Help in our farm: growing and preparing willow, and follow our craft of basketmaking, tanning, woodwork etc in Norway



Favourited 571 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last activity


  • Badges

    Top Host

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hi from Norway!

    We are a small family of wife and husband – both basketmaker, three kids and two cats.
    We have been growing willow on a small island centrally located in the southern part of Norway for more than 10 years. Our willow-field is 6 dekar and consist of approximately 60.000 mother-plants and produce estimated 10-15 tons of ecological willow every year.
    The willow is harvested in november/december and in February/march - if weather condition allows us to do so (not too much snow). After being harvest, the willow is sorted into length and quality.
    For our baskets we use many different natural materials, that we harvest in the forest. You will be a part of the harvest and preparations of this materials. If time is right, you can learn some handicraft, and maybe make some small items of willow.
    Our house is a small wooden house with just enough space for us all. You will have your own room, but you might have to share with another volunteer. We are three people in our family, and you are most welcome to be a part of that. Making food, doing housecleaning and normal everyday stuff.
    You will help us 5 days a week, approximately 5 hours a day, with a long lunchbreak in the middle of the day. We are probably working more hours, depending on our ongoing projects - however you are of course, most welcome to join us in the workshop in the evenings.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will learn how island farming life is. How basketmakers live and work. if you want there are craft and art to be learned.

    I hope you send us a request. But take this in to consideration when you write to us.

    We do get a lot of requests and we try to answer back ASAP. I expect you to do the same. Unfortunately all my email from Workaway webpage does not come to my email. I don't check the mail on this webpage daily. If I dont answer you this is why. We will try to answer right away.

    It takes a lot of time to answering e-mails, and we try to put together a group of people. It can be challenging to put together a calendar that works for us all.
    What we would like is for you to give us a defined answer when you want to come, and when you want to leave. And even more important to stick to the plan. If you don’t have a plan, ask us when we are free to host you. Then we can see if the time is right for both of us.

    If we accept your request remember to tell us if you change your plan.

  • Help


    What projects we need help to be carried out is mostly related to the four seasons:

    The next half year will be a little different than others. Silja is a full time student in the university, and Lars is part time living in Norway, part time living in Denmark. This means we will trust you to be reasonably independent, as we will not spend so much time in the workshop at we like.

    This winter we will harvest and sort the willow from the middle of januar. If you are up to some fresh Norwegian winter and like to be active we would like to welcome you to our beautiful island.

    We are starting to make short tutorial videos of our basketmaking and other projects. Do you have good experience in filmmaking, photo, video editing, drawing in photoshop etc, graphic design and other skills in that directions, please contact us if you like to help us with this project.

    We are both professional basketmakers, and our income is from teaching baketclases. If you want to attend one of them, you pay the fee or you pay with extra hours of work.
    If you come to us for the basketmaking, it is important that you have done basketry before. Send us some pictures of what you can do. It take about 14 hours to make a basket for a beginner. And a half year, to a year to have good quality products for sale.

    If you do some crafts in the worktime, it means that we have considered you as a good craftsperson. And you will work alongside us as a independent artisan. We exchange knowledge. But you are free to use the workshop, if we trust you to take care of out tools and machines.
    If you have a certain skill in arts and crafts we will be happy to exchange knowledge with you.
    This could be that you can weld, do metalwork, woodwork, blacksmithing, woodturning, draw, paint, sewing, weaving, basketweaving or any other crafts that we didn’t know that we would like to learn.
    We have a workshop for basketmaking, a leather workshop, woodworking hand tools and machines, a smithy and a metal-workshop, a little tannary. We also do plant-dyeing, tablet-weaving, spinning wool, felting etc.

    But we always welcome other people with other skills to, and here are some of our projects.

    JANUARY - FEBRUARY: Sorting the willow is our main tasks in january and harvesting willow if not too much snow.
    Working in the workshop making baskets. If the winter is not too heavy we harvest in the forest.

    MARS: Harvesting and sorting willow. Preparing for spring

    APRIL - may: Sending gods, making willow projects in gardens. Preparing for garden-markets, and giving classes. Preparing natural materials for basketmaking.

    MAY and JUNE we will harvest natural material in the forrest. Peeling willow, and taking care of the garden. If you like outdoor work, and beeing in the natur you are welcome. Taking care of the willow-field. Planting new willow.

    JUNE: Harvesting materials in the forest and lakes. Maybe making food on a small festivals to.

    JULY: CLOSED see specific above.

    Second half of AUGUST - OCTOBER: Prepare for winter, still enjoying the summer and autumn. Doing all the other stuff we did not manage the rest of the year. Harvesting natural materials. Making tutorial video

    NOVEMBER - DECEMBER: Harvesting natural materials, making small things for christmas markets. Harvest and sorting willow

    To fully learn a little bit of handicrafts and the willow , is best if you stay for at least two or three weeks. It is best for both you and us, if you also know that you enjoy and are capable of doing stuff with your hands.

    We mainly work with our willow, but there are other projects to attend to as:
    - Harvest and sorting willow
    - Harvest and s...
    - Tanning sheep skins
    - Softening the skins
    - Cleaning, tanning and softening fish skins.
    - Making small items in wood for weving – Tabletweaving, inkleweaving
    - Making wood frames for drums
    - Preparing waving materials ( splitting thick willow in three pieces, and making it thinner)

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    norwegian, english, danich

  • Accommodation


    We live in a small house on a small island. You will have your own room with a bunkbed to share with other workaways or WWoofers. Always the same gender in one room!
    In our house lives Silja and Lars - basketmakers and willow growers. 41-46 years. And Ira-17 years’ art student. Two cats. There are 4 more people on the island.
    You don’t have to bring anything for sleeping, we have all that.

    We usually cannot accommodate vegans or special diets. Unless you are the chef and take good responsibillity for making and planing the food the period you are here. We are not strict but we do have our habits and liking in the kitchen. If you have food allergy or a disease let us now. And we always make our food from the bottom.

    If you need special food like a lot of fruit for snack, chocolate, soda, another snack you have to buy this yourself. This goes for alcohol and tobacco also. We will have normal food, and try to make what you also like.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are situated between Tønsberg and Sandefjord as the two nearest big cities. We have short way to Torp/Sandejord airport, buss, train and other facilities. If you are interested in viking history this is the place to come, as we live near to Gokstad, Oseberg and Borre mounts. If not this are still places that is worth exploring.
    As we live on an island there is much to see on spot too. Go for a hike, fishing, boat trip, snorkelling, or just enjoy the season of the year. If you have a car, its one hour to the nearest ski senter .

    Hope to see you sooner or later :-)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (max 25 hours/week)

Host ref number: 435678168514

Give the gift of Workaway
read more

Find your perfect host