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French carpenters craft off-grid hamlet of tiny dwellings

A few years ago, a group of carpenters (and friends) began building tiny homes on a property in southwest France using material from the woods, tools from the past (and present), and the freedom afforded by relying on their own labor.

Today the forested land looks straight out of a fairy tale. There’s a tiny mud house with a living roof, a handcrafted caravan home perched above wagon wheels, a wood-heated bathtub (and a jacuzzi run off timber scraps), a bicycled-powered wood carving machine, an earthen bread/pizza oven, an underground wine and cheese cellar (AKA the “hobbit-ière”), experimental gardens and a chicken coop treehouse.

Menthé was one of the original homesteaders, who along with his friend Yogan (the landowner), built the original mud cabin for winter; they created large doors on both sides of the structure so their cars could be connected as heated bedrooms.

Now the property is peppered with tiny shelters and the independent carpenters (AKA copeauXcabana) are building themselves a workshop with hand-milled beams from the surrounding woods.