All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 39
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 37426
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Last Updated: June 23, 2017
Do you want to help us start up our farm? We are a young couple Dan Halvard (33, from Norway) and Hanna (24, from England) and we need help with a wide range of things.
Our old farm is located in south Gudbrandsdalen, an east Norwegian valley famous for its folk traditions. It’s in a steep hillside, (550 m above sea level) with a spectacular view of the valley all the way down to Lillehammer and the big lake Mjøsa. The farm has 11 buildings, 10 of them log built from the 19th century.
Our goal is to be self-sufficient, and for us that means producing as much of our own food and basic needs as possible, and living quite old fashioned with lots of physical labor. We also want to do as much farm work in the old Norwegian way as we can, in order to understand the old culture better and to keep the traditions alive. We are both motivated by the urgency of finding sustainable ways of living on this planet, and living a healthy and fulfilling life. For us, this involves exploring the ways in which people used to live self-sufficiently and close to the land. Dan Halvard's main interest is the old Norse culture, but also the pre-industrial Norwegian culture in general. Right now we have about 35 chickens (islandshøns and jærhøns); a working horse (Haukjon, fjording); two cows (Hornfagr and Auðhumbla, vestlandsk fjordfe), six sheep (villsau) and two cats. We grow our own grain (barley, wheat and oats), vegetables, herbs and berries, the chickens are mainly for eggs, and the sheep are for meat. We always have milk from one of our cows, and make butter and a few different cheeses.
Below is a general outline for what we will be working on at different times of the year:
All year: Taking care of the animals, fire wood making, dairy work
Nov- Apr: Making firewood, threshing grains, making fence materials
Apr-May: Preparing garden; sowing and planting out seedlings; bringing out manure with the horse; preparing grain fields; sowing grains; fencing; preparing the hayfield.
June: Fencing, gardening, harvesting and drying leaves for fodder
July: Hay work, gardening
August: Hay work, gardening, picking berries, and making jam, juice etc.
September: Harvesting grains, harvesting and preserving vegetables
October: Harvesting and preserving, butchering, clearing up for winter, renovation work around the farm
We are looking for people who enjoy physical work, are interested in learning about traditional farming/ food production/ low-impact living. Ideally we want people who can stay long term: several months or longer, but our minimum stay is three weeks.
We cannot guarantee that you will get a variety of jobs when you are here. If you stay only for a month you will often have to do a lot of the same things. Generally, the longer you stay the more variation there will be.
As our goal is to be self-sufficient, we aim for most of our meals to be made from our own produce. We have porridge for breakfast, from our own grain, and for our evening meal it will often be a combination of vegetables and meat. We eat what the seasons give us, so in the summer there's always alot of salad and fresh veggies, in the autumn there's alot of everything, and in the winter we eat mainly grain, root vegetables and meat. We provide three meals a day, but not luxuries like tea, coffee and snacks. Unfortunately we cannot cater for special diets, since our diet is not really flexible. If you are vegetarian we can discuss it, depending on what time of year you want to come.
We don't allow smoking on the farm. There are many reasons for this. Basically we see smoking as the opposite of what this farm stands for and also what WWOOF stands for.
We usually have several wwoofers in the spring, summer and fall, and have only one or two in the winter. We have two rooms you could stay in, one in the main house and one in the second house, both with wood burning stoves. If we have more than one woofer you will probably have to share a room. Our house is very old and has not been modernised (apart from some painting 50 years ago!) and we like it that way- but facilities may seem very basic to you! We have no fridge, no electric washing machine (only bike powered!), no shower (just a primitive one), no WC (just an outhouse/compost toilet). We have plumbing, but we heat all our hot water on the wood stove. We have zero TV channels (so its good if you bring something to do in your spare time- books, handicrafts etc.)
This is a farm based on little machinery (we have a chain saw and a mower), most work is done by man and horsepower. We have chosen to do things in this way because we find life more enjoyable without unnessecary technology, and more satisfying to work with our own bodies, than rely on machines. Therefore it's important that you are reasonably fit and are ready to work hard physically.
Since there are a lot of wwoofers that don't read the host presentation, we would like you to write the word "Allfadr" in your private message/host request to us.
The bus connection is very limited here, so it’s difficult to get around: if you are looking for a base to explore the area, this probably isn't the best place for you.
We are of course very interested in handicrafts like tanning, spinning, weaving, sewing, dying (and other textile crafts) and woodworking and we’re always interested in sharing skills and knowledge. Unfortunately there is little time for handicrafts at the moment, because we are still starting up, and there are so many other things to do all the time.
In your request we want you to tell us about yourself and why you want to come to our farm.
In 2017 both our cows should calve, so we would love to have someone to help us with the dairy work. We can teach you to milk by hand, make butter and traditional norwegian cheeses. This is done in quite a 'primitive' way, using wood fired stoves, and natural refrigeration. If you want to learn this, you should stay a minimum of 2 months.
Tags: self sufficient, self sufficiency