26-8 till 30-8
How do you find your place, and, can you make a living from it?

Do you dream of leaving your country or region to buy the place of your dreams abroad? To live the good life and restore the ecosystems of this planet? Then this five-day course is for you! 

This international course is a collaboration of Food from the Forest, Ferme la Geneste and Virsoleil.
Please note that it is taught in English.

The course will take place from Aug. 26 to 30, and you can add another weekend at the same location both front and back if you like. 

More and more people are dreaming this dream out loud. Fast Internet makes online work possible. Climate change and the ongoing loss of biodiversity make working to restore the resilience of our ecosystems increasingly a deeply felt necessity.

But how do you take such a big step? Where do you start? What choices suit you? And how have others done it?

In this English-language course, you will learn from entrepreneurs and educators who have done exactly what you dream of doing and sometimes even more. You'll also learn about permaculture, sustainable building, regenerative agriculture and/or food forests, and see and learn about lots of forms of business models. And if France in particular is on your shortlist, you'll also learn a lot about the French situation.

This course is essentially about you for five days. Your dream, plan, concerns, situation are the focus and will receive attention each day. Therefore, the group will be no larger than 15 people/situations (if a couple participates, we consider that one dream situation). This way everyone will get enough attention.

Drone shot Virsoleil
Drone shot of Virsoleil, center for research and regenerative living

Where are you staying and where are we going?


The base location for the course is the beautiful converted farm and Ecosystem Restoration Camp Virsoleil. The perfect example of how much can be accomplished on very poor land and with relatively little land. Teryl and Claudia Chapel migrated here from the US and have lived here for three years. They are masters at making the most of what in many cases is very little. You will learn from them how to restore a beautiful old farmhouse, a large renovated barn, amazing swales, an ingenious water retention system, self-built stone walls, lavender and truffle trees.

We will use Virsoleil most days as our theory, start and finish location. And Teryl and Claudia Chapel are among the main instructors of the course. 

Learn more at Virsoleil.org
Languages spoken: English and French

Ferme la Geneste

Marieke Karssen has been active in the Dutch food forest community for quite some time and -just like Teryl and Claudia- within the Ecosystem Restoration Community. She always had this dream: one day to go to France and start her own place. Where food, agritourism and of course many variations in food forestry could grow one beautifully abundant system. She found her ferme a good year ago in the Dordogne and can tell you all about the place, the road to it and how to become an administrative farmer in France as well and what that entails. She has also been teaching about food forests and earning models for years, and will share that knowledge with you as well.

Learn more at Fermelageneste.fr
Languages spoken: Dutch, English, French

During the course we will visit:

Les jardins de Condaminas

We visit a sheep farm. The sheep are grass-fed and grazed holistically. This farm also grows and processes lavender.

Owners Astrid and Michel
more information: Les jardins de Condaminas
Languages spoken: Dutch, English, French

1001 Abéilles

This 12-year-old permaculture farm features a handmade Zome house made of soil/straw, a food forest, teaches you about natural beekeeping, natural beehives and shows you overall permaculture design.

Learn more: 1001abeilles.org
Languages spoken: French, English

Droneshot Ferme la geneste
Drone shot of Ferme la Geneste in February

What are we going to do?

You'll stay at one of two farms/homesteads (Virsoleil or Ferme la Geneste) and visit two other farms/homesteads in the Dordogne, in southwestern France. You'll learn about permaculture, food forestry, no-dig horticulture, water management, growing bees and herbs, essential oils, raising livestock and, of course, more each day about what's involved in choosing the right place for your dream and how to make a living. Each course day we will see and touch sample places, but you will also work each day on your own project and dream.

Every course day we follow the same pattern. Every morning we teach you new things. After lunch we are at a farm/place where we get a tour, but also go to help the owner/farmer with a chore. We end each day by working on your dream/project, in whatever state it is.
On the last day you present your project to the others.

We provide delicious local fresh vegetarian/vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner and plenty of free time.

The course takes place in one of the most beautiful areas of France, the Dordogne

This five-day course costs, including breakfast, lunch and dinner €1,000,- excluding VAT per person. If you come as a couple you can join together for €1,500. It takes place from Monday 26-8 to Friday 30-8. Each course day starts at 9.30 am and ends around 17.00 pm. We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner and space and materials for drawing, mood boarding and sketching.

We offer three sleeping options and those costs are in addition to the course fee.

On Virsoleil
You can book one of the six beds in the large renovated barn, these cost 50 euros per person per night. For couples there are two double rooms for rent including private bathroom for 75 euros per night. You can also choose to camp with your own tent or camper (limited space) for 25 euros per person per night.

At Ferme la Geneste
you can rent a double room (a very large double bed, a normal double bed, or a room with a bunk bed) in a six-person cottage. This costs 75 euros per night per room. You can also do limited camping here for 25 euros per person per night. There is a swimming pool at Ferme la Geneste. 

At both locations it is possible to book two extra days on the weekend before and/or the weekend after the course for the same accommodation rates. You can indicate this in the comments box or decide later. This gives you the opportunity to recover from travel or the course and do some sightseeing in one of the most beautiful regions of France.

We offer you a digital course environment in which you can (re)find the course material and many valuable links, as well as watch recordings of the theory part of the course days.

Just to keep enough attention for everyone's situation, we make the group a maximum of 15 people/couples, so don't wait too long to register. The sleeping places also have their limitations in terms of supply.

We deliver this course according to our terms of delivery. These are simple and clear, so please feel free to read them.

If you cannot pay the course fee in one lump sum, or are with an organization that works with billing, please feel free to contact us.

How can you find land and then live off of it? (English)

1.000,00 - 1.875,00 excl. VAT/VAT

Do you dream of leaving your country or region to buy the place of your dreams abroad? To live the good life and restore the ecosystems of this planet? Then this five-day course from 26-8 to 30-8 in the Dordogne is for you!

This international course is a collaboration of Food from the Forest, Ferme la Geneste and Virsoleil.
Please note that it is taught in English.

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