Welcome to our small farm running on permaculture principles in Hjärtegården, Sweden



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    This is a small, rather old farm, in the very centre of Sweden, 1,5 hrs west of Stockholm. We who live here are Gunneli, 52, psychotherapist, John, 58, marketeer very interested and skilled in carpentry, Lady, 20 year old pony, Lubega 24 year old Holsteiner and Rafiqi, 21 year old large mixed bread (horse). We also have a border, Sirocco, a 20 year old Am Paint, he looks like the "Black Stallion". Feeding, mocking up after them, walking and caring for the horses are constant tasks that need to be done. (we don't ride these horses very much) The horses are my workmates in a modality called FEEL, (Facilitating Equine Experiential Learning), something like counseling people with the help of horses.

    Our goal is to one day be self-sufficient, but we are still far from that today. However, we do our best in living a "circular" life, going along with Permaculture principles of making as small an inprint on the world as possible. We plant our own food, with the help of the horses (and our own) waste, and we do our best in salvaging what has been left behind by others to be our gold. We run a little farm store where we sell any surplus of our own harvest and other goods we need to buy anyway, to keep the farm going.

    As time and money allows the progress, we are creating new solutions and repairing old things around the farm. During winter we hope to be painting and wallpapering a large area of the house, as well as fixing our chimeney.

    We lead a very simple life in the eyes of modern Sweden. We dress warm instead of heating all of the house to an extreme for example. Money is sometimes hard to come by, so we do our best in keeping costs down.

    We eat meat and fish here, but also a lot of vegetables. Still, if you have difficulties seeing blood or accepting meat-eaters, this is not the place for you.

    These are some of our daily activities. If anything appeals to you - please, send us a mail! Looking forward to hear from you!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • 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 share the work and the tasks around the farm and in the house as much as we are able to. That means you have to be prepared to clean your part of the house, and take care of your own cooking. When time allows it, we're happy to talk and share our knowledge and all what we have learned during life, that could be concerning gardening, health, yoga, food, building, woodwork, hemp etc, etc.

    We have been doing many different things throughout our lives where international contacts, traveling and learning new skills have been our main drive. This is why we like to continue with the international experiences, but now have them coming to us as it is more difficult leaving the farm.

    At the same time, life on a an old farm involves many different things, which vary a lot during the year. However, money still needs to come in to pay for food and housing, so we also need to work outside the farm.

    We live in an area with lots of early Swedish history. For example, our closest town, Arboga, is where the first parliament in Sweden was held. There are still plenty of really old churches and other buildings, as well as runes, all the way back to the 1100. So if you are interested in history this is a good place for you!

    If you like swimming we have a beautiful, very deep and clear, but small lake nearby. 30 min by foot or a short bike ride. Plenty of other small lakes around for fishing. There are also other, larger places to go swimming and boating, but a little further away.

    Without a car you are bit isolated here. However, there are bikes you can borrow to get to the closest busstop 3 km away. The bus will take you to both Arboga and Köping.

  • Help


    We are always in need of extra hands doing odd chores. We are renovating very old houses, we are building new houses and paddocks for our animals - so any experience of carpentry is very appreciated. As well as any garden experience. We are designing our farm according to permaculture principles.
    We are also painting, arranging graveled areas, pulling out nails in order to reuse the boards, clearing out the woods, moving gravel etc, etc.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Sami: Fluent
    Swedish: Fluent
    Arabic: Beginner
    German: Beginner
    Spanish: Beginner
    French: Beginner
    Turkish: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We have 1- 2 rooms available for volunteers in the main house. 1,5 bathrooms. Wi-Fi throughout the house - but not unlimited in amount of bites, no regular TV how ever.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We lead a rather simple and easy lifestyle. We go to work in other cities some days, but some days work at home. The horses are always at home!
    We expect you to manage yourself more or less. Including cleaning your share of the house and your laundry. Of course we are happy to share a meal with you when we are at home, but be prepared to be in charge of you own cooking.
    The closest bus stop is about 3 km from our farm. The bus will take you to either Arboga or Köping where you can jump on the train for Stockholm (1,5 hrs) or Örebro (0,5 hrs) or Gothenburg (3,5 hrs) or where ever you like in Sweden. During the summer months there is also possibilities to take smaller trips by boat, on our small channel between Mälaren and Hjälmaren.
    We have bikes you can borrow, and when we go by car somewhere you are of course welcome to come along.
    There are a few old mines, silver and copper, to visit as well as loads of different farms and nearby Mecka for horse-lovers, Strömsholm, with lots of shows and competitions.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    at least 5 hrs per day

Joey at work
Lady at work
Gunneli with Sirocco (a friends horse)
Our first concert in our barn!
Midsummer lunch in the barn with volunteers and friends.
Last summers tomatoes etc in the green house.
Gabriella mowing the lawn with our German mini-tractor.
c Finally finished the pump house!
So old and cute, but in need of lots of TLC!
Fencing paddocks.
Gunneli with a couple of dogs.
The main building at Christmas time.

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Cultural exchange: (4.9)

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Host ref number: 856212948114