Van Life

January 2018 has been the wettest January on record in France for 100 years. It’s also the second winter we have spent living in our caravan. What motivates you do even contemplate doing that, I hear you cry.

The Splendour Of Render

An account of the ups and downs, ins and outs of using lime render on our straw bale house.

You Put The Lime In The Coconut…

For the past month or so our lives have been consumed with making lime putty. Processing quicklime and turning it into lime putty, ready to be mixed with sand just before it goes onto the walls of our straw bale house as render/plaster.

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.

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.

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.

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 🙂…

All The Leaves Are Brown…

Les Vignes Basses has been a hive of activity over the past month. Between building projects, permaculture design courses, sub-zero temperatures and our first visitors, we’ve also been getting ready for spring and started teaching online again.