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help exchange   Host 57521
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 3
Persons: 1 to two
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 57521
Country: Sweden

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Last Updated: July 5, 2018

I live on a small farm with my dog Sonja (two weeks a month), about 10 free range pigs, 14 chickens, and a bee hive. I moved to this farm in 2010, from a Stockholm suburb.

Since 2013, I have a charcuterie/butchery workshop where I produce high quality air-dried meat products, meat cuts and fresh sausages from my pigs. I sell my products in a tiny shop next to the charcuterie workshop and directly to some of Sweden`s best restaurants. My goal is to make the best charcuterie in Sweden. Every second Saturday I make deliveries to customers in Stockholm and Uppsala. I am passionate about real food and would not dream about putting anything but the best quality ingredients in my sausages, and I do not put any unnecessary chemicals in them.

Since September 2013 I`ve had volunteers living here and helping me and it has been a great experience. I usually have 1-2 volunteers at the same time. Six weeks is the minimum stay at my farm, but I always prioritize volunteers that want to stay for a longer period. I am only interested in hosting volunteers with an extreme interest in charcuterie and butchery, that want to learn as much as possible, understanding that it includes hard and sometimes boring work.

I gladly accept volunteers also during the winter.

My small farm is not organic certified, but I believe that our rare breed pigs have an even better life than any certification would certify. My pigs are free range all year around, I buy their fodder from an organic certified (KRAV) pig farmer. I do not castrate the boar piglets, but vaccinate them against boar taint. I let the litter suckle the sows as long as the sows allow it. I do not cut their tails and I do not give them preventive medicine. I give them as much straw, hay and cuddling as I can. I take them to an abattoir when they have reached at least one and a half years of age.

I`m always planning to grow more vegetables next year. I never have enough time to prepare all the garden beds. I have 6 apple trees from which I usually make cider in the autumn. Since July 2016 i keep a rare breed of chicken - Kindahöns.

You will stay in my home in one of the three volunteer rooms. This means that we form a household, and that you and everyone in the house will also have to take responsibility for keeping the house neat and clean, and you will also have to help out with cooking and washing dishes, among other common tasks in a home.

At the farm, we usually have all meals except breakfast together, but sometimes lunch will be more improvised. We usually take turns in cooking, so you are expected to know some basic cooking. Tell me if you have any food allergies or similar. I cannot cater for vegetarians or vegans.

I don`t have a strict schedule, what needs to be done depends on the time of the year and where in the cycle of breeding/taking-to-slaughter/butchering/producing/selling I am. A typical day at my smallholding might look something like this for the volunteers:

7:15 - 8:15 Feeding the pigs and the chickens.
8:15 - 9:15 Breakfast and planning of the day.
9:30 - 12:00 Various chores at the farm, including checking the fencing, handling of the pigs, the fodder and the hay, digging and gardening, walking the dog, and general maintenance of the farm. Or trimming and categorizing meat.
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch and resting.
13:30 - 14:30 Helping out in the charcuterie if help is needed or with other chores at the farm.
17:00 - 17:45 Feeding the pigs.
~18:30 Dinner

Two free days a week, but not necessarily two days in a row.

Nothing of this is written in stone except for the feeding of the pigs. Some volunteers are better with the pigs than with the charcuterie and vice versa. I am open to ideas and suggestions from the volunteers. In the best case the volunteer experience is not a one way learning experience. If someone can teach me how to save the old cottage, or improve the chicken home, for example, I will be very grateful.

The accommodation I provide consist of two rooms on the upper floor and a room with a big bed in the basement. Only couples or friends are required to share rooms.

My farm is just 1 h 15 m away from Stockholm by bus and commuter train which is convenient if you want to visit the beautiful capitol of Sweden on your free days. I want to point out though, that I am not interested in having volunteers whose primary interest is to find hosting close to Stockholm.

I do not accept smoking in the house.

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