This is a blog about life on our old farm called Nordre Stuksrud. The farm sits atop a steep sided hill, overlooking the valley of Gudbrandsdalen, near Lillehammer, Norway. Our current goal on the farm is to be self-sufficient, and to rediscover the art of living simply on the land, as our ancestors did for thousands of years. For both of us, becoming self-sufficient is not just about growing our own vegetables, and making wine (though that is of course a part of it!) We want to learn to use our hands and our minds to create beautiful and useful things, and learning those skills that are in danger of being lost. It’s about learning to ask, not “where can i buy it?” but “how can i make it?” and not “how do i get rid of it?” but “how can i use it?” We want to have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where our food comes from and how it was produced- that it hasn’t travelled more than a mile to our plate, let alone a thousand! and that the animals who feed us have good lives, able to roam freely on green pastures, and cared for with the respect they deserve.
And last but not least it’s about enjoying life! We live in a beautiful place, full of natural wonders. We want to be here, to work in the fields in the sunshine or the pouring rain and listen to the birds singing, and the rushing of the stream. To feel the seasons changing, and to change with them. To reconnect with the proccesses of nature; birth, growth, even death and decay. This is how we want to live.
Our non-human family thus far consists of, a long haired upper class Norwegian forest cat Gersemi and two her children Freki and Luna, a fjord horse Haukjon, two sweet and curious cows (Vestlandsk fjordfe) Auðhumla and Hornfagr, many icelandic chickens (islandshøns) and six sheep: 5 ewes Sheila and a ram Ramson (villsau).
We try and grow as much fruit and veg as we possibly can, and we grow grain for ourselves and the animals (barley, wheat, oats). We also make hay for the animals, in the traditional norwegian way. There’s an endless supply of fuel growing all around us- all we have to do is cut it down, dry it and chop it up: All our heating, cooking and hot water is run on wood. We have our own water supply, which runs straight from a well above the farm, and the stream, from which all of our water came until recently.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and I would love to hear your thoughts about it! By the way, I’m Hanna. I’m 24 and I grew up in Devon, England.