Help our non-profit association, with educational center for eco building on a farm in Järbo, Sweden




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 Min stay requested: 1 month or more

  • Description


    LONG TERM STAY We welcome a nice couple (or a single nice person) to stay with us preferably one year: from early January throung half of December 2020

    We are looking for one or a couple of ”all round assistant/s” to come and share life and duties with us and stay hopefully for almost a full year.

    If you would be interested in learning Swedish of course your stay with us can be used for language training! I have helped several persons with their Swedish language training. And I am for sure willing to speak Swedish with you and help you as much as you want with your effort to learn Swedish. Then of course you could also benefit more and more of all the teachings that will be offered on the farm! (Of course mostly in Swedish)

    Of course we need help, that is why we invite volunteers - but we also want to socialize and to have a very positive atmosphere here on our farm. That is why we invite volunteers that are joyful, attentive and interested in eco friendly living, recycling and similar subjects… also interested in communicating on a personal level and hopefully also share thoughts of life with us. This is why we prefer to have volunteers who communicate freely in English - or if you prefer; Swedish, or as mentioned; during your stay here develop your Swedish language skills ;)

    In addition to everything else ongoing on this little farm we are also during the year of 2020 offering 14 Saturdays of teachings to 20-30 persons from this region who are interested in becoming more self sufficiant with cultivation and to build reciliance in many ways. They all will attend this course for free of charge, since the project is approved by funds distributing EU money ! We are so thankful for this opportunity! During those Saturdays we need you to prepare the coffee- and tea-breaks. But also to prepare the lunches for all the participants. OF COURSE I, Marjo (= the whife on the farm) am counting on helping with all planning and all that can be prepared the day before. But I count on you to do the last preparations and to serve the lunch on time days when we have groups here.

    In addition to these mentioned educational days on our farm there will also be at least 7 other Saturdays when we have ”Saturday with clay”. Then often only a handful of paricipants attend. But same thing: all of us - you too - need lunch ; ) There will also probably be a couple of 3-7 day long workshops during summer, probably mainly concerning clay building techniques. In addition to you taking big responsability for the meals OF COURSE you can also participate and learn a lot!

    I consider it my mission in life to try to inspire people to take steps in the direction of more sustainability and resiliance in many ways. This concept in my mind has only become stronger lately as I realize more than earlier in life that my life might not be as long as I have always hoped for... I am in recovery after a rough brest cancer spread in the lymph system, and lately a bit worried that it might decvelop again... some signs migh indicate that. That is why it is even more important to use my capacity and energy as efficiant as possible. Will you help out to make that possible?!

    This little farm is established the first and only educational center for eco building with clay in Sweden. From April through October we offer guided tours & a few workshops on clay building: In addition to that, also other subjects like recycling, saving old breeds (sheep and ducks) that are threatened of extinction, and more in line with our ”back to basis interests”.

    We are continually implementing more permaculture principles on our farm and expanding our cultivation with the goal of becoming self sufficiant with veggies in a few years.

    I, Marjo, am the executive director of the non profit NGO that run the public activities on the farm. I am also active in Clay Builders Association in Sweden, so of course one of my main interests and what I am usually busy trying to inspire people with, is clay building, many tecniques.

    During the year of 2020 we also count on sharing with you; the planning, preparations and all things to be done when it comes to increasing our cultivation, also to prolong the short vegetable ”normal” growing season here; a bit up north in Sweden. (That is one of my deep interests now: how to really prolong the season and prepare to have harvest almost all year around - quite a challenge in this temperature zone ^^) We are not cultivating with ambitions to sell, only to be more and more selfsufficiant for me, my husband and others who shares time with us here as volunteers or guests.

    During the year there will of course also be some building and renovation projects on the farm. Those we count on you to take part in too. For example some painting. We paint mainly (but not only) with old fashion egg oil tempera - totally free from emissions =D
    We also want you to do some frequent vaccuming and cleaning and other regular home based activities. About the cultivation, in addition to already mentioned planning, precultivation, plant care in our raised beds and also in the food forest and at times a bit of weeding (however not a lot, since we cover naked soil with straw or wool) and we implement "no dig".

    OF COURSE we will tell and show you as much as you like of all what we are up to and hopefully you share with us YOUR knowledge and interests!

    We who live at this farm is me, my husband ”Lärkan” (which is the Swedish word for ”the lark” the singing bird) and our dear friend Erik, a Swedish young man of 30 who lives with us since several years. Now he is no longer a full time volunteer here since he is working full time daytime away from the farm as a carpenter and timberframe builder. But he lives here and we share a lot of interests and also many evening meals and activities on weekends.

    Our tiny farm is situated in the forest. In addition to the bear close by we have lynxes, foxes and wolves and of course deer and mouses around. Since they are extreemly observant and do not want to meet people, they are seldom noticed! We think it is absolutely wonderful to live here, and the wild ones are not a threat to humans - but some of them they can be a threat to our domestic animals. That is why our dogs do such an appreciated effort to point out that this area is for us and not for the wild animals. In addition to two family dogs we also have two kettle guardian dogs that live with the sheep day and night all year around. These dogs are amazing! You will see…

    We will also take you along once in a while to simple barbeques in the forest all year around. And of course we are ready to help you plan some touristic trips now and then when it does not interfeer with days when we need your help. If you are interested of course you also take part in different handicraft together with us. For example soap making, felting of wool, knífemaking or other creative activities that we often do.

    We have found that it is much more beneficial for both parties when volunteers stay here is not a too short period. Then there is time to really develop a good team, a sensibility for each others points of views and to have a chance to truly communicate and be enriched from each other and hopefully even develop a deep friendship! We have had many volunteers through the last 7 years, often for several months. But this time we really would appreciate to have the appointed volunteer/-s here the whole year. We hope to a.s.a.p. get in contact with you who thinks this is beneficial to you too!

    In addition to working together with different tasks, and socializing, of course we all need som private time on our own. For me, Marjo, a (aimed for) daily visit to our tiny chapel is a high priority. After my health problems I also need a short afternoon rest daily. Every one has his/her own ways of relaxing! We wish that you will find your preferable ones around here too ; )

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We will be eating most meals together and also sharing some spare time excursions and possibly film-watching some evenings. We will do our best to help you benefit as much as possible from your stay with us and we hope that you will enrichen our lives too! Often at meals and other times - if you are up to that - we hope for communication and sharing thoughts of life and subjects that interest you and us in common!

    If you are interested of course you can go for some tourist trip for example a weekend in Stockholm or Uppsala or to the archipelago of Stockholm or wherever you want yo go! We gladly help you make plans and drive you to to the busstation to help you get going if this is something you want to experience during your stay here. We will also bring you to "simple amusements" that we enjoy a lot all year around, for example excursions into the wilderness around with simple barbecues and boiling coffee over open fire in the forest close to creeks with trouts... (my husband is a devoted fly fisher).

    We cook mainly vegetarian plus fish and eggs, My husband and our dear friend Erik also eat meat. So quite often meat is served as a side dish.

    We are committed to do the best we can for mutual benefit and exchange. If you share your skills, engagement, energy and time here - we try to contribute with all what we can to make you stay in Sweden and your time with us as rewarding as possible. To socialize is important to us. So communication about ”life”, cultivating, culture, transition, recycling, music, personal development, being a sensitive and observant person... and sharing lot more in conversations is some of the benefits we hope to gain from having volunteers! But of course time to be alone and reflect is also very important! We welcome you who are social, friendly, attentive and regardful person willing to contribute with effort and energy in what is to be accomplished here.

    We have been so lucky that several of our previous volunteers have come back to us. Some just to visit a few days, others to come work with us for a period again, contribute and share life. To us this is a wonderful gift!

    Me and my husband have lived here since april -10 and already offered many courses, workshops, lectures and a few hundred guided tours where we show different techniques of building with clay. 
We are a happily married couple. We are an active couple, upper middle age, that have changed our lifestyle into a more sustainable one. Our two sons are grown up and only visit once in a while. We found this worn down little cottage in the middle of the forest. A lot had, and still has to be done here. Square meter by square meter we take care, restore, build new buildings and cultivate... Long way to go.

    Of course we will try to show you some of our Swedish culture and tell you as much as you want! We listen to music a lot, play guitar and sing some at times too.

    One thing though that is not negotiable: No wireless devices here. I, Marjo, am recovering, but have been highly hypersensitive to wireless communications.

    I sit by the computer as you realize ^^ since we have wirebound internet. I can nowadays tolerate electricity well, but not wifi or cellphone radiation. So here you will have to have your cellphone/Ipad turned off. We offer wire bound internet and of course you can connect your laptop (if you travel with one) and just turn off "searching for wifi". If you want to send an sms or make a phone call from you cellphone you just take a walk about 150 meters before starting it. OK?!

  • Help


    we welcome you who are observant, friendly, easy going persons, ready to share a lot ... as described ^^

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Swedish. English

  • Accommodation


    Simple guest room in an insulated bunkhouse of your own
    Shower, toilet and washing machine in another house than where you sleep
    There is also an outdoor shower cabin that is appreciated during summer
    We have bikes for you to borrow when the weather allows biking
    At times you can go to a nearby community farm for wood heated sauna

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    170 km north of Stockholm Arlanda International airport. If using public transportation 2 hours 20 minutes busride from Stockholm Central Station to Sandviken, the small city close to us. There we pick you up by car for the last 18 km. If you come by car: Road E4 to Gävle then road 80 to Sandviken and little bit further up north to Järbo.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours, 5 days maximum per week

Here Lärkan "stomping" cabbage to become sauerkraut
This is late fall 2018 when we started to prepare the "hügelbeds" with the help of two volunteers (and at times a tractor ;)
Here cooking for the first time in the recently built barrel oven in the outdoor kitchen. When this photo was taken, it was not even plastered. Now we cook ever so often in it: pizzas, gratins, crumble pies etc... Yummie!
Here two volunteers are finishing the rain-proof plank cover on the reciprocal roof of our fancy outdoor shower cabin. It is a true sensation to have outdoor showers, in fresh air and looking out over the field with the sheep and their guardian dog...
Here clayplastering the outside of house for hen build last summer with a totally different technique: straw moised with clay and pressed into a form.
"Lärkan" (="The Lark") with his beloved sheep
Here finishing the plaster on the outside of the house for sheep built with brushwood.
Here we had started to clear brushwood from our piece of land that had not been well kept for decades... we didn´t burn it or throw it away: we used it to shape walls! A method that is known to have been used by the vikings during the Bronze age. : ) This is the house for sheep, about 40m2.
Our little peaceful square in the middle of the forest
Here is the result after having carried 14,5 tons of clay-mixture into our bedroom... and after it was painted with earth-pigments, eggs and flaxseedoil :)
Here I, Marjo am plastering claymixture to the ceiling of my and my husbands bedroom

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (4.8)

Host ref number: 612615351142