We are an easy going Norwegian/English family of four with two grown up students that are home during the holidays. On our smallholding we also have a lovely dog called Ella (who resembles a fox ), an old cat called Tiger (although she is far from fearsome) and a bunch of very friendly hens and a cockerel. Ecology, creativity and self sufficiency is at the core of our thoughts and actions. We have an organic vegetable garden in the summer that feeds us with greens and beans, a small greenhouse and plenty of berry bushes and fruit trees. We also love harvesting anything wild from the bountiful nature we are in the midst of; all kinds of wild plants and berries, mushrooms, herbs and fish.
Our home is on a beautiful island og Engeløya in Northern Norway, opposite the Lofoten Islands. Here are stunning, white beaches, mountains and valleys and the sea is crystal clear with plenty of fish. We own a 16ft motorboat, a wooden boat, a canoe, kayaks and bikes to borrow in spring, summer and autumn. Skis in the winter.
Our house is a restored, old timber house and a generous size barn where we also have a studio/gallery. We have just developed the other part of the barn as a place to host visitors for artist residencies, artist camps and festivals. We are expanding the vegetable garden with permaculture principles and aim to become more self sufficient.
We work mostly from home as an artist and a filmmaker, as well as doing the work on the smallholding ourselves. We also travel a great deal with projects elsewhere and you therefore sometimes may need to be here on your own for a few days. Occasionally we need people to come and housesit our house and animals for a few weeks.
We are non smokers and love to prepare and eat wholesome food from our garden and from local farms when available. We eat fish and meat (mostly local) but lots of vegetables and salads too, although winters here are not great for the latter. We bake our own sourdough bread, ferment kefir, yoghurt and vegetables.
Our village i tiny with only 45 inhabitants but the community of Engeløya has a population of around 500. There are lots of outdoor activities like mountain hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, (sea & freshwater), boating, island hopping, cross-country skiing, bird watching, diving or space for art making or writing - or just for being and breathing!
Our place is often very quiet during the winter and busy during the summer. To come here you would therefore have to be comfortable with both quietness and business.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We have all the help we need for 2017, but are still looking for a reliable couple to housesit and care for our animals from the 13th of December to the 5th of January.
In March 2018 we we are looking for someone who can help paint a room, restore some furniture ( painting cupboard doors and perhaps doing some upholstery?) and help to clear up a store room as well as general help in the house like cooking and cleaning. March can be quiet and the weather unstable so you have to be comfortable with that and enjoy to go out and explore the wild nature (with our dog Ella:) in snow or rain and enjoy making some art in front of the fire in the studio. If you are lucky March can also be good for Northern lights and some lovely mountain or kayak trips:)
We also need help in May, June and September. Particular interest in organic/permaculture vegetable growing and edible perennial flower gardening, compost making and possibly making a frogs pond is on the agenda:) Artistic input to the garden as in sculptural/functional woodwork or willow hut making is also great.
We like positive, self motivated and independent people who are happy to help, eager to learn or share their skills and our passion for ecology, art, crafts and nature. We are looking for robust, healthy, hard working volunteers with a love of nature, animals, art and the great outdoors.
You need to be fairly practical and self motivated and, as we all share the cooking and cleaning, you would need to have some skills in this area too. Ideally you would need to have some practice in the tasks we will be doing like; organic gardening, permaculture, carpentry, painting & decorating, cooking, digging, Mac skills. We would LOVE you to have a love for animals and plants:) Wonderful if you also have other skills to share like mending or making or sewing etc. or artistic or musical abilities or practice yoga for mutual enjoyment:)
This can be a very busy place in summer but in autumn and winter it is more of a quiet place so you also need to be comfortable with quietness and not having too many people around. Our place is fairly remote with two hours by boat to reach the nearest city so it is best suited for people who feel happy an comfortable with remoteness.
Norwegian, English,Swedish, some French and a bit of German.(we want to learn these last 2!)
We have a good size guest room with an adjoining bathroom, another couple of rooms in the house or a small guesthouse in the garden (no bathroom but you may use the one in the main house). Computers and internet/wifi available, a screen and projector for films but no TV. TV or game addicts would get very bored here...
Engeløya is easy to get to by public transport. Either by train or plane from Trondheim/Oslo to the nearest city Bodø and then by boat or bus to Engeløya. Make sure your arrival in Bodø corresponds with the boat from Bodø to Bogøy (on Engeløya) which leaves at 17.15 Mon-Thurs+Sat. 18.00 on Fridays and 20.30 on Sundays. Note: The boat is the catamaran HURTIGBÅT and not the HURTIGRUTE destined for Svolvær. You can also come by bus. We will send you more details and a map of how to get to the boat in Bodø.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
You would learn self sufficiency skills, running a smallholding and looking after chickens. You will also enjoy and learn about developing a close relationship to nature, art, filmmaking, carpentry, fermentation, baking bread, beer making, organic gardening and harvesting from the wild in season. You could also learn woodwork and wildlife skills like hiking and mountaineering, fire making and fishing, kayaking and boating,
5 hours per day
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