On the farm in Aveyron

A few kilometres down the road from Coupiac, a small village with one bar, one shop and a chateau, organic farm Lapaloup sits on a hill with a view of the rural Aveyron countryside.



Dutch couple Jean-Lou and Rosette own the farm, and it’s also home to a handful of friends and people who have come to take part in farm life. At the moment there are six of us; Jean-Lou hopes to build a community here to live off of the land, and has plans for renewable energy and eco-building projects to teach people how to go away and do it themselves.

The farm is fully organic, with AB (Agriculture Bio, the French standard) certification as well as Natur&Progres (stricter rules). Around twenty hairy Highland cattle occupy some large fields and a wood, and other fields are used to grow wheat – including ‘ancienne’ varieties – which Jean-Lou grinds down to flour and uses to bake sourdough bread, sold in local shops and the weekly market at St. Affrique. Jean-Lou thinks French bread isn’t that great (‘by dinnertime you break your teeth!’); his bread is dense and chewy, and won’t go stale in a day.

Highland cows; they're a bit shy

Highland cows; they’re a bit shy

Lapaloup pain (pronounced 'peng' in the Aveyron) sold at St. Affrique market

Lapaloup pain (pronounced ‘peng’ in the Aveyron) sold at St. Affrique market

We’ve started work on a new building project – a cob house for future volunteers to stay in. In the three weeks we’ve been here, we – with another Wwoofer Guillaume, and Lionel, farm resident for the past couple of months – have cleared the area, done some levelling, and dug out the foundations.

It’s tough work, but I can proudly say I know how to pickaxe now (for about five minutes…shovelling is more my thing). The idea for it’s construction is really interesting – it will have straw bale walls and a ‘green’ roof (ie. growing) – we’ll hopefully post more info later.

Lionel and Donat, on the building site

Lionel and Donat, on the building site

Other jobs include watering the vegetable plot every evening, scything grass from around the wheat fields and picking fruit for Rosette to make jams. Donat has come in pretty useful fixing people’s computers, as he does.

We’re moving on in just a few days as we have a commitment at a farm back in the Auvergne, but might well be back later in the Autumn, to help with the house project and eat some more of Jean-Lou’s bread.

Sunflowers in the veggie patch

Sunflowers in the veggie patch

4 thoughts on “On the farm in Aveyron

  1. Lapaloup

    Hi Donat & Olivia,

    Everything OK in the Hearth of France?
    To let you know, we now also have or own website for Lapaloup.
    We tagged a photograph of you on our website, the one on the market in Saint-Affrique selling our bread.

    Have a nice time, friends greetings, the Lapaloup-crew.

    1. olivia Post author

      Hello Lapaloup, it’s really good to hear from you. We haven’t forgotten that we left our tent at the farm, but we’ve gone back to England now for a while. Hopefully we’ll come by to say hi and pick it up…but it’s hard to say when!

      What’s the address for your website? Would love to see it.

      Olivia & Donat xx

  2. vivien

    jolie page,
    nous avon commencer la nouvelle saison de wwofing.
    Encore sans maisons fixe, mais ca viens , la je suis sure.
    berry et lionel sont encore la.
    Le plan est, que lionel habite avec le wwofer dans leur future maison. On a mis juste un peut de ciment sur les pierres qui cettes posez de vous. Pour le moment nous sommes en train pour preparer la fete,dans le weekend qui vient. Avec un peut de soleil j espere.
    bisous a vous

    1. olivia Post author

      hallo vivien, bisous!! merci pour le message, nous sommes tres bien a Londres, on a les boulots – Donat est Electricien encore et je travail sur le web (?) pour ‘the tube’ – - et nous avons un ‘allotment’, je pense un potager en Français?? j’espere pour les legumes bio et un jardin un peu ‘permaculture’… On a pense de Lapaloup dans l’été, c’était tres chaud ici et on été sur le allotment boucoup.

      Tout va bien avec toi? Ca va tout le monde? et les wwoofers maintenant – je pense ils ont moin bon que moi et Donat? on veut voire les photos de la maison des wwoofers…

      Olivia (et Donat)


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