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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 47
Persons: 2-4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 81269
Country: Norway

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Last Updated: May 10, 2018

This is a smallholding with sheep (a breed called "gamalnorsk sau", or “old Norwegian sheep”), chickens, one pig, two cats and two dogs. We have a little kitchen garden were we grow vegetables, mostly potatoes, and we also have a little hop garden. The farm is situated at the edge of the wilderness, with just a few neighbours, who we can not see from the farm. The farm was neglected for many years and we are now building it up again. There are many old buildings at the farm, which we now are mending. We have recently bought the farms first tractor.
If you WWOOF at Gripen, there are many tasks to be done, such as: building fences, cooking, haying, making firewood, forest clearing, trenching, mucking, painting, animal care, gardening, cooking, mending old buildings, stone walling and a lot of other tasks. We only have old buildings, one of the buildings is from approximately 1500. We are quite flexible and will try to adapt the work to the different WWOOFers’ qualifications and interests. Anyway, some of the work must be done when it is time for it, like the haying, which must be done during summer months and suitable weather. Haying is actually the most important work during the summer; on this farm especially, and for other farms in general. So if you want to WWOOF during summer, you have to be ready for some real hard work, when the haying starts. Haying is not for wimps! ;-) Haying is mostly in periods with good weather during June and July, but in bad summers it could also be some haying in august. Just as you are prepared!
Our house is not the biggest, but we will do all we can to comfortably house the WWOOFers. We only have a small bathroom, the water pressure is not all that great, but there’s no problem taking a shower. Inside the house, or in a big lavvo (tipi-like tent) with a wooden floor, beds and a wood burning stove. We will whatever make it very cosy! It is VERY IMPORTANT for us that the WWOOFers thrive in Gripen, and that they have a great time working here. The wilderness surrounding the farm is great for hiking. We have an old wooden boat and a newer fibre glass one in the lake, and the fishing is good. Some WWOOFers have been swimming in the lake EVERY day during their stay in Gripen.
The help we need the most this year, in addition to the haying is old building maintenance, painting, forestry (late autumn/winter), fencing, hedging, stone walling, haying and ditch digging, work in the kitchen garden, upgrading the road to the farm, clearing pastures and so on. On a farm, a lot of things happen, that you had not planned for, and there are a lot of changing plans. If my WWOOFers want to do the cooking, I will be very happy!
The residents of Gripen: Me (Helene), I have 3 children, my son Torstein (27) and my daughters Hjertrud (18) and my bonus daughter Johanna (14). Torstein lives here full time for the moment, the girls part time.
We have two dachshunds, Pippa and Wilma, and two cats, Sissi and Tennis. Then there is the giant mini pig Nelly, and the sheep of course, who are very friendly and lovable. We also have a flock of free range chickens.
Gripen can be cold, even in the summer, so I recommend wool underwear, just in case. Raingear and a warm wool sweater are also important, so is waterproof shoes. If you want to bring your own working clothes, bring something comfy. If you travel light, I have a lot of everything, so WWOOFers can borrow the things they need for work. It is not necessary to bring bedding, I have it all!
Since the farm is situated far away from everything, it is not so easy to travel here. The nearest bus stop is 15 min drive from the farm, or a loooong walk, approximately 2 hours. Because of this, Gripen is not a good place as a base for travelling.
Anyway, there are a lot of nice things to do in Gripen during the evening and your time off, like hiking, rowing or just being around the animals. We also have good Wi-Fi for extra rainy evenings. I prefer that my WWOOFers stay for more then 14 days, since it take some time to learn tasks.

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