Ramsjögård

This is a real vegetable farm. We live close to nature and follow the seasons. We have taught many people self -sustainability for many years. We grow an abundance of vegetables and teach people how to live off of them. We are also very well situated near two cities (one the capital) and yet only accept people who are sincerely interested in the environment. Thus they meet like-minded people and often make friends here. Together we have created the first CSA in Sweden (Community Supported Agriculture) We do everything ourselves, seldom buying new but fixing and keeping old things. We have been certified organic vegetable farmers since 1989. The whole farm is like a forest garden and we have a permaculture going on as well. People of all ages and cultural backgrounds have volunteered here since 1991. Below you will find a file about what we do the different seasons to see if this is what you want to do. But before you apply please look at our website: www.ramsjogard.net under "volonteers" for questions and information which will help you see if you would be comfortable here. Please answer all the questions in "standard questions" and in the file about our wishes all the questions in green ink and send the answers to me at: karin.d.berlin@telia.com. Thanks. At the end of the files are some references which also give a good picture of what we do here and what you can learn.

This is our Daily Schedule : Daily schedule for helpers on the farm -between 7:00 and 8:00: Breakfast -8:00: Morning meeting with farmer Anders to discuss the day’s activities. During the dark season we can start earlier to work while it is light outdoors. -App.8:30: The day starts and what we do depends on the time of year -app 11:00- a coffee or tea break or something light to eat if you want - 13:00 or 14:00: Lunch when we all get together for the main warm meal -After lunch we return to our chores or are finished for the day. -We usually work another 3 hours after lunch. If you are weeding or working in the greenhouse and it is hot you might want to take time off mid day to go swimming and then finish your row or other chores in the evening when it is cooler. -The hours we work in the day vary depending on the time of year. sometimes we stop after lunch and other times we finish our projects. We have a free day Schedule and you write the days you want off. We reccomend two Days a week for people here onger than two weeks and one day if here on a shorter visit. If we work a long day we sleep later the next one. In the spring, around mid to late May and June, we are planting with the machine which is three seats behind the tractor and we are often on a schedule dependant on the weather. We can sometimes start planting in the afternoon and continue through the evening. We have “midnight sun” here so it is light. -From August to November two days a week we are doing our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetable baskets. January through April we have CSA basket once a month. Also on those days we may depart from our usual Schedule and always finish Before 15:00 when we go to Uppsala with the delivery.. If you are here a longer time and choose to take two days off a week you work between 32 and 40 hours a week. Here is a schema for each month and the work we do then and this is what we usually do but cannot promise exactly as the weather tells us what we can do at different times. Therefore some days are longer than others but it evens out and we always listen to your needs and wishes. Jan: We are usually closed in January but if we do accept one or two people it is for: Cleaning and preparing the different living areas for future helpers. Some repair work on the house. *Sorting vegetables and preparing orders for the schools and day care we sell to. Working in the woods with Anders. Cutting with electric wood splitter and stacking wood. Doing the fire. Sorting veggies. Baking around once a week. Warm clothing required for both outdoor and indoor work. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and warm boots. CSA basket once a month. Feb: We usually open mid-Febuary. We do orders for the various places we sell vegetables to (see in*January). Working in the woods with Anders. Cutting with electric wood splitter and stacking wood. Sorting veggies. Starting to sow seeds indoors for later planting out in fields. Baking around once a week. Making and tending the fire. Warm clothing required for both outdoor and indoor work. CSA basket once a month. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. March: Sowing seeds indoors in flats. Sorting veggies. Taking care of seedlings. Working in the woods with Anders. Making and tending the fire. Baking around once a week. Helping to clean both indoors and outdoors after the snow melts. Warm clothing required for both outdoor and indoor work. CSA basket once a month. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. April: Sowing and tending seedlings. Transplanting seedlings starts. Cleaning out greenhouses. Sorting veggies. Baking around once a week. Help build and put up greenhouses. Making and tending the fire. Helping to clean both indoors and outdoors after the snow melts. Possibly CSA basket once a month. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. May: Planting outside sitting behind tractor depending on if possibility to plant is limited can be long hours (compensated later with free time) Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Greenhouse work such as digging, planting and tending plants. Start weeding. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. June: Weeding. Planting outside sitting behind tractor depending on if possibility to plant is limited can be long hours (compensated later with free time) Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Greenhouse work such as digging, planting and tending plants. Possibility of building. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. July: Weeding. Planting outside. End of month harvesting and start CSA baskets. Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. August: Harvesting. Taking care of plants. Putting food by (freezing, jam making, pickling). CSA baskets every week. Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. September: Harvesting. Taking care of plants. Putting food by (freezing, jam making, pickling). CSA baskets every week. Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. October: Harvesting. After frost CSA baskets every other week. Packing vegetable orders. Putting food by (freezing, jam making, pickling). Perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Making and tending the fire. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. November: .Because of climate change we are often still harvesting in November. You need warm clothing for both indoor and outdoor work. Some years we work in our woods and cutting the wood at home. Cleaning indoors and outdoors. Putting food by like fermenting and making saurcraut the natural way. If you want to learn, helping with baking around once a week. One or two CSA baskets. Making and tending the fire. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and boots. December: If we host volunteers it is for cleaning, repairing and renovation indoors and CSA baskets once or twice and perhaps helping with baking around once a week. Making and tending the fire. Good to bring your own gloves and waterproof pants and warm boots. We usually only have helpers the first half of December.


All experiences


Reviews

11 reviews11

Staff & Host

Hours & Tasks

Hostel

Learning & Fun

Hungary

I have spent 2 months on the farm, i've arrived on 12th of September and i had a great time here. The fellow volunteers were really friendly and nice people. Thanks to this place i've made a lot of life long friendships. I've learned a lot about cooking and farming in general. I've applied with 32 work hours a week which seems like the minimum work hours weekly, in reality on many weeks we worked around 40-50 hours a week, for me it wasn't a problem but i think it's important to mention. I would recommend this place if you are commited and hard working.

18 days ago

Karin replied


We were happy to have a farmer’s son here as he understood the seasons and chose to stay on the farm most of the time. This also gave him the possibility of doing his web design job while living on the farm.

He took his days off at the end of the visit . The other helpers have been taking two days off a week and this makes their hours per week shorter. On our farm we have a monthly schedule paper where you reserve the days you want free and can take any day(s) of the week or week end.

I am happy Sándor added to his knowledge about farming from Anders and about vegan cooking and medicinal herbs from me. I certainly expanded my knowledge about vegan dishes from him. All in all a pleasant exchange.

Uruguay

Karin and Anders are very sweet people, of that kind of people that is hard to find. That is why all those situations that affect the family generate a lot of sadness. Last year they experienced a terrible situation with a boy called Jay. He was a person who did a lot of damage to the operation of the farm. He broke the rules on the consumption of alcohol and drugs. and continues until today generating fear for people who are interesting in participate. I'm as a lawyer I am going to take charge of getting his negative comments out. Unconditional love is what generated this experience to me.

2 months ago

Karin replied

Thank you, Ximena, for caring about us as people. This autumn we have a cozy group who enjoy each others company and we are part of it.
We appreciate that Ximena wants to help and she was not only helpful on the farm but made lovely cakes from the abundance of apples, every day. When she left she was missed:)

We want to attract people who are genuinly interested in sustainability, farming and a vegetarian\vegan lifestyle which is kind to the planet.

We are happy to advise about places to see in Uppsala and Stockholm as well but most of the time (usually 5 days a week or 6 if you are here less than 2 weeks) the focus is on the farm and we prefer helpers who are here for that.

United States

I spent fifty days here during the fall harvest: This was a very challenging experience. You will be exposed to redundant and strenuous farming activities, and at times, in unforgiving weather conditions. You will be expected to perform at peak intervals every workday as there are no paid workers on this farm. Much of the learning that occurs here is self-driven (i.e., watching videos provided by the hosts). Understand this: If you are expecting lavish amounts of free time, ensure the host understands your intent. This farm sets lofty expectations and will push you out of your comfort zone.

about 1 year ago

Karin replied

This young man spent 12 years in the US Marines and somehow carried the experience with him. He organized the other helpers and had them doing push-ups. He could not find a common ground with us even though we invited the group in to watch videos or make pizza together with us . He could only relate to his fellow helpers.

His first month here the weather was gorgeous and he was helpful and polite. He told me he was much healthier and got his 6 pack back.

Then the weather changed There were hurricanes in his native Texas and rain storms here in Europe and it was harder to harvest.

He got tired but did not ask for time off (we have a monthly schedule where you write what days you want free). Then when another ex military man joined us they started a life of staying up late and drinking.

Frankly he stayed too long and his behavior became strange. After he left we discovered that he had painted sentences on the walls of his room.

Now it is a year after he was here and I have more understanding about who to invite as we want the atmosphere to be comfortable here. Nevertheless I believe it was a good learning experince for all of us and do not regret inviting him.

United States

My fellow volunteers there were the only saving grace in otherwise slave driving conditions. My experience was awful. The work hours advertised when I signed up and got here said, "24 hrs per week, 2 days off". Reality was 50+ hours 1 day off. When I talked to Anders about it he immediately said, "you're welcome to leave". No negotiation, no regard for the feelings of the other volunteers. If you're considering this place please feel free to message me with any questions. I documented a lot and have proof of conditions and feelings of fellow workers in case they try to discredit this review.

about 1 year ago

Karin replied

Jay is absolutely right about the hours as he applied several months earlier than he came. We changed the hours advertised because the weather this year made us hurry to get in the harvest and the days were longer. We publish our Daily Schedule so anyone can figure it out. We also give people 2 days off a week if they want them.
It is true that he bonded with his fellow volonteers but they told us he talked about leaving already the evening before the day he refused to do the work offered. We always listen to people but he never came to us but complained to the others instead.
That creates a bad atmosphere.
He did work and we were grateful but would have preferred that he told us how he felt.
If you look at the other reviews you will see that we usually have shorter hours and do now as well because the frost has come so we cannot harvest. Also you can see what other people got out of being here during the harvest.
I appreciate this Review as it will attract the right people to the farm. I think Corey got it right (see Review below) .

United States

I had a great experience at Ramsjö Gard although it wasn't what I was expecting. I planned to stay with Karin and Anders for 3 weeks but ended up staying 4. Being near the end of the harvesting season we were working full days, 6 days a week which put the focus of my stay on learning about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, cooking with locally sourced foods, sustainability, conservation, self-reliance, and forming strong bonds with my fellow volunteers. I would suggest this farm to someone that is interested in organic farming, learning about holistic living, and meeting great people.

about 1 year ago

Karin replied

This review gives a realistic piicture of how life can be on the farm in October and November. There is a lot to do and time is short as the sun goes down early (like the opposite of our midnight sun).
At the same time there is an abundance of organic vegetables to learn how to prepare and you can really learn to live in a way that is better for the invidivual and the planet.


Perfect for you if you're looking for

Contact with nature

Vegetarian / Vegan

Rural

Spiritual