Help at our small farm and enjoy hiking or skiing, in Hardanger close to Bergen, Norway

  • Norway
  • Favourited 709 times
  • Last activity: 31 May 2023



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    We, Olav and Rebecca (both 42), run Heljetunet, a
    small farm in Hardanger, Norway. We also get some help from Olav’s parents (Kirstin
    and Helge), especially when Olav is away at sea. Olav’s shift pattern is two weeks
    away and then two weeks at home on the farm. Olav’s two eldest sons also help out
    on some weekends. We are a big family with six children aged 14, 11, 10, 6 and two newborn twin girls. Olav is Norwegian and Rebecca is British. Rebecca’s role on the farm is to first and foremost take care of the children, but she also assists with light farmwork and running things whilst Olav is away.

    We raise sheep and grow three varieties of organic apples on the farm. The farm is
    situated with a view of the Hardangerfjord and Folgefonna glacier to the south, and
    often snow-capped mountains to the north. The farm is quite central in Øystese: a
    small town popular with tourists. A 10 minute walk takes you right into the centre
    where there are shops, a beach, restaurants and a swimming pool plus other amenities. It takes an hour and a half to get from Øystese to Bergen in the west by bus, and the same amount of time to Voss in the east. The surrounding mountains are ideal for skiing and hiking.

    We grow our apples organically and our sheep are almost exclusively grass-fed,
    grazing on the high mountain pastures during the summer months. Our vision for the
    farm includes improving and building the soil using regenerative techniques such as
    biochar, cover crops, composting and holistic grazing management. We keep the use
    of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers to a bare minimum that complies
    with organic standards. Producing excellent, sustainable food, fibre and fuel whilst
    maintaining and improving biodiversity are important values to us. We produce high
    quality apple juice, apples and sheepskins, and are self-sufficient in lamb and mutton. We want to create a kitchen garden to become self-sufficient in vegetables.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • 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

    Hardanger is Norway’s number one fruit-growing region, and a stay at our farm is a
    chance to learn more about modern fruit-growing as well as regenerative
    agriculture. Olav is a qualified orchard gardener and lifelong farmer. Heljetunet farm has been in his family since 1791. Rebecca is an ecologist and English and science teacher. She also has
    significant experience with permaculture and vegetable growing, having previously
    established and run Norway’s second permaculture LAND site, Seversgarden.

    The surrounding mountain areas are perfect for hikes, and for skiing in the winter.
    Øystese has an art museum and exhibition centre. There are sometimes concerts
    and music festivals there too. We might have time show you around, but we are
    mostly busy working both on and off the farm. Alternatively, we will happily
    recommend places for you to go and will send you a little guide by email if you come
    and stay with us.

    We do like travelling, but right now the better option is letting the world come to us.
    We look forward to sharing our Norwegian (farming) culture with you, and also to
    learn things about you and your culture.

    If you enjoy reading, we have heaps of books on subjects like self-sufficiency,
    gardening, farming and food preservation. Or sci-fi, if that's your cup of tea.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    This host offers accommodation and payment.

    Host has indicated that they will pay at least the minimum hourly wage of their country for each hour worked and that accommodation will also be provided. They are asking for help with a business or business activity. Contact the host directly via the site messenger for more information and details about the wage provided. Any arrangements should be agreed in advance with your host.

  • Help


    The apple orchards are fairly new (planted in 2018 and 2019) and need care
    throughout the growing season. Tasks such as mowing, strimming around the trees
    and fertilizing are common tasks. In the winter we prune the trees.

    Feeding the sheep morning and evening is the most important task during the
    winter. Lambing is in April, and we really need extra helping hands for that. From
    May until October the sheep are out on the pastures. In May and then Sept-Oct time
    they graze outdoors on pastures close to home; June through August they are up in
    the mountains. This winter we will most likely do some work on the interior of the
    sheep barn, and will need some help with that.

    Winter activity on our farm includes forest tasks; clearing pastures and cutting and
    chopping wood. It would be great if you have experience using a chainsaw and
    driving a tractor, but not a necessity. Instructions and training will be given on all

    We are also building a production room for juice and cider. If would be great if you
    have skills as a carpenter or plumber, but general handiness and a good work ethic
    goes a long way.

    You will be expected to work five hours a day five days a week.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Norwegian: Fluent
    German: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We have different options for accommodating you. The decision on where you stay,
    however, will be ours!

    Option 1
    A self-contained and recently refurbished cellar apartment with kitchen, brand new
    bathroom (with underfloor heating, toilet, shower, sink, washing machine), living and
    dining area and two bedrooms. Good WiFi and internet cable connection.

    Option 2
    Garage loft with one separate bedroom. There is a living room with a sofa and a
    desk, and two spare beds. Small fridge and possibilities for light cooking. There is no
    water installed in the garage loft. Toilet and shower is in the basement of the main
    farmhouse (separate to the self-contained cellar apartment). Good WiFi and internet
    cable connection, a fridge and also a TV screen.

    Food and meals
    You will mostly make your own food with other Workawayers in the kitchen of the self-contained cellar apartment of the farmhouse. This is regularly stocked with groceries, so it’s super
    important that you let us know of any particular dietary requirements! We also have food
    stores in the cellar of the house which you will have access to; consisting of a cool
    larder, freezers and refrigerators. These are stocked with basic supplies and dry
    goods. Some days we will all eat together, particularly during the summer months
    when we can all eat outdoors. We provide you with necessary groceries, but please also try to make meals based on what you can find in the food store.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We primarily look for couples and co-travellers because Olav works at sea in addition
    to the farm, so you will often be alone on the farm with some supervision and help
    from Rebecca and Olav’s parents. Access to a car could be a possibility if you have a
    driver’s license of course.

    We prefer longer workaway stays (at least three weeks, but preferably longer)
    because Olav is at sea for two weeks at a time, but also to allow you to settle in to
    the work routines and discover the local area.

    Your working hours might not always be fixed. Sometimes your help will be most
    needed in the evenings and weekends.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Good wifi available.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Room for an rv.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 992232142749

Feedback (25)


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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.5)

Communication: (4.5)

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