"The axe mediates culture". Once upon a time neighbours here would meet up. They would stand in a circle and chop the firewood, food would be made, the fields would be raked and the hay strung up for drying, fields cleared, barns built and vegetables harvested. The next day it was the other neighbours turn, because everybody would need help to be prepared for winter. Domesticated animals, and people, would need food stored, warmth and shelter. Back to the axe: Because it do mediate culture. The neighbours would over the axe form bonds and exchange blood, sweat, tears, food, childrens play, knowledge, inspiration, drama, friendship and love.
The farming today here is changed, we all drive machines, the firewood is done in a second on instagram, and even time can be bought, they say, but lets try keep the axe real?
Please read whole profile before sending message, and feel free to ask if something is unclear. I will answer most of the messages.
We are a family on a small farm in eastern Norway, by the start of taiga-forest , close to the Swedish border. Area is scattered with wildlife, lakes, rivers and creeks and is situated roughly 2 hours travel time from main airport OSL.
In this area there is possible with hiking in the deep "finnish" forest and bicycling on endless gravel roads. "Elk-safari" is great fun. We also live a few meters from a lake where you can fish, swim and use a canoe. We also have a sauna by the lake.
The farm is small-scale without surplus, and actually cost money in the end to keep up and running. A useful hobby if older times comes back and small farms gets crucial again for clean local food, clothes and resources?
Marianne works in school. Ole has recently quit a manager-job that revolves around health, disabilites , career consulting and production. I am currently enjoying every day-life and small projects on the way to a new path. I would also be the more active part around the hosting. We are both authorized health personnel.
We enjoy learning from each other, culture exchange, language learning, discuss what sustainability is or might be, self-reliance, food, nature, DIY, entrepenurship, politics, mechanics, science, survival/wildcamping, gadgets, general existencialism and fullfill some shared goals in daily-life as a nice experience. Will it be you?
Accommodation is in a off-grid timber lake-cabin. It has a firewood stove, double bed, some furniture and a basic lavatory in the shed. Access to all other facilities about 200 meters away in main-house.
In the colder months there is needed to sleep with wool, extra blankets/sleeping bags/ in the cabin as the fire go out during the night and temperature drops. We have all bedware necessary.
As we live in a designated area for wolf, bear,lynx and wolverine, there is a bit effort to co-exist and safeguarding sheeps behind fences on the fields close to house. Beside sheep and wolf, there is also two dogs, cat and a parrot here.
Some expectations and house-rules:
- all Workawayers must know English on an intermediate or above level, so it is possible to communicate. Ideally you are of age 23+, but no demand.
-It is not often I encounter it, but if cheap holiday and "what's in it it for me" attitude is the only focus; I have a rental profile to fulfill your pleasures. You are invited to a farm and a household. What skills is needed and can be aquired in that setting? Is there goals and responsibility around buildings, animals, forest, fields and people? Can you learn skills for you own career and everyday life when here? What can you learn us?
-please tell me why you want to come to us, and where you travel from.
-use of house, cabin and stuff in a tidy and careful way! No shoes inside! You have the ability to help with household here and there to keep it tidy both inside and outside. At the end of stay you should wash the cabin properly with soap and water.
-Mainhours for projects are weekdays 09-14.30. Some flexibility on this is sometimes needed with weather, seasons and animals in mind.
-you have the ability to focus on finishing projects by being a "self-starter" . Meaning you have enough stamina and initiative to gather the information you need to progress and get it done. I am also happy to answer questions, rather than fixing errors and shortcuts afterwards. I am all in on fun activities and relaxing daily-life, but certainly not with unfinished stuff and mess laying around.
-if tools are needed. They are put back in the same place when the project is done.
-at a farm, safety is important. No workawayers participate in tasks that need extensive risk-management, experience and documented training. This type of tasks is usually paid positions in farming and involve use of tractor,machines and specialized tools.
-all applications mentioning they love go hunting trolls and unicorns are magically first in line.
-food. We have food storage and from that it should be possible to make something, or we go buy something extra if needed. We also fish a bit for food. Usually dinner is a meal we all eat together. Ole is a lousy chef, and only fix BBQ, fish or fastfood. If you can pitch in when it comes to food making, it would be great. If you need vegan/vegetarian, you must cook and plan this on your own, as we eat mainly meat and fish. We are vegan-friendly, and have hosted many vegan, but you should be able to handle non-vegan views when topic is discussed. We aim for having high animal welfare with natural approach, not industrial, but at the end of the day you are visiting a livestock farm, arent you? Maybe you have some improvement and suggestions?
-Going to store buying vitamines, medecine, alcohol, candy, hygiene articles, clothing, extra costs around activities, lending out cars and so on, is not a normal expectation within this exchange and accomodation.
-we must part at least 20.00 in the evening as this is family time and preparation for next day.
-we prefer stays of minimum 14 days, as transportation, arrangements, learning how thing works and getting to know each other takes time. If everything works out great, the time for departure is not that important 😁
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
You will learn farming culture and a Norwegian way of living in an area full of nature and fresh air :)
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
The projects are many, but revolves around rural life on a small sheepfarm, general maintenance of the surroundings, buildings and stuff. Some extra hands, normal physical fitness and the right mindset is really enough!
Woodworking/carpentery experience, as we can mill our own planks, knowledge about gathering and storing different natural food and medecinal herbs is extra interesting.
Examples of the help requested: firewood for winter, moving branches so area is tidy, look at sheeps and watch out if wildlife, dogs or people tries the fence, count, feed and check the sheep, DIY projects, designing the look of rooms, clean and tidy house and buildings, go recycle stuff, organize stuff, painting, kitchen garden, be a role model and good example on healthy activites, mini-saw milling, help with moving stones out of the way, help when lambs are born, lifting support on different tasks, landscaping shoreline and marina, gardening, cooking, pick berries, fishing and prepare for storage. A few times a year I might also look for housesitting.
The projects follow seasons and weather-conditions. We can't decide what projects to do, as they tend to have a natural and successive order to be most efficient with good end-results. Spring, summer and autumn is the busiest and is in essence about preparing for winter. (Winter is coming!)
When the every-year seasonal stuff is finished, and I feel on top of things. I tend to start think of even more fun projects and ideas. For example: garden stuff and kitchen garden, earth cooled storage for food, off grid solutions, improve the cabin even more, making a boat harbor with a good starting point for swimming and sauna, make a lamp from drift wood, build a new shed with luxury outdoor-lavatory, making a hammock rig, saw milling, improve man-cave, explore sites for camping, fishing boating etc.
I have also lately been little bit curious of pulling off some community stuff, that is self reliant, more or less economic independent and contains a natural way of living in the long run. Dunno how thats is going to look, but through cooperation the sky is the limit?
A few words on the year-around rythm:
There is snow, cold and quite cosy with fire in the firestove. Skiing and snowblowing. Will car start or get stuck? Sheeps are in the barn with possibility to go outside. Mainprojects are next year firewood, indoor improvements, some organizing, cleaning, and I am servicing stuff in the man-cave. Waiting time for spring and lambing feels like ages.
April and mai:
New life is born everywhere. Lambs are giving birth, and wants to graze as soon as grass grow again. The birds are back singing loudly as the early morning fog meets the sun, people, animals and nature awake from winter dwelling. Firewood must be finished and left to dry. Maintenance of buildings, organizing stuff, gardening and tidy up outside can start. If you want to establish a kitchen garden this is the time, we havent succeded yet in doing so.
June, juli and august
Everything is green. Projects are many, but important to find time to enjoy summer also. Sadly, the ancient forest in norway is gone, and there is a new increase of logging in older forest. Norway has almost no wilderness with high biodiversity left, as most of the forest is artificially cultivated. There are a few small pockets of natural forest left, and when on top of things i like trips to look for this combined with swimming, boating fishing and camping.
September and october:
This is the months to finish up everything before winter. You never want to meet the winter unprepared. The trees prepare by releasing water so they dont freeze and crack open when the cold comes. Seeds for next generation are ready in the soil. Lambs are eaten as "får-i-kål". Cutting trees for firewood can start when leafs are yellow.
November and december:
Dark times, keeping warmth and farm- paperwork is done. Sauna is much used, maybe some ice bathing as well. Indoor improvements and forestry. The sheeps are mating. The "fjøsnisse" in the barn are starting his pranks and next year is planned😂
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
In an off-grid timber Lake-cabin. Main house is 200 meters away.
We often use WhatsApp for faster communication if agreed to host.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
If you are a digital nomad. We can set you up an office space in the farm workshop.
We can host caravan. Possible to park beside the cabin or at farm.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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