Monday, 8 July 2013

Maisons de Paysannes de France

Roughly translated as 'Houses of peasants of France'.  An association whose concern is to preserve historic houses.  There are a mountain of associations in France - their British equivalent?  The charity?  I came across this one last year when I was looking to get experience in ecoconstruction in preparation for doing up my house.  They run practical courses at people's properties on a range of subjects from thatching rooves to lime rendering walls.  Together with Monsieur Daniel Herbert, the local representative, we organised a 'torchis' (wattle and daub) course in June this year at my house which I feel was a roaring success.  An eclectic and charming mixture of people turned up including a teenager who discovered a passion for flinging mud at walls, a young wwoofer from Spain and some very tall Dutch men.  They applied the mud and straw torchis mix to the walls with great energy and enthusiasm and managed to do in a morning what we had imagined would take all day.

Above:  Treading the clay earth and hay

Above:  The tall Dutch men and a lady prepare to apply the torchis to the wall.

Above:  Applying the torchis to the wall.

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