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Wwoofer Profiles - Part 4

Greetings from Australia, for the last time! Yes, it's time to give the blog back to the current blog-responsible, so this is the last time I'll be writing for you all. Thanks to Bengt and Maria for letting me hijack the blog for the last couple of weeks...not that they had much of a choice muhahahahaha! I hope you've all found these profiles somewhat interesting, and I'd love to see some more from future blog-responsibles in times to come. Wishing you all only G days forever :)
Age: 28
Country: Australia
Length of stay: 1 month
Responsibilities: Garden Gnome, Blog-Resposible, Calves
What brings you to Allmogegarden?
In a nutshell - I wanted to get away from my desk job, travel alone and explore Scandinavia. But this is what I actually wrote in my wwoofing hosting request... 
"I'm a computer programmer, working for the government in the capital of Australia. My job is fine and allows me to live comfortably, but the office is climate-controlled, I sit down all day, and usually spend most of the day eating because I'm bored! I often find myself staring out the window, wondering what it's like outside.
I love being outside, and Allmogegården looks like a beautiful place to explore. I also enjoy cooking and live to eat, so I'm definitely interested in learning how fruit and vegetables are grown organically, and it would be great to learn some traditional Swedish recipes as well ... I guess I just want to spend some time working hard in a physical way, and to feel the tiredness from a hard day's work."
What did you think it would be like?
I thought the work would be physically hard, and I would definitely lose a bit of weight. I was a little worried about having to share one bathroom with so many people...I thought the last person to shower each day would only ever have cold water. I was pretty sure the internet would be slow and unreliable. I thought the weather would be cool and fine at that time of year (June). 
What is it actually like?
The lifestyle made me more physically tired than I'd imagined, but I think that had a lot to do with waking up so early every day. Sharing the bathroom never became an issue in our group because everyone was quite considerate about not hogging the shower. Also it helped that not everybody showered every day. The panroom-heated hot water system was very reliable (thanks Toby!) and I never had a cold shower. The internet speed was ok, but had to be shared between a lot of people so could only be used sparingly. It was actually warmer and much more humid than I was expecting. And I ended up putting on weight after my time on the farm because we had some great cooks! I couldn't resist all that homemade bread and butter :D
Have you ever worked on a farm before?
No - I've always been a city kid.
What do you do in your downtime here?
I slept in, explored the woods, and worked in the greenhouse. 
Best thing about WWOOFing at Allmogegarden?
Bengt and Maria are very generous with their time and knowledge, and I was amazed (and a little scared) at how much freedom I was given in my responsibilities, and the level of trust they put in me as a person with such little experience of working with crops and animals. It's pretty cool to see how open they are to collaboration and discussion on how different things are managed on the farm.
Worst thing?
Having to wake up early every day....and then waking up even earlier than your alarm because the flies and/or cats won't leave you alone haha! Realising you've unwound silo the wrong way is also a bit painful. Stinging nettles are just the worst things ever.
Most memorable moment?
The Midsummer's Day celebrations, and all the preparations in the lead-up, were amazing. On an unrelated note, sleeping in laundry baskets is surprisingly comfy! Harvesting potatoes for the first time ever was a definite highlight for me.
How do you think your Allmogegarden experience has changed you?
I've never really liked gardening but I started to after spending a month tending to the tomato plants in the greenhouse. I enjoyed it so much that I started doing greenhouse work in my spare time on weekends because I found it so calming. 
I think it's always good to be exposed to different perspectives in life, and I was surrounded by people that were quite different to the people I usually hang out with at home...I understand a lot more about Germans now too! It was really interesting to hear what had brought different people to Allmogegarden, and the significance of their Allmogegarden experiences (past and present). To think that I was only there for a month, and then to think about how many people have come through Allmogegarden, and all their backstories, and what this place might mean / have meant to's actually pretty mind-blowing to me. It just made me realise that Allmogegarden is a place that holds history for a lot of people.
Any advice for future Allmogegardeners?
Get Bengt and Maria to tell you the story of how they met <3

Wwoofer Profiles - Part 3

Age: 19
Country: The Netherlands
Length of stay: 5 months
Responsibilities: I have done almost everything in these five months! 
What brings you to Allmogegarden?
I wanted to experience a self-sufficient lifestyle (and succeeded).
What did you think it would be like?
Based on what I read on the internet and the pictures I had seen, I thought it would be exactly what I was looking for!
What is it actually like?
It’s even better than I could have imagined. Working with nature and the horses is amazing!
Have you ever worked on a farm before?
No. I had never even visited a farm like Allmogegarden.
What do you do in your downtime here?
Watch McLeod's Daughters :D
Best thing about WWOOFing at Allmogegarden?
Working with the horses!
Worst thing?
Cutting thistles.
Most memorable moment?
How do you think your Allmogegarden experience has changed you?
Right now I’m sure that I want to live like this one day. And my German improved a lot!
Any advice for future Allmogegardeners?
Stay as long as possible. You will learn new things every day!

Wwoofer Profiles - Part 2

Age:  23
Country:  United States
Length of stay:  1 month
Responsibilities:  Barn Boss, Fireguard, Sheep Manager, Cowboy
What brings you to Allmogegarden?
I'm studying sustainable agriculture. 
What did you think it would be like?
I did not really have many expectations when I arrived. I knew they raised animals and grew crops in a semi-traditional way and I wanted to see what that was like. 
What is it actually like?
I was pleasantly surprised with how forward thinking Bengt and Maria were and how much fun it was to work with both of them. Sometimes farmers are really not open to discussion or questions regarding their practices but they were very willing and even happy to discuss agriculture and its different approaches.
Have you ever worked on a farm before?
I've done WWOOFing in Japan for 3 months, worked on a CSA farm in NY, and currently work on the farm at my school in NC (USA).
What do you do in your downtime here?
I really enjoyed walking in the pastures on the weekend. I read a lot and played my mandolin a little bit. Mainly I slept so I would be well rested for a good day of work. 
Best thing About WWOOFing at Allmogegarden?
I think the best thing for me about WWOOFing at Allmogegarden was to see what it was like to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. You would be hard pressed to meet such relaxed farmers in the dairy industry right now. With all of the politics surrounding farming, instead of trying to compete with factory farming and contributing to the degradation of the environment, they have chosen to remove themeselves in a big way from that system. The result is two happy farmers who eat healthier food than you can get in any store and enjoy the company of people from all over the world to share interesting perspectives and ideas. 
Worst thing?
Most memorable moment?
I think the best times for me were at the table. The food was always so good and getting to chat about whatever at the table, which was always full of laughter, were always the highlights of the day.
How do you think your Allmogegarden experience has changed you?
WWOOFing here really opened me up to the idea of ​​subsistence farming myself. Seeing an alternative to being a small farmer in a big market is really refreshing.
Any advice for future Allmogegardeners?
Experiencing this kind of a life is something everyone can get something out of. Getting more connected with how we live and the food systems that are a part of that is never time poorly spent. Thanks for an amazing experience that I will not soon forget!

Wwoofer Profiles - Part 1

G'day! I'm An. I travelled all the way from Australia to spend a month at Allmogegarden in June. A big part of the Allmogegarden experience for me involved getting to know the other WWOOFers. The people I met were fun, clever and a little bit crazy. Okay, more than a little bit. They all had their own stories, had various reasons for coming to the farm, and would be heading off in different life directions after their Allmogegarden experience. They came from Sweden, US, France, the Netherlands, but mostly there were more Germans than you could poke a stick at. These people were all weird and wonderful in their own way, but I noticed that they were generally independent, passionate, generous and bloody hard-working. I left the farm a few months ago, but I'm going to hijack the blog for a few days to introduce you to some of the people I met in my time there. First up, the force of nature that is Meike ...

Meike (Majken)
Age: 24
Country: Germany
Length of stay: 11 weeks, in total
Responsibilities: Chicken and Duck Mum, House Mum, Milk Majesty, Garbage Responsible, Grocery Delivery, Carpenter, Gardener
What brings you to Allmogegarden?
I planned to travel around in Sweden for five months and wanted to try WWOOFing too. I found Allmogegarden on the WWOOFer homepage and was interested in this farm, this is why I'm here :)
What did you think it would be like?
I was expecting nothing so I could not be disappointed.
What is it actually like?
It is GREAT!
Have you ever worked on a farm before?
Yes, I worked on another farm in Sweden and also for a year on a farm in Germany.
What do you do in your downtime here?
I sleep ...
Best thing About WWOOFing at Allmogegarden?
The animals, the people, that we have so much freedom in our work.
Worst thing?
Animals that are dying.
Most memorable moment?
Birth of baby animals.
How do you think your Allmogegarden experience has changed you?
It showed me that I want to live like this (I knew it before but now I know it for sure), maybe not exactly this way but close. I've had so many moments of happiness here that made me recognise that this is the way I want to live.
Any advice for future Allmogegardeners?
Just enjoy it! And accept that, at Allmogegarden, "as soon as possible" means in two months, and "one day" means never! :D

August - September 2016

OPEN FARM DAY (27.8.2016)
Thrashing grains

August 2016


Summer, hässja and berries

It has been a bussy time here at Allmogegaarden. Everyone has worked hard to cut down grass, put up hässjas (Hässja is a constrution that will let the grass dry out, so that it can be used for hay), (Letting it dry for a week or two), taking it down and store it in the barn....Hard work, but teamwork makes the dreamwork, as we say :)
Here they are, all standing :)
And here we're taking them all down again (really hard work)
The last wagon is brought to the barn and we celebrate with a pictures of all the good looking, hardworking and dirty farmers! :)
During this week we have also picked a lot of berries. The season for berries has been crazy and we have never seen so many berries in Tolarp. This of cause brings out the wwoof''ers for a berriehunt and we came home with 2 1/2 buckets full of blueberries (In general the all wwooférs teeth, lips and toungs have been blue all week), 1 bucket of rasberries and a little bit of kantarel (A really tasty mushrrom)
We finish of with a few pictures of the summer atmosphere here at the farm - Most of them are from the big lake near by where we all have spend some good hours swimming in the icecold water
Have a wonderfull summer! :)


Egg-scuse Me

Here at Allmogegarden, each member of the WWOOFer family is responsible for preparing breakfast, fika, lunch and dinner on their designated kitchen day. The staple foods here right now are meat, potatoes, wheat and eggs. In the week before Midsummer, we needed to make sure we would have enough eggs to make the traditional strawberry chicken-responsible Meike banned the use of eggs in the kitchen! That didn't stop WWOOFer Aline from making pasta and chocolate cookies on her kitchen day. Here's her awesome recipe for eggless chocolate cookies. And let's not forget to wish her a bon anniversaire for today! 
Aline's Eggless Chocolate Cookies
250g plain flour
100g white sugar
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of salt
150g cold butter, cubed
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa and salt together. Add the butter, honey and vanilla sugar/extract, then knead the mixture until you have a homogeneous dough. 
Cover a plate with greaseproof paper. Scoop out a teaspoon of dough and roll into a small ball. Place the dough ball on the plate and flatten it lightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes. They should still be a little soft in the middle when you take them out of the oven. Allow to cool before eating (this is hard, so let's make this step optional).

Hej hej

So much has happened on the farm since our last blog post. So let's see what's new...
Baby boom!
About 3 months ago, baby animals were popping out all over the place here at Allmogegarden! We welcomed piglets, ducklings, chicks, rabbits and lambs. They are all happy and healthy, and revelling in the long summer days here in the beautiful Swedish countryside.

New plant sauna
Thanks to WWOOFer Tobbe, Allmogegarden now has a new greenhouse. Tomato plants were moved in over a few days (a few cucumber plants snuck in too), and all inhabitants are now making the most of the warmer climate. 
How do you drive this thing?!
After sowing assorted seeds a little while ago, the fields are now in the process of being weeded. The first thing to do is drive the hacker between each row, which rips up the weeds underneath. This machine is horse-powered and is usually driven in teams of two, with one person leading the horse and the other working the machine. It takes a bit of time to learn how to work with the horse/machine/your fellow driver, but luckily there are lots of rows to practice on!
The Great Escape
Some of our rabbit residents have been enjoying "life on the outside" after breaking out of their enclosure...multiple times. This has kept the WWOOFers busy with almost daily rabbit hunts! But even though they can be hard to catch, at least they never run too far away. Word on the street is rabbits that stay inside their enclosure get to live a happy life...the others might not be so lucky...

The Tolarp Times

ALLMOGEGARDEN, Sweden -- The last couple of weeks a lot of small projects have been going on at the farm. To get a short overview of the latest happenings please take a look at the breaking news.
Escaping Cattle
On a sunny afternoon Allmogegarden's cows have been on the run. The animal gang consisting of Alma, Anna, Annamai and Silvia discoverred icy ad snowy paths in order to find the valuable green gold. However, on their quest of hay our brave shepherd Zita could take up the cows' trail and lead them back to their pasture.
Since a few weeks Allmogegarden was extended by three new inhabitans. The ducks Jeanette, Sally and Anders acclimatized very fast and enjoy now chatting around with the chickens and taking baths in their self-made swimming pool.
After a few hard-working days the wooden water trough made by Swiss hand is completed and ready to be inaugurated. The next Swiss project is restoring a wooden butter crock.
A really nice catch reached Allmogegarden. It was fished in the
close-by lake Landsjön.
On a Saturday in January a few of the Allmogegardeners went to a nearby second-hand store to get some new furniture for renovating the WWOOFers' House. After testing the comfort quality of the products, the cats were pleased with the acquisitions. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!

The best way of decorating and bringing cosy and eletcroless light in a room is achieved by self-made candles. Therefor bee wax and sheep fat are used. The candles production kept the farm busy for a whole weekend, which meant candle dipping in shifts. However, the result of this time-consuming work is a supply of hand-made candles for dark winter days.

Since there are always things to learn on a farm the so-called study cirlces have been reintroduced in Tolarp. On weekly meetings interesting topics regarding farming, gardening, sustainabilty and much more are discussed.
In order to keep a good balance between work and leisure time all inhabitants of Allmogegarden have their own exercises and relaxation programmes.
The different methods vary from cross country running...
...over finding the inner balance via the belly dance...
...and taking a relaxing warm bath... driving through the wintry landscape.
To stay updated please follow the coming Allmogegarden News!

Welcome to Allmogegarden’s Winter-Wonderland Part II

Jolinda is dragging the sleigh for the first time. She is doing a really good job, even when she is a tiny little childishly - everything can be so exciting for a young horse...the snow..the sleigh behind...or do you maybe have apples for me?
Winter wonderland!
Firing branches is one part of the daily work in wintertimes - and a good bonfire keeps you warm while working in the cold.
Caramel is full of energy and working hard. She is an enrichment for the herd and can show "lazy" Frej how to be a little faster :)
However, Frej is also working hard. He is doing a great job!
Pluto also drags trees on small hilly paths - det var riktigt bra Sanna och Pluto!
Frozen trees on a sunny day - the farm looks very different in its winterdress.

Welcome to Allmogegarden’s Winter-Wonderland Part I

Happy New Year!

Finally, after a long time without updates on happenings at Allmogegarden, we want to take you with us on a journey through a marvelous winter wonderland! The snow covered the farm, fields and forest with an amazing white-sparkling blanket which gives this place a special charm and different character. Even when it's cold and chilly the days are spent outside. Also in wintertimes there is plenty of work to do - not only for the humans but also for the horses.

However, settle back and enjoy our winter journey:


Our new little bull "Adam and our frosty ladies
Doris made herself a cosy blanket out of straw - even in the barn it's pretty cold!
Dean's first snow!
Edwin is driving Frej on a snowy day

Merry Christmas!

Hej Maria och Bengt!

We thought a normal Christmas card is way to boring so we wish you a merry Christmas on this way! We hope everything is fine at the farm and that you enjoy Christmas.
Also merry Christmas to the whole Allmogegarden- Community!

God jul, Hyvää joulua, frohe Weihnachten!

Hanni, Lena and Tapani

By the way, we are really sorry that we hacked your blog ;)
... and that we couldn't manage to take a better picture :D

Winter is comming

Last Wednesday we had the first snow here!! :D It means that we have to have an extra eye on the animals water, so it doesn’t freeze and otherwise put on an extra layer of cloth as the minus degrees has begun :D
Last week we also took the small calfs, Dean and Honey, out on a field for the first time. Here they had to learn what an electric fens means (For the first time), so that we are sure that they wan’t try to break out.


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