenees

“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” – Anatoli Boukreev A week or so after the training was completed in the Picos De Europa, the Collett’s team for the Pyrenees arrived into Panticosa to begin their training period. In an area that…

Pristine Peaks in the Picos De Europa

Last month’s unexpected and awesome jaunt in the Dolomites has been closely followed by the training of the new Collett‘s staff in their two Spanish resorts; the Picos De Europa and the Pyrenees. First up was the Picos. A bit of an unsung hero in the mountain world- probably due to its lack of skiing…

Spring Has Sprung

It’s Mayday soon and spring has really sprung here at Les Vignes Basses. Despite an odd cold snap, the plants and trees are blooming and everything is turning a lush shade of green. We’ve been busy bees planting out seedlings as well as spring cleaning (and fixing) the caravan in preparation for summertime visitors 🙂…

Delightful Days in the Dolomites

After feeling pretty cold and damp in the caravan, it took us a mere nano-second to jump at the opportunity to do some cover work with, what feels like our old family, Collett’s Mountain Holidays in the Italian Dolomites. Not that we are particularly keen for injuries during the winter season, I know how disappointing this…

Permis De Construire – Planning Permission (yawn!)

To realise our dream of building a straw bale house, our first port of call is the local town hall or “Mairie”. Although the land came with outline planning permission for two dwellings, we still have to submit our designs and have them approved by the powers that be – all hail the planners 😉…