The Gallery

WWOOFers who visited us in 2008



Camille came to us during January from the far north-east corner of France, close to the german border; which somehow explains why her excellent english came across with a german accent. She helped us with henhouse woodwork and maintenance, marking jam labels, and plastering of stone house-walls. She shared our leisure time in hiking the 'home' mountains together. Way long walks which scrambled up sunny meadows, tiptoed up into the snowline, and stumbled back through the dusky forest. Camille's presence was otherwise notable for music; the twist and lilt of many an Irish reel gaily coloring our home ambience.

Feedback from Camille
After many false warnings, Karlos appeared here in March. He was the first volunteer to bring a full toolkit, and he applied it enthusiastically to selected tasks, most significant of which was the mobile henhouse. Karlos is from the Navarre region of Spain, but he is equally at home in London where he often works. We hoped he might return, but after a long pause, we recieved surprise feedback from him in Brazil!

Feedback from Karlos
It was not easy to remember that Lachlan was Australian, since he spoke with a Norwegian accent; which should not have been surprising, since he'd just spent a year there, at Hammerfest inside the arctic circle. He helped us with an assortment of tasks around the garden and tree nursery. Our spring weather is not so hot, but in late March, he was pleased to shed a few layers of protection after the arctic cold.

Feedback from Lachlan
Fred Nicholas was an academic from Toulouse, with a mission: to research WWOOF. We refused his questionnaire, insisting that he stay and get his hands dirty, and by special dispensation, accepted his help here for just three days in May. He helped plant out veg crops, and install a barrier along the garden against the voles. A few months later, he sent us a copy of his epic thesis, a mere 214 pages long! For recreation, Fred enjoyed with us, running through the forest.

Feedback from Fred
Lyndal & Steve came to us from New Zealand's south island, where they had recently bought land. Progress there to date included planting over 500 trees, and implanting a stone circle! In working with us, they wanted to gather experience which would help develop their own venture, with specific interest in production of nuts and nut products, cheese, bread, olives, poultry and vegetables. T'was the month of May, when they helped us set up our market garden, notably the box bean poles, which were harvested from the forest.

Feedback from Lyndal & Steve
Having spent six years in Oregon, you might have labelled Jim anglo-american, but he was an English-man really. He'd been home recently, restoring an old windmill in Norfolk, where he lived on site without water or electricity. So, it was a luxury upgrade to come live with us in June! He helped us with our building; the preparation of block window-frames which must preceed installation of the windows. In his spare time Jim used his origami skills to fashion countless miniature cranes; he was also noted for a talent in juggling.

Feedback from Jim
Kate came to us from the USA, via a job in London. During her brief stay in July, she helped us with garden and veg production, among which, the first potato harvest of the year. Kate enjoyed living close to nature, and found that satisfaction in the time she spent in Izaut.

Feedback from Kate
Marjoleine also had a brief stay with us. She came to us from Montpellier, but was Dutch by birth and lived most of her life in New Zealand. Incredibly, it was boredom which prompted her move to France. That was some years back, and the itch now prompted her to investigate our corner of France. She was well familiar with principles of permaculture, and set about applying them in the mulching of our herb patch.

Feedback from Marjoleine
We had no need of a sound-recording engineer or indeed a pizza-chef here in August, but as Alex was fed up with those activities, it wasn't a problem! Instead, he looked after the hens, picked beans and beetroots and helped to prepare chutney and pesto for the market stall. Beetroot and basil were some of his favorites, so he profited from the glut we had of both items this summer. Outside of working hours, Alex hunted new photographic perspectives and proved himself an able rock-climber. Alex hails from South Australia, but came to us via casual work in Belfast and London.

Feedback from Alex
Kate was our first visitor from South Africa, Capetown in fact. She took a break from a career in neuro-science to visit Europe, and in September came to Izaut de l'Hotel. With us, she helped organise the hen fencing, made large batches of chutney, and proved her head for heights by re-pointing the tower wall up to 4m. The picture shows her in company of our neighbour Romain, with whom she visited the high Pyrenees. Kate climbed our local mountain solo (Pic du Cagire: 1912m), and broke the 10km limit during our forest runs.

Feedback from Kate
Chris came to us from a farming background in Massachusets, the States. So it was the more surprising to have him declare that he had never before eaten or indeed seen a beetroot! But he will never forget them now; beetroot grows well here, and often appear on the dining table. Furthermore, Chris helped construct and fill a winter store for our 200+ surplus beets. In his spare time, he pursued real photography, shooting with black and white film.

Feedback from Chris
No other visitor came to us from such a wild corner of the globe, and she came accompanied with equally wild stories. Her wildness was matched with toughness, as it must be when one lives in Canada's Yukon territory. Close to the arctic circle, daily life in winter means coping with temperatures down to -40 degC. Most locals however, have a house to retreat to; Trish was happy with a tent!

Chez nous, she planted onions and constructed partition walls in the new house. Being an earlier bird than all 150 of our hens, she naturally adapted to the daily routine of caring for them, which gave Karen a welcome break. We wish her luck with hoped for work in Sudan for Medecin Sans Frontiers.

Feedback from Trish