Skjølberg Søndre Kretsløpsgård, Svorkmo, Trøndelag
“It’s green everywhere”, he said, the bearded, usually sceptical and gloomy city boy. He’s a man specializing in ironic distance, a prime example of the generation born in the late seventies. But standing there in the vast green hills, he’s at a loss for words. He’s smiling, not from a joke he just cracked, but from sheer, childish joy. The hills he is standing in are in the middle of Orkdal, until now most famous for its river which shares its name with the biggest producer of processed foods in Norway.
The reason this green paradise exists is because of the stubborn and wilful work of Elin and Carl Fredriks Östlunds. They’ve been the talk of the valley for some years, not in a good way, more of a head-shaking, distrusting kind of way - from the other farmers, that is. “It isn’t possible to grow the plants you would like to grow here, not that way you are dreaming of anyway” they say.
So they carry on, and slowly but surely their produce started to grow, and almost overgrow the small part of the hill facing west.
The pair produces tomatoes of many varieties, as well as cucumbers, apple cucumbers, chillies, edible flowers and herbs. They also have the old bovinae sida trønder to make milk, and Mosk ducks for eggs and meat. They get all their compost from the farm and the animals. This operation is holistic, and they keep and reuse as much as possible. Lately they have also started growing micro-greens in the cellar to supply Credo’s demands of small green taste bombs for their culinary creations.
Together with Restaurant Credo, Elin and Carl Fredrik are shifting the boundaries of old beliefs about what is possible to grow here in Svorkmo.
You can read more about their farm here: www.skjolbergsondre.com