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Hi , we are English-Russian couple Julian and Lucia - our home is a smallholding on the edge of a tiny forest hamlet in the wildest part of Sweden, surrounded by nature unbounded, with wolves, deer, elk and bear, and loads of clean freshwater lakes for swimming in and fishing all in walking/cycling distance - and we have loads of fun happening...
We are making our home into both an eco-farm, and a place for designing and building all kinds of machines and boats and fun things - with a cool twist - almost everything is made from recycled materials:-
From the workshop to the greenhouse, almost every material has been found as scrap and cleaned, painted and re-used, this has lead to all kinds of learning, finding knowledgable people to get advice, and we love meeting new people and finding new ideas or ways to do things.
We have had some wonderful people up here the past years and this year we planned to sail away for a year, but ...oops Corona made its mark in Europe just after Christmas, so we had to come sail home quickly just before the lockdowns... and it's so beautiful up here, we've decided to stay at home all summer and enjoy it.
We tend toward vegetarianism, but as with everything, we're not extreme - we'll eat meat when we find it in skips, or from roadkill, just as we'll buy new spare parts if we have to get any worthwhile project done. Our point is to be pragmatic, to minimise waste, and to value all we find in this wonderful world, and be thankful for what man and nature provides. And we're up to about 90% recycled everything!
Tiny Houses and Tractor Wagons:
Building accommodation wagons designed to be towed behind the tractor - some will be used for an overland expedition to Central Asia, some will be used for accommodation locally for guests and for eco tourists - eco-tourism is growing and families will need comfortable places to stay when visiting the forest. Ours will be self sustained and mobile so that impact is less on any area and buildings don't need to spring up in beautiful places. 'Not just a caravan' - the wagons will be robust an able to go off road, be super insulated, will have their own solar panels and composting toilets, so that people can enjoy nature with minimal impact anywhere, summer or winter. We'd like to find people with ideas for design, publicity, welding, carpentry, nailing, electrics, grinding and painting to get the wagons built and up and running.
LATEST NEWS (October '21): Our main projects now is building/finishing our tiny house wagons, each one different, to be ready for renting them out for the 2022 tourist season. This is what we would like help with the most - we offer 'on the job' training for people who want to learn to build their own houses, tiny houses wagons in the future, and welcome new design ideas and input. And we are always grateful when people who already have relevant skills come along to help, too.
Work has started on our new massive workshop so that we can work on projects large and small, rain or shine – it would be great to meet new people who like the sound of this project and heavy construction work – it’s seriously big! Again, almost all is built of recycled materials, sourced locally, and we have several experts who pop by to give ideas and help us along. I’m an experienced builder, so for people who want to start their own projects soon, there is the chance to learn loads of tips, techniques and workarounds that will save you vast amounts of mistakes, time and money and help you source and prepare and build using recycled materials if you want to build your own smallholding or eco-house in the future. I have built everything here with my own two hands, (with great helpers, of course!), and the house is super-insulated which pays off year after year, with ideas that make life easier to live life comfortably and with little impact on our world. In the workshop building will be a fine arts studio and a music studio too...
LATEST NEWS: The workshop is up and running, in daily use, and the music studio is in use too (- we have a drumkit and guitars, keyboard etc). Both a great resource! We'd love some help with the final parts of the building - fitting outside cladding, and there is a little (polystyrene) roof insulating left to be done by people who like working at heights and working off a scaffold - as and when the materials come in.
We built a new 10m polytunnel greenhouse last summer and it’s sort of all dressed up and and ready to grow – it’s ticking over, but we'd love to find one or two cool people who like to work with the earth and plants to get it into full blossom - and produce more good natural homegrown food. A lot of my friends are expert gardeners, so the info and backup is there, but all my time now is on the workshop, so it would be wonderful to find a person(s) happy to run the greenhouse, (and if adventurous, maybe even build yet another greenhouse the same - all the materials are here, ready!)
LATEST NEWS: All plant projects stopped for the winter now.
FISHING: Around all this we go fishing in the pristine local lakes for food – putting nets out daily in summer from our little boat. Again, with me busy on the workshop we’d love to have one or two people happy to cycle the 5km to the lake, and go out and lay the nets and take them in and pickle or preserve the fish so we have good natural food for the summer, and more stored for the winter. It's easy fishing and really, really beautiful on the unspoiled lakes around here! HUNTER GATHERING: get back to basics and exercise those in built talents! - we try to eat as much naturally grown forest produce as possible, and this ranges from collecting birch sap and medicinal funghi, to picking and drying mushrooms and berries. And we like skip raiding (dumpster diving) to minimise food waste!
PAINTING and MAINTENANCE: Every few years our wooden house needs a new coat of paint, and bits and bobs need cleaning, checking and looking after, so if you don't yet have great building skills and don't like water, or if you just like varied pottering or painting jobs, that's fine - there is something for everyone to do, it all helps us along massively.
Welcome to the wild Swedish forest!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
All about alternative living and building and no compromise recycling - for people who want to enjoy the country life or learn so they can go on to build for themselves in future, in an eco-friendly way.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Welding, painting, gardening, carpentry, preparing materials, building work (heavy and light), maintenance
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
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We have a light and fresh guesthouse with en suite bathroom and shower, and also an accommodation wagon (unfinished - i.e. not kithchen fitted, no shower inside, but warm and cosy). Swedish summers here generally are hot daytime and cool nights, so a lot of life is outdoors. We hope to have more wagons built or under construction by summer too.
We often go sailing on weekends, and put up a tent on some tiny islands on the archipelago on huge lake Vänern and if there is space aboard, visitors are usually welcome to come along. We are surrounded by vast forest, close to a river (1km), with wildlife all around, in an area famous for it wild foods - mushrooms, berries, fishing, etc. This is a great place for tracking animals or for weekends camping, or just relaxing by the camp-fire here at home, where we have our own stone circle. Welcome to borrow bicycles and camping gear, or use some of our kayaks on nearby lakes or rivers- and we can show you some great places to spend a weekend in the forest.
LATEST NEWS: As the wolf population grows after reintroduction of the wolf some decades ago, we see more and more of their tracks near the house, sometimes in the garden - though it's very unusual to actually see one. Last week a bear was growling right by the workshop in the pitch dark, and we stood listening to it with our volunteers for some twenty minutes before it (thankfully) wandered off.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
any size really
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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