I august var det anden gang at Thy Hike officielt løb af stablen: en tre dages vandretur i Nationalpark Thy med luksusmad, bål og helt særlige naturoplevelser.

Maria Vangsgaard er kvinden bag det hele. Jeg kommer til kaffe i hendes hvidkalkede hus i Hanstholm for at høre om hendes liv og arbejde med natur. Det er en augustaften med ustadige sommerbyger - over industrihavnen ligger en lysende dis, og havet er næsten blankt. Maria drikker te og laver kaffe til mig. Vi skal snakke om, hvad Thy Hike giver og gør – både for de 105 deltagere men også for alle os, der bliver inspirerede af idéen. Det støvregner på nåletræerne udenfor vinduet, og vi begynder ..

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

HIKE

Vil du starte med at fortælle hvad Thy Hike er?

”Kort fortalt er Thy Hike en tre dages vandretur igennem Nationalpark Thy - men det er selvfølgelig lidt mere end det. Oprindeligt set var drømmen, at vi skulle lave et vandrefællesskab: at vi skulle revolutionere hele Danmark og måske udbygge til alle Nationalparker og lave Thy Hike Deluxe, Thy Hike Hardcore, Thy Hike Kids Edition. Men så blev projektet så stort, at vi besluttede os for at holde os til Thy Hike for at kunne være med.

Det er 3 gang i år - for første gang udsolgt - at 105 deltagere der skal gå fra Lodbjerg Fyr i Sydthy til Nors Sø på 3 dage. Og det er ikke en dans på roser! De bærer selv deres oppakning og skal selv finde vej. De tænker: Danmark er flad - men det er bare pisse hårdt. Og lige så snart man får en vabel eller at vejret er dårligt, så har man modgang ..

Hver aften er der lokale kokke, som kommer ud og laver bålmad i lejren – essensen af Thy Hike det er lejrhygge, bålhygge. Og det er selvfølgelig med råvarer fra Thy: fisk fra Vesterhavet og økologisk lam, der har græsset i nationalparken. To af kokkene sanker selv – altså samler urter og svampe – og formidler det til deltagerne. Både onsdag og fredag er der naturnørder ude og fortælle: bl.a. Philip, formand for Vild med Vilje. Sidste år fortalte han om ulven, og det var bare pisse fedt - folk var fuldstændigt betagede af det. I år skal han formidle om planterne i den plantage, vi er i.

Den dag de kommer i mål, lørdag, er der After Hike. Målet er lige ved Nors Sø – som er en af Danmarks reneste søer, helt vildt dejlig at bade i – og her kan de få et bad! Derudover kan de få en kold bajer eller et glas kold hvidvin. Og når vi så har spist festmiddag - krabbeklør, Louise laver - så er der livekoncert med Spöket i Köket. Deltagerne får faktisk undervisning i lige at lave sådan et par dansetrin til musikken - det hænger meget godt sammen med en kop øl og sved under armene.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

BÅL

Det bålbygge der –som du sagde, var essensen af Thy Hike –hvad betyder det?

”Altså, bålet .. August er jo sådan en årstid, hvor det allerede bliver mørkt kvart i ni. Så det er både fordi, bålet giver lys, det giver varme, man kan lave mad på det .. Men det er også urinstinkterne: altså egentligt behøver vi slet ikke have et hus med el og gaskomfur - vi kan bare lave bål, og så kan vi overleve. Det er sådan back to basic. Det må være det, man kan

mærke, når man sidder rundt om bålet eller spiser et bålmåltid: den der tilfredsstillelse over, at man har gjort sig lidt umage, at man får et måltid, som er nøjsomt – jeg ved ikke, om det er det rigtige ord? Men det går jo ikke stærkt, det er ikke fast food.

Et bål er også dragende. Det er det fedeste at sidde og kigge ind i et bål - at sidde og nyde en kop rødvin eller spise snolder. Det er meget simpelt. Det er også fordi, det er så smukt. Jeg synes, lyden af det er helt vildt beroligende.

Sidste år var der jo afbrændingsforbud – der var krise indeni mig: afbrændingsforbud indtil 5 dage forinden Thy Hike! Jeg fældede faktisk en tåre, da det blev ophørt … Vi har spillet så meget på hyggen, bålhyggen, lejrbålshyggen, og så måtte man bare ikke gøre noget som helst? Så skulle man sidde og snakke rundt om et bål, som der ikke var ild i ... Og når man har vandret en hel dag i Danmark, hvor det ikke er varmt om aftenen, så det er så dejligt lige at få varmen om bålet inden man skal i soveposen ..

Der er også et eller andet magisk ved mødet med mennesker, som du slet ikke kender. Man sidder tæt pakket på bænkene, så man deles lidt og rykker tættere sammen. Så kommer man til at snakke, så kommer man til at dele posen med skumfiduser – og sende den rundt .. det er det der fællesskab: det er dér det mødes. På selve vandreturen er de jo fuldstændigt overladt til sig selv. Selvom man tager afsted fire venner, er det ikke meningen, at man nødvendigvis skal gå sammen - der er også noget lækkert ved bare at tage den i sit eget tempo eller kunne være stille, hvis det er det, man vil.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

DET ER DERFOR, VI GØR DET

Kan du fortælle om tidspunkter, hvor du tænker: okay, det her .. det er derfor vi laver Thy Hike!

”Det første jeg tænker på er det første år, vi lavede Thy Hike. Vi var kun 20 - dengang sluttede vi af oppe ved Madbaren. Det var begyndt at regne lige inden man kom i mål, så man var blevet rigtig våd. Alligevel nåede vi at få tændt et kæmpe stort, dejligt bål. Vi var på en plads, hvor der var et lille overdække, og vi var så en flok, der lå indenunder det på vores ligge underlag. Her lå vi og kiggede ud på det kæmpe store bål og på regndråberne, der faldt ned i det, mens det knitrede. Da blev jeg bare helt vildt glad over, at folk var kommet så langt. Der var mange, der havde vabler, og det havde været hårdt. Men de grinte, og vi havde det sjovt. Jeg kan huske, jeg tænkte, det var derfor, vi gjorde det - det var den følelse, vi skulle have frem i folk. Ikke at man skulle køre sig selv fuldstændigt død, men at man i hvert fald godt kunne være stolt af sig selv! Og selvom de 18 mennesker ikke kendte hinanden, så hjalp de hinanden, og de formåede at være rummelige og omfavnende ..

Der er også en anden historie. Det var sidste år. Der var skybrud på første dag, og det var virkelig krise .. Men på et tidspunkt efter aftensmaden, så får vi endelig gang i nogle bål. Det regner stadig lidt, men så sidder der nogen rundt om bålet og drikker whisky og øl og vin. Der er fuldstændigt kaos inden i mig: altså jeg følte, at det var min skyld, at det var skybrud og at folk havde våde soveposer. Forfærdeligt. Så jeg havde det faktisk fysisk dårligt. Men så fik jeg lige øje på, at der sad sådan en flok mennesker, som bare var i det og bare havde det virkelig godt: de var pisse våde, men de havde bål og fik lige et glas vin, og de skulle

alligevel ikke lave andet. Man er bare tilstede lige der. Folk stod hele aftenen og brændte støvler og strømper af, for bare at have noget, der var lidt tørt.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

UD PÅ TUR

Hvor stammer din interesse for vandring og natur fra?

”Selvfølgelig stammer det fra min barndom. Jeg er vokset op i en familie, hvor vi altid skulle ud og gå en tur ved havet eller i skoven. Jeg ville altid gerne med - og så finder jeg altid noget i skoven eller på stranden: forsteninger eller svampe, bær, grene, blade .. jeg er sådan lidt en samler i naturen. Jeg tror, det er sådan terapi for mig. Siden jeg flyttede til Thy, har jeg taget en masse kurser, bl.a. noget der hedder Ildfugl. Det gjorde mig ret opmærksom på, at jeg godt gad at blive bedre til at formidle. Jeg vidste ikke rigtigt, hvad det var, jeg godt kunne lide ved naturen og hvorfor. Dem jeg kom på kursus med, havde det på samme måde: de kunne også godt lide naturen, men havde en tilknytning til den, uden at det var fordi, man var biolog eller noget … Siden det har jeg fået lidt mod på også at udbygge og lære mere. Det er lidt sjovt at interessere sig for botanik og nørde sådan nogle ting i den her alder, men det er virkelig sjovt.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

TRYG I NATUREN

Det er interessant, at det kan være svært at sætte ord på, hvorfor man godt kan lide naturen –er det nemmere for dig nu at sætte ord på, hvorfor du godt kan lide at være i naturen?

Det er interessant, at det kan være svært at sætte ord på, hvorfor man godt kan lide naturen – er det nemmere for dig nu at sætte ord på, hvorfor du godt kan lide at være i naturen?

”Jeg kan bedre sætte ord på det nu. Det behøver faktisk ikke at være så dybt: det er det der med, at helt instinktivt er vi indrettet til at føle os trygge i naturen. Især i de naturtyper, som man kender, fra da man var barn. Så jeg tænker, at jeg er kommet hjem nu: jeg har brugt mine somre i nåletræsskove, som er min foretrukne naturtype. Det hænger meget godt sammen med, at det er den, der trækker mig tilbage.”

Hvad betyder det, når du siger: tryg i naturen?

”Det betyder faktisk ret meget .. Det er det, jeg gerne vil have, at Thy Hike skal være for andre: at man er tryg. Det betyder, at du kan gå ud alene, da der ikke er nogle mega farlige dyr i Danmark –”

Udover ulven!

”– ulven! Den møder du aldrig nogensinde. Du kan godt være tryg. Du kender lydene, du kender vinden mod din hud, du har set alle træer og hele skovbunden. Det er naturen, som du har mødt før. Og det er trygt .. Naturen accepterer dig også, for lige præcis den du er: om du ligner lort, om du er sur eller glad. Den piller lige nogle lag af. Når man er i naturen alene, så kan man virkelig være sig selv og lægge alle bekymringer fra sig. Det kan man også i det fællesskab, hvor man er flere: fordi man møder hinanden på nogle andre vilkår – på fuldstændigt lige vilkår.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

HAMSTERHJULET

Hvordan er fælleskab i naturen anderledes end andre steder, hvor man er i fællesskaber?

”Det er nok fordi, man er der om den samme ting, samme interesse. Rundt om bålet kan man godt snakke om, hvad folk laver som profession, men det gør man som regel ikke. Man snakker mere om kerneværdier, hvordan ens dag er gået, hvad man har oplevet og om ens sovepose .. det behøver slet ikke være sådan noget prestige.

Jeg forestiller mig at i en travl hverdag, der snakker du ikke med nogen som helst nye. Du møder dine kollegaer, så mødes du med nogen venner på en bar - du snakker ikke med nogen nye. Det gør man bare pr. automatik i det der friluftsfælleskab: også fordi det er sådan et sted, hvor man er nødsaget til at hjælpe hinanden. Jeg håber lidt, det er en åbenbaring for mange af dem, der er med. Det gavner virkelig ens mentale sundhed - og det er lige præcis de tre dage, som er nøglen til at komme ned i balance. Jeg siger ikke, at Thy Hike er lige er den terapikur, du har brug for, men det er afgørende, at det ikke er to døgn men tre døgn. Der sker noget de dage, der gør, at du får koblet fuldstændigt af.”

Jeg har lagt mærke til, at når jeg er på stranden, så er jeg begyndt at samle sten. Det gjorde jeg helt vildt meget, da jeg var lille. Når jeg først er gået i gang med at samle sten, så får jeg det sådan: gud, jeg skal bare samle sten nu!

”Ja, man kan ikke stoppe igen ..”

Og man kan godt gøre det mange. Så er man pludselig 5 venner, der går og samler sten. Man gør ligesom noget, som er ligegyldigt, sammen –

”Som en trance?”

Ja, og alligevel er det helt vildt vigtigt, om jeg finder den dér sten, ik’?

”Jeg har også tænkt på det med at samle ting - det gør jeg stadig selv. Sten og i særdeleshed søpindsvin. Det er bare som om, jeg glemmer fuldstændigt tid og sted - jeg skal bare få øje på den der sten. Men lige nu er det jo kantarellerne! Det er seriøst det fedeste. Selvom jeg tænker: jeg gider ikke ud! - så lige så snart, jeg er derude, er jeg først hjemme igen om 3 timer. Der er en tilfredsstillelse ved at få øje på guldet i skovbunden - og at gå rundt derude i den der ro. Det er sådan en lykkefølelse for mig.

Hvis der bare er 5% af dem, der er med på hiken, som er nogen stressede hamsterhjulsfamilier fra København, så håber jeg, at de inspireres til at bruge naturen mere.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

HVORFOR VI LEVER

 Hvad er det så at Thy Hike hjælper med? Eller hvad er det, Thy Hike kan give folk?

”Det er jo et arrangeret hike: de får at vide, hvad de skal pakke i deres rygsæk, og så er der sørget for det hele. Skulle de stå for det selv, uden at kende Nationalpark Thy, ville de ikke ane, hvor de skulle starte, hvor præcis de måtte sove, om der er vand osv. .. Så er der maden: det er meget, at spise kedelig frysetørret mad i tre dage.

1: Det er belejligt.

2: De får serveret lækker gourmetmad midt i naturen i tre dage, og

3: der er rimeligt gode chancer for, at de møder nogen fede mennesker.

I en lille folk på 18 snakker alle med hinanden, men når der er 100, kan man godt melde sig lidt ud af fællesskabet – der er også en frihed i det. Hvad får de mere .. de får hele pakken! Der er også formidlingsdelen - det hele er sådan noget med, at man kan vælge fra og til.”

Photo: Thy hike

Photo: Thy hike

 Hvad håber du at give dem på sådan et mere .. mentalt plan? 

”Altså på mentalt plan, så vil de - uanset hvem de er - føle sig som stærke, seje mennesker, når de kommer i mål. Fordi det er en hård udfordring, og det er ikke noget, man gør til hverdag. Og så håber jeg også, at de på et eller flere tidspunker bliver overvældet af, hvor smuk en verden, det er, vi lever i. Eller bare bliver fuldstændigt betaget af en solstråle, der kommer igennem træerne. Eller den ro, der er om morgenen. Eller at man så en hugorm for første gang.

Og så er der i særdeleshed fælleskabet. Altså mennesker har jo brug for fællesskab. På de sidste to hikes har det bare været så lige til: der var sgu ikke nogen, der prøvede på at imponere hinanden. Hvordan forklarer jeg det? Fællesskabet - det kommer til at sætte sig i dem som et minde. Nogle stunder og nogle mennesker, som har gjort indtryk.

Ikke mindst, skal deltagerne også have følelsen af at være inspireret – at have fået tankerne renset. 3 dage, hvor man bare vandrer og sidder og stirrer ind i et bål - selvfølgelig kører tankerne, men der er bare stor sandsynlighed for, at man i det mindste bliver klar over, hvad der giver mening, og hvad der er man skal. Hvilken retning man skal. Det er de perfekte rammer for at finde svar og ideer. Selv når jeg bare går en tur på to timer, så bliver jeg inspireret eller kommer i tanke om et eller andet.”

Hvorfor er det vigtigt, at man oplever, at det er ligetil at være menneske?

”Det er fordi, at det er mega sundt at blive mindet om, hvorfor vi lever. Det er store ord, men altså. Det hele er sgu ikke så f***ing vigtigt: alle de bekymringer man har i hverdagene, det betyder egentligt ikke så meget. Det kan godt lyde af meget, men helt seriøst, det er livsbekræftende. Det er det virkelig.”

 

BASE

 Hvordan vil du gerne udvikle det? 

 ”Jeg drømmer meget om et fysisk sted: en base til Thy Hike. I Nationalpark Thy. På en eller anden måde i tilknytning til en plantage. Så man har udgangspunkt fra stedet og kan lave langt flere ture - og lave yoga retreats, lave børnehike, lave endagsevents, lave udendørsfestival, friluftsfestival .. Aktiviteter, der følger sæsonerne. Derudover skal der være værelser, som er mulige at leje ud: naturværelser. Og så er det jo egentligt kun fantasien, der sætter grænser for hvilke aktiviteter, der skal være. Jeg vil også teste nogle ture af. Jeg kunne godt tænke mig en efterårshike – lidt alla Thy Hike men i mindre skala ..”

Der er stadig te på kanden, regnbygerne er stoppet og det bliver sent, før jeg forlader det hvidkalkede hus i Hanstholm. Himlen er mørk og fuld af stjerner, og jeg kører igennem Nationalparken på vej hjem, mens jeg tænker på strandsten, kantareller, nåleskov og den billet, jeg skal købe til Thy Hike næste sommer.

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 Interview og tekst af Ida Marie Andersen

Ida er skribent i Rewild Studio. Hun er på orlov fra Kaospiloterne i Århus.

Hun er drevet af arbejdet med natur, æstetik og fordybelsen i håndværk og tekst.

Meet Bjarke who founded Jordforbindelsen which purpose is to "Buy Back Denmark" to restore soil health, plant health, human health and planet health.

Take a deep breath and enjoy this reading about the beginning and end of life, from birth to degradation of life.

Keywords are soil, bacteria, probiotics, agriculture and fermentation.

Photo: SPIR

Photo: SPIR

Who are you Bjarke?

"The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener". -Bill O'Brien

“What a question! I could answer this in many different ways. I will go with a wild one.”

Bjarke begins telling his story. “27 years ago in August, my dad was washing leeks at a bio dynamic farm in Denmark, when my mother came out to tell him that the time had come to give birth to their 2nd child. As I was being pushed out of my mothers narrow birth-channel, my lungs got squeezed empty for liquid and just after my mother had pooped a little from the pushing, I filled my lungs with my first breath of air. It was full of microorganisms from my mothers vagina, from her excrements, and from the farm. These bacteria served as a starter culture for the ecosystem in my gut. In my mothers milk there was food, not only for me, but also for the bacteria in my gut so they could develop into a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms. To this day, these microorganisms help me digest food, fight diseases and keep me healthy and happy. “

Inside me there are billions of organisms, and outside me there are billions of organisms. I am a wandering "tube" with the universe in me and around me.

Bjarke continues, “I am one of the privileged human beings who have co-evolved with all other life on this planet in a symbiotic relationship. Now, I fight at the front line of evolution. Unfortunately the microorganisms inside and outside me are going extinct this very moment, and the primary cause of this is how we human beings (tubes) are leading our lives. This is why I am determined to be a tube that creates good conditions for the universe in me and around me.”

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

What are you up to at the moment?

"Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it" -Vedas Sanskrit Scripture – 1500 BC

“In Denmark, 60% of our soil is being managed by farmers. The farmers have an average debt of 20 million DKK, which makes it difficult for the new generation of farmers to get a loan and access to the land. This also means that the current generation cannot get out and they now have an average age of over 58.”

My project is about buying land and donating it to a foundation. Thereafter it will be leased out to farmers to make this generation shift possible and to get new innovative hands into agriculture to take care of the life in the soil that is currently being depleted. We do this by producing fermented vegetables. For every glass we sell, 1m2 of agricultural land will be bought and made available for the new generation of sustainable farmers.”

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

Why fermented vegetables?

"Successful coexistence with microbes in our midst is a biological imperative, and the fermentation arts are human cultural manifestations of this essential fact.” - Sandor Ellis Katz

“Fermentation is the transformative action performed by micro-organisms. It happens everywhere around us in nature. Microorganisms are constantly breaking down matter and they thereby make nutrients available for plants in the soil and for us in our stomachs. As previously said, there are microorganisms everywhere around us. On vegetables, there are (amongst many others) lactic acid bacteria. If we create an environment without oxygen and with 2% salt, these bacteria will have perfect conditions to start eating the sugars in the vegetables. The lactic acid bacteria take over and out compete potential pathogenic bacteria and the lactic acid produced preserves the food for long term storage. The bacteria that we eat, determines the digestive system in our gut, but so much of our food has become sterile in the processing of it so it no longer come with the microorganisms. Fermentation is full of good bacteria. “

Why is this project important to you?

“If we are to live on planet earth for many years to come, we will have to find new ways of treating all the life that we share this home with. Not only the life that we see, but also the microorganisms that are everywhere around, but invisible to the eye. Bjarke continues, “For years, I have been searching for something meaningful to invest my life into that at the same time could make me feel alive. It makes me feel alive to cooperate with microorganisms in the soil, on our plants and in the fermenting-jars.”

What do you hope to Change?

“I hope that I can inspire and help people to live "probiotic lifes". Today, agriculture, food production and health institutions are to a great extend "antibiotic", meaning "life-killing". We have become scared of bacteria, and I hope to facilitate a peaceful reunion with the microbial life that we are so dependent on. “

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

What is the greatest thing you have learned so far from carrying out this project?

“I have learned a lot about the ecosystem and therefore I have come a lot closer to how I want to live my life and what I want to dedicate my time to.”

What are your next steps?

“The next step is to produce the first batches of fermented vegetables and go out and sell it.”

How can people get involved?

“Currently I am producing my first batches of Kimchi and Sauerkraut. I am looking for retail-stores, inspiration and ideas, collaborations and feedback.” You can follow Bjarke on instagram & facebook or write him on info@jordforbindelsen.nu. Bjarke says that you also are free to call him if you want to learn more about his work. His number is +45 60732398. Bjarke will be talking about his project on June 6th in Copenhagen. You can sign up here.

Anything you would like to add Bjarke?

"Endings are always the hardest things to write, because the author knows thats the last impression the reader will be left with. So I choose the following wisely." -Anthony Anaxagorou

“The most important thing that I want to convey is the following:

Healthy soil, gives healthy plants which gives healthy animals and humans!”

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

Photo: Jordforbindelsen

‘There is an important connection between our inner nature, and the nature we see around us.’

Amidst the constant stimulus of everyday life, nature can help to keep us grounded and connected to ourselves. This is what chef, food stylist and restaurateur, Mette Helbæk, discovered when she left the city of Copenhagen for the swedish wilderness.

Photography by  Inge Skovdal

Photography by Inge Skovdal

After successfully running the award-winning rooftop restaurant, Stedsans ØsterGRO, in the Danish capital for a year with her husband, Mette decided that it was time for a change. Seeking respite from her urban existence, she and her family moved out to West Sweden in the Autumn of 2016. It was there that she co-founded Stedsans in the Woods, a tranquil, food-centered lifestyle lab deep in the forest of Halland.

With the opening of this new venture, the puzzle pieces of Mette’s life seemed to fit together again: she could express her love for plants, be close to her family and be immersed in nature simultaneously.

Running Stedsans in the Woods, however, turned out to be more than just a labour of love. It wasn’t until the stress of running this remote idyll began to impact her wellbeing that Mette started to look at herself, and her career, in a much different light.
Mette and her family have recently moved to a small Swedish town called Unnaryd, where her life has regained its stillness. Inspired by her love for plants and her belief in their healing properties, Mette is working on a new project, where she plans to build a plant medicine garden around her home.

Bringing what she learned from the nature in Sweden into her everyday life, Mette concentrates on living each day more peacefully and being wholly present in the moment. On an early Spring day, we chatted to Mette about how nature has guided her on her journey to find freedom and equilibrium.

Photography by  Stine Christiansen

Photography by Stine Christiansen

When did you first discover your connection with nature?

I think it all started when I began working with food. The fine dining restaurant I worked at in my early twenties as a waitress had weekly deliveries of fresh, local vegetables from a guy called Søren Wiuff, who later became one of the main vegetable suppliers at Noma. He would bring us everything from tiny carrots to wild garlic to colorful radishes. This was where the inspiration to write my first cookbook, a guide to local vegetables, came from.

After the restaurant was sold, I realized I just couldn't cook anymore. My food just didn't taste the same because I was having to go to a supermarket to collect my vegetables instead of getting them locally from the fields. It was killing my creativity.

I decided that I wanted to make the amazing vegetables I had had experience working with in the restaurant available to ordinary people in Copenhagen. I wanted people to see how truly wonderful it is to cook with really great, natural ingredients. So, I opened an organic vegetable shop called Din Baghave in 2010.

At the time, I was just a chef who liked to cook food that tasted really good. But as soon as I began to search for vegetables to be stocked in my shop, I realized that the very best ones were grown in a way that was closer to how nature would do it. Vegetables grown in the wild, tended to by farmers who really cared, tasted, to me, so much better than the crops grown in big industrial farms. This just began a whole quest for me to further explore what nature had to offer.

Photography by  Stine Christiansen

Photography by Stine Christiansen

What are the benefits of creating a close relationship with nature?

I think there is an explanation for why people are feeling more unhappy in society today: we are getting so disconnected from the nature around us. Nature and people are connected, and we need to be connected physically. For example, one of the things I learned when I was studying plant medicine in Guatemala is that plants have a better effect on you if they are grown in your garden, rather than if they are flown in from another country. Being in close proximity to plants helps you to get the most out of their healing properties.

When I and my husband opened our farm and restaurant, Stedsans ØsterGRO, in 2015, we chose to place it on top of a roof in the middle of the city in Copenhagen to help people get closer to nature.

The restaurant was placed in a greenhouse with colorful plants growing all the way around and we used the vegetables that we grew in the garden there in our cooking. We wanted people to be able to see and understand where the food on their plate was really coming from.

Our guests said that the minute they emerged from the stairs and placed their feet onto the rooftop farm they felt happier and more relaxed. It just had this effect on people. Even though we were still in the center of a big city, just having that closeness with nature really helped make people feel more content.

Photography by  Stine Christiansen

Photography by Stine Christiansen

What inspired you to create your lifestyle retreat, Stedsans in the Woods?

Up until 2017, we had been living in Copenhagen running this magical restaurant on a rooftop but we decided to sell it all and follow our dream of creating something that would bring us even closer to nature. While the restaurant and garden had plants and bees and sun, it was still constructed nature, and that is a very different thing to the nature you find in the wild.

We bought seven hectares of forest on the shore of Lake Halla in West Sweden. There, we could give our guests the experience of being fully surrounded by nature. Food was still a large part of the experience. We used the most beautiful, luxurious ingredients in our cooking and then gave our guests a comfortable, starlit cabin to sleep in at night.

Buying a portion of the forestland also gave us the opportunity to grow more wild plants ourselves. High vitality ingredients became more and more important to me over the years I spent as a chef and a food stylist. I could just sense that food grown locally and naturally had a different kind of energy than the things sold in supermarkets.

‘Stedsans’ refers to the idea of a sense of place in Danish. How does nature help us to establish our own sense of place and feel at home in our surroundings?

In our interpretation, a sense of place means to know where you are at in your life. When you look to nature, you can see how things change with the seasons and how we, as humans, should adapt to them.

Winter, for example, is a time for stillness.  When everything is covered in snow, your heart starts to beat a little slower; you don’t necessarily expect as much from yourself. You can take the time to sit in front of the fireplace with your kids and play some board games instead of rushing around. There are so many things that we can learn by just watching nature and being present in the moment.

Cities are designed for people to keep up the pace all the time and deliver the same high amount of work every day. This contributes to a lot of unwanted stress, which is part of the reason we moved out to the forest in Sweden in the first place.

I think it's very important for human beings to be in sync with their inner nature – to know what they want and what is good for them – and we can do this by simply looking at what is around us.

Photography by  Stine Christiansen

Photography by Stine Christiansen

How did opening Stedsans in the Woods help you strengthen your connection with nature?

The crazy thing is that we recently moved from Stedsans into a small town called Unnaryd twenty minutes away. We have kids now and another baby on the way this Summer and it didn’t really work for the children to live that way. It was also just too much work for us. Being busy all the time ended up being a less fulfilling way for us to live.

Leaving Stedsans was a very hard choice for us to make. The nature in Sweden was always there to make things a little easier. When you were stressed, you could take a walk into the forest or dive into the lake, but there were some aspects of that life that just didn't work for me.

So that's why I moved back to my little town where I'm starting my own project, Unnaryd Apotek, which is a platform to share my love for my plants and my belief in their healing properties. I am currently making a plant medicine garden around my house. It's not going to be open every day like what Stedsans was last year. It's just going to be a place where I can spend time alone.

Creating Stedsans in the Woods made me realize a lot about myself. It's not good for me to be around people all the time. At the moment, I'm just focusing on my work in the garden and taking care of my children.

Do you feel that nature has supported and inspired you throughout all of these important life changes?

Yes, it wasn’t until things in my life got really wild that I realized some new things about myself. Maybe that's what nature does – it makes you able to see yourself more clearly.

When you are in a city, constantly surrounded by stimuli, it can be hard to be objective about your life. In the wild, you have the peace to get to know yourself better.

Photography by Mette Helbæk. Interview and words by Miriam Partington, reWILD Studio

We have very limited time to spend on this incredible earth. I believe we should use that time to support and love each other.

Being in this forest is magical. It’s untouched, it’s silent and it’s full of life and death - a circle that’s inevitable.

Photo: Maria Thulin

Photo: Maria Thulin

This knowledge that everything is in a life-death-life circle is a powerful source to creating a meaningful life.

When we understand that everything is changing, living and dying at all times, a presence in life can be born. A presence and love for our surroundings, plants, animals and our fellow human beings.


The key to being empathic and loving towards eachother is to realize that we are all connected to one another - nature, animals, insects men, woman, children.

We have very limited time to spend on this incredible earth. I believe we should use that time to support and love each other.

Skærmbillede 2019-03-08 kl. 14.27.24.png

I believe that we all have the right to be treated with respect and empathy and I support every cause that promotes equal rights - for nature and for the human species.

Happy international Women´s day!

THE STORY OF THE SEED BOMB

seedbomb.jpg

Masanobu Fukuoka was a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He incorporated his ancestral gardening techniques into his own farming methods and, in so doing, started a revolution. Seed bombs are an ancient Japanese practice called Tsuchi Dango, meaning ‘Earth Dumpling’.

Fukuoka led the way into the world of sustainable agriculture by initiating ‘natural farming’. His methods were simple and produced no pollution. His technique used no machines or chemicals and almost no weeding.

Seed bombing was part of Fukuoka’s annual farming regime. He believed that Mother Nature takes care of the seeds we sow and decides which crops to provide us with, like a process of natural selection, because ultimately nature decides what will grow and when germination will occur, be that in 7 days or several seasons away.

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Fukuoka grew seed bomb vegetables like wild plants – he called it ‘semi wild’. He seed bombed on river banks, roadsides and wasteland and allowed them to ‘grow up’ with the weeds. He believed that vegetables grown in this way – including Japanese radish, carrots, burdock, onions and turnips – are stronger than most people think. He would add clover to his vegetable mixes because it acted as a living mulch and conditioned the soil.

Do you want to make your own seed bombs? Then join our seed bomb workshop.

Book your seat here: https://bit.ly/2R0pCLz

WHAT DOES REWILDING MEAN?

The word reWILDing holds many meanings. First of all, it is a lifelong learning process and way of living. It takes time to rediscover oneself and really listen to the wisdom we have within. It requires a willingness to slow down, dive into oneself and open one's heart to all the knowledge that is already here.

Photo: reWILD Studio

Photo: reWILD Studio

Rewilding means to dive in and rediscover the inner power of our nature. It means diving into our core, rediscovering our intuition and senses. Being in contact with our breath, our visions, our bodies, our minds. For example, this can be done by going to the forests. Find a spot where you wont be disturbed and just sit there. Breathe, listen to the sounds, feel your surroundings and just let yourself be in the silence.

Rewilding means focusing on one thing at a time, being mindful and give our full attention to one thing at a time.

Photo: reWILD Studio

Photo: reWILD Studio

Rewilding means to re-discover our potential as human beings, our potential to be loving, caring, creative, inventive and free. Free to just be, and enjoy this very moment.

We all have the ability to be more aware and conscious human beings. The only thing it takes is a dedication and a willingness to take the time to practice in our everyday actions.

Rewilding means rediscovering the ancient wisdom from nature and learning how to bring it to life again in a way that fulfills our souls and our surroundings. Rewilding means asking ourselves what we want to matter in our lives. What is truly important to us and how can we give that our utmost attention, care, appreciation, and love. Ask yourself questions like; Where do I feel peaceful? When do I feel happy and at ease with what surrounds me? How can I bring more of these moments into my life?

Sometimes it can be enough to take an aspect of what your answers will be, and integrate them into your daily routine. For example, taking a small break during your day, closing your eyes and take some deep breathes. This helps you to reconnect with your body and mind, slowing down.

Photo: reWILD Studio

Photo: reWILD Studio

This is the very same journey that I am on and have been my whole life. Having the knowledge that I can truly decide how my life should be and what should be in it, is a very freeing and grounding experience.

Slowing down, appreciating myself and my surroundings, acknowledging that nature holds a lot of wisdom and advocating for that, gives me meaning and passion in my life. At the same time having loving relationships is the most important ingredient in my life. Having people around me that love me and that I love is the core of having a fulfilling life.

We all have the ability to be more aware and conscious human beings. The only thing it takes is a dedication and a willingness to take the time to practice in our everyday actions.

Thank you for reading and remember to breathe.

If you want to get updates from reWILD Studio, about future blog posts, workshops, jobs, and new initiatives, then subscribe to reWILD Studio Club here

By Amalie Harris Barfod

Founder of reWILD Studio

Interview med Amalie Harris Barfod fra reWILD Studio

Foto: Anna Kjær Voss

Foto: Anna Kjær Voss

December 11, 2018

En solrig eftermiddag i november lige inden skumringen var jeg ude at spadsere på Assistens Kirkegård med Amalie Harris Barfod, som har firmaet reWILD Studio, og som jeg er stødt på igennem Instagram.

Amalie er naturelsker med stort N, og den kærlighed som hun har til naturen ønsker hun at dele med så mange som muligt gennem sit arbejde med reWILD Studio. Hun tilbyder blandt andet workshops til forældre og børn, hvor de kan gå på opdagelse i, hvordan et økosystem fungerer og bygge deres eget lille lukkede økosystem i et patentglas, som kan tages med hjem og studeres nærmere. Amalie arbejder også på at få det grønne ind i vores hjem ved at sælge sine fine planteuroer og dekorationer.

Amalies partner Simon, som er samer og kommer fra det aller nordligste Sverige, har sammen med sin familie nogle hytter, som Amalie og han tager op til så ofte de kan. Men det er ikke bare lige en smuttur. Rejsen dertil tager omkring 24 timer med nattog. Men Amalie nyder heldigvis lange togture, hvilket jeg så udemærket kan følge hende i. Tog er den bedste transportform!

Men nu til interviewet..

Hvad betyder naturen for dig?
For mig er naturen kilden til den vigtigste viden vi har adgang til. Uanset om vi vil lære om vores velbefindende, udviklingsprocesser eller det at skabe noget. Vi kan altid hente store mængder af inspiration i naturen. Naturen har 3,8 billioner års erfaring, som vi kan overføre til alt det vi vil skabe og gøre i livet. Det er ekstremt spændende, og jeg føler mig så taknemmelig for, at jeg har naturen som min mentor.

Jeg mener, at naturen er vigtig for os mennesker til at få os til at føle os afslappede og glade. Personligt betyder naturen for mig mere ro, mere refleksion og dermed mere energi og lyst til at skabe. Jeg bruger bl.a. denne kærlighed til naturen i de workshops jeg udbyder. De har til formål at lære børn, hvordan økosystemet fungerer ved at lave et lille imiteret økosystem i et lukket patentglas, som børnene får med hjem og kan kigge på hverdag. På den måde lærer de, hvordan de naturlige processer virker, hvad de har brug for for at trives, og hvad der sker, hvis de rette forhold ikke er der.

For mig er naturen en kilde til glæde, refleksion og vækkelse af sanserne. Det er fra naturen jeg henter meget af min inspiration og den glæde, som får mig til at føle mig fri til at leve et meningsfyldt liv og skabe det jeg brænder for. Det tror jeg bl.a. har noget at gøre med at være omgivet af noget større end en selv. At mærke og forstå, at vi alle er med i et større kredsløb. Vi mennesker er også natur. Vi er en del af naturen og ikke en fremmed art, der er frakoblet fra den. Det er vigtigt at forstå, hvis vi skal kunne leve i balance med den, være en del af det større kredsløb på en måde, hvor alt liv kan trives.

Et menneske går igennem nogle af de samme processer som et lille blad gør. Et frø fødes, vokser sig sund og stærk, vokser sig større og forvandler sine former, dufte og farver. Vi springer ud og er fulde af energi i nogle perioder eller sæsoner af vores liv, og har lavere energi og er måske mindre glade til andre tider. Præcis ligesom planterne blomstrer og springer ud om foråret og sommeren med masser af energi og om efteråret og vinteren lukker ned, kaster bladene, går i hi og samler energi til når foråret og sommeren vender tilbage, og planten på ny vil blomstre igen. På samme måde har vi mennesker behov for stilhed, at regenerere og samle fornyet energi. Vi er i en evig bevægelse af forskellige faser i livet. Og det er hverken dårligt eller godt, det er bare sådan det er.

Naturen invitere til at lytte, til sig selv og til de indre værdier vi har. Når vi lytter, virkelig lytter, så er det også meget nemmere at være empatisk overfor sig selv, sine medmennesker og naturen, og at komme ned i tempo og undgå stress. Jeg tror på, at jo mere vi kan være stille og i kontakt med os selv, jo mere kærlighed og empati har vi at give til vores omgivelser. Mennesker såvel som planter og dyr og alt derimellem.

Foto: reWILD Studio

Foto: reWILD Studio

Hvilken følelse giver det dig at være i naturen?
Når jeg går en tur i skovene går jeg aldrig ad stien. Jeg elsker at gå på ujævne overflader, så jeg skal være opmærksom på, hvor jeg sætter mine fødder og bruge mine sanser - se, dufte og høre. Det giver mig en følelse af ekstremt afslappethed og af at være koblet med naturen. Vi er jo også natur, vi mennesker, men vi er kommet meget langt væk fra den mentalt og fysisk, så det er ikke en forståelse alle har.

Naturen giver mig en følelse af at være koblet til hele jorden og samtidig føle en enorm taknemmelighed for at være en del af hele det univers vi lever i. Hele kredsløbet. Taknemmelighedsfølelsen giver mig ekstremt meget energi til at skabe mere fokus på, hvad naturen er for en størrelse. Og det er netop følelsen af taknemmelighed, der har giver mig lysten til at videreformidle, hvad naturen kan, hvilket bliver gjort gennem de workshops reWILD Studio udbyder, og dem er der fuld knald på for øjeblikket. Der er flere og flere, der får øjnene op for, hvor vigtig naturen er for vores velbefindende.

Hvad betyder bæredygtighed for dig?
Jeg synes, at selve begrebet bæredygtighed inviterer os til at passe på det vi har. At bære noget på en dygtig måde. At bære med omsorg. At leve med et bæredygtigt mindset, betyder for mig at være opmærksom på hvilke valg vi træffer, og hvad de valg har af konsekvenser for andet liv omkring os. Det er og har altid været vigtigt at handle med det formål at skabe en verden, hvor der er plads til at alt liv kan trives. For mig starter bæredygtighedens terminologi med at sætte fokus på, hvordan vores tankemønstre er, og hvorfor vi træffer de valg vi gør. I reWILD Studio har jeg meget fokus på at fortælle om, hvordan naturen fungerer, og hvad vi kan lære fra den. At det er vigtigt at bruge tid i den og virkelig koble sig til den for at lære, at vi er en del af naturen. Jeg har fokus på vores tanker om den, hvordan vi forholder os til natur og stiller spørgsmål så som ‘Er vi en del af naturen?’. Det sætter ofte gang i menneskers tanker om vores forhold til naturen, og at vi ikke er adskilt fra naturen.

Bæredygtighed handler i høj grad også om, hvordan vi holder os selv og vores væsen bæredygtigt. Du kan købe bæredygtigt, mindske dit forbrug i alle henseender, hvilket er ekstremt vigtigt i det samfund vi lever i i dag, hvor forbrug er en stor del af mange menneskers liv. Men det er også ekstremt vigtigt at være bæredygtig i sig selv. Her mener jeg f.eks. at kunne lukke dine øjne, trække vejret, mærke hvem du holder af og hvad du er taknemmelig for, tage valg i dit liv der gør dig glad og på samme tid respektere dine omgivelser, være nysgerrig og fravælge det, der stresser dig og gør dig i dårligt humør. Det kræver øvelse! Men det er det vigtigste i forhold til at leve et liv fyldt med kærlighed, empati og glæde! Vi vil jo allesammen gerne være glade og have et liv fyldt med overskud, og det er en skill i sig selv, som alt andet. Vi bliver ikke bare gode mennesker ud af den blå luft. Vi træner fra vi er helt små og bliver hjulpet på vej af vores medmennesker og naturen. Det kræver viljestyrke og kærlighed til sig selv først og fremmest.

Kan man sige, at du har en større vision eller agenda med reWILD Studio?
Ja det kan man! :)

Min vision er at skabe så meget empati for naturen som overhovedet muligt. Jeg tror på, at jo mere kobling og empati vi kan frembringe, ved at være i naturen, lære hvordan den fungerer, lære hvordan vi kan leve i balance med den og tage vare på den, jo mere empati og forståelse har vi for, hvordan vi skal behandle vores hjem på jorden.

Den opgave jeg har stillet mig selv er at skabe et univers som mennesker gerne vil træde ind i og være en del af, og indtil nu er det gået strygende. Jeg tror på, at folk gerne vil være den bedste udgave af dem selv, og hvis mulighederne er der til at være det, så vil det være det der sker.

Jeg skaber en inspirationskilde til en empatisk måde at tænke og være med naturen på og opmuntrer folk til at gøre det samme. Så visionen i reWILD Studio er kort sagt at skabe empati for naturen igennem forskellige håndgribelige initiativer.

reWILD Studio er stadig et forholdsvis nyt initiativ, men er så småt ved at vokse sig større. Jeg har lige ansat en fantastisk kvinde til at holde workshopperne for børn og er hele tiden i bevægelse i forhold til, hvad fremtiden skal bringe, og hvordan jeg kan favne flere mennesker til at sprede dette budskab.

Foto: Maria Thulin

Foto: Maria Thulin

Hvad inspirerer dig?
Jeg elsker kunst og har selv gået på kunstskole, hvor jeg bl.a. lavede moskuplen som man kunne stille sig ind under og dufte til mosset og være helt i ét med det. Jeg elsker kunst, der sætter fokus på det at sanse og være med naturen. Olafur Eliasson er en stor inspiration som netop formår at skabe en atmosfære, hvor vi lægger mærke til det fantastiske i naturen.

Udover naturen som er en af mine største inspirationskilder bliver jeg selvfølgelig også inspireret af andre mennesker. Min partner, Simon Mulk, som har Gallak Crafts, er en stor inspirationskilde for mig. Han formår virkelig at formidle budskabet om netop det at tage godt vare på naturen. Vi har begge to mange af de samme værdier og arbejder i samme retning, hvad angår det at have empati og forståelse for naturen. Vi er i gang med et kunstværk som sammenfatter vores kærlighed og inspiration for naturen.

Jeg må også nævne Janine Benyus, som jeg synes man skal slå op, hvis man ikke kender til hende. Kort sagt arbejder hun med det der kaldes Biomimicry, som handler om at kigge på, hvordan naturen fungerer i forskellige sammenhænge og så få guidance af dens viden til at lave det man nu engang vil lave. Slå hende op, det er vigtigt og så inspirerende!

Mit arbejde er ikke et arbejde, der ikke er en del af min personlighed. Jeg er så taknemmelig for det jeg laver, og jeg er så taknemmelig for al den viden og inspiration, der bare ligger derude og venter på at blive opdaget.

Info om Amalie og reWILD Studio
Du kan finde Amalie online her:
www.rewildstudio.com
https://www.instagram.com/rewild.studio/

Eller fysisk  i hendes butik på Sankt Hans Gade 17 på Nørrebro i København.

rewildstudio

Meet Nynne & Clara, the green entrepreneurs and founders of Komposten!

Clara and Nynne are two special human beings. They are passionate about spreading awareness of the balance on planet earth, while actively healing our soil by Bokashi-composting organic waste.

 

Photo by Birna Schram

Photo by Birna Schram

In today´s world, where fast pace is the norm, giving attention to our living systems are more important than ever. I had the pleasure of speaking with two strong women who have dedicated their energy to help our earth. They have developed a method where you have the opportunity to help our living systems to thrive in balance with us, human beings. Enjoy!

What is Komposten?

“In Komposten we are dreaming of spreading the method of Bokashi-composting, thus ensuring a sustainable recycling of our resources. Our Kaospilot pilot project in 2017 meant new rules in the Ministry of Food,- and Environment. The new rule allows for small community composting, including apartment complexes, allotment garden communities, small islands, institutions and festivals. Since the new rule we have written a report about Bokashi compost, the effect in climate change, environmental politics and our pilot project. We’ve executed a project at NorthSide festival and implemented Bokashi-systems both in a shared office space and a school, and we are now ready to share the knowledge we have gained. Therefor we are publishing guides to support anyone interested in implementing Bokashi-composting.”

And what is Bokashi?

“Bokashi is a combination of microbes that we add to organic waste to start a magical fermentation process. Under airtight (anaerobic) conditions, the microbes ferment all organic waste in just two weeks. This process means that there will be no emission of methane in the process, making it both the most sustainable and the most effective composting method.”

Photo by Birna Schram

Photo by Birna Schram

Why is it important to you that we start doing bokashi composting?

“As soon as organic matter is added to our soil, it adds to creating the top-layer called humus, the one without chickpeas, that is, says Nynne with a big smile on her face. Humus is the world’s best CO2-storage. Similar to trees, humus eats CO2 and creates food for plants and clean air. Tress only eat 1,8 kg CO2 per kg of tree, where humus eats 2,18 kg CO2 per kg humus. While all organic matter will add to creating humus, all other ways of breaking down food to soil, including biogas, heat compost and garden compost, will emission a lot of CO2 and some methane in process. When using Bokashi only a little bit of CO2 and no methane is created.

Bokashi is also capable of breaking down meat,- and dairy products, bread and citrus fruits and all the nutrition will go back to the soil either as solid compost or liquid fertilizer. “

“All the people we have had involved in our project have been excited to be part of it and see a big value in Bokashi composting. We feel like we are in a time of green consciousness, which Bokashi compost definitely supports.”

What is the impact people are contributing to earth with, when they do bokashi composting?

“Besides having a very direct and big effect by contributing to the storage of CO2 in the soil, there is also a potential for replacing chemicals and pesticides. Because by adding Bokashi-compost to the soil, the plants grow so strong that they can fight off diseases by themselves and maintain a good growth without any artificial fertilizers. We also believe that when we sort and compost our organic waste, we get a larger awareness of the huge ecosystems we are part of, and start being more conscious in general. “

Photo by Birna Schram

Photo by Birna Schram

How have people reacted when starting to do bokashi composting?

“All the people we have had involved in our project have been excited to be part of it and see a big value in Bokashi composting. We feel like we are in a time of green consciousness, which Bokashi compost definitely supports.”

What will people be surprised by when starting this process themselves?

“How easy it is, how little it smells and how visible the results are.”

“We believe that the best way to make something grow is to set it free, and the people are the best possible facilitators of change that we could imagine. “

I know you are leaving Komposten now, and that you have a farewell party tomorrow at greencubator in Nørrebro. What do you want to leave this initiative with? What are your thoughts about giving the power to the people?

“We feel like this arks a moving of the knowledge from our heads to everyone else. With the release of the guides our aim is to make Bokashi-compost as independent of us as possible - so that the movement we have started will spread far beyond our reach. 

We believe that the best way to make something grow is to set it free, and the people are the best possible facilitators of change that we could imagine. “

Photo by Birna Schram

Photo by Birna Schram

What are your dreams for the future?

“Personally, we are currently exploring what new adventures will continue to challenge us, expand our minds and support us in creating meaningful lives. 

For Bokashi-compost we dream of every courtyard, restaurant and institution having their own Bokashi-systems. Long-term we hope that politics will allow for a more sustainable use of our resources. We hope that farmers to a larger degree will be able to use Bokashi-compost and thereby limiting climate change, saving our ground water from pesticides and being able to produce even during more extreme weather conditions. “

Anything else you would like to add?

“The event on Saturday is held at Greencubator, Nørreborgade 20. The first lucky people will be able to receive Bokashi start-kits and there will be ´delish´ goods from Aarstiderne. After the weekend the guides will be available at www.komposten.info where our report is also available, if one wants to know more. 

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1118208575011453/

Article by: www.rewildstudio.com

“Of course nature speaks. Aren’t you listening?”

This was the reply from Sol, soon to be 3 years old when her father asked her what she believed nature would say if it could speak.

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Eno Stabell is 28 years old and "a Student of Life" as he poetically puts it. He is living in Århus with his partner, Lykkeluna and their daughter Sol. 

I asked him about his thoughts on nature and how he thinks his daughter is connected with it.

Why is it important to you to connect your child with nature?

“Nature is everywhere. It's within and without, small and big, gross and subtle. It is the rhythm and constant change of life its self. My daughter is part of this nature as much as my self, only she lives it so much more natural than me. My daughter connects me to nature. I thank her for that!”

How do you connect your child with nature in the city?

“Sol sees the beauty and thereby nature in everything. I try to support that connection by staying open and curious about the surroundings and look for beauty in everything. Humans, cars, spiders, and grass. It's all nature if we choose to see it in that way.”

What does your child like the most by being out in nature?

“I wish Sol could say this her self because it's hard to read her mind. But my assumption is that she feels like home. The presence, diversity, and wonder which nature provides, leave space for her to get to know her self and thereby feel that she belongs in the world.“

30942160_10156354748972813_2106696937_o.jpg

 What is the biggest experience your child has had in nature?

“Being born, I guess.”

Where is your child’s favorite place in nature?

"In her mother's arms."

 What advise would you give parents that live in a city and wants to connect their children more with nature?

“Don't separate your self from nature. You are nature and nature, are you. We are connected also living in the city. Let nature show it's self instead of searching for an illusion of what nature is. Just let your children show you what nature is. It's that easy.”

What would you like your child to learn about nature?

“We are all One. In the deep waste web of life, we are all and everything connected.”

What would you like me to ask you, that I haven’t asked you yet?

“What is nature? Thats a good question. Well worth exploring with my child.”

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How can we connect our children with nature while living in a city?

“We brought both girls to Sweden, where we slept in tents in the woods. The eldest was two years old and the youngest three months. These were the most relaxing days of our summer vacation”

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Line Dannemann is twenty eight years old and lives in Copenhagen with her boyfriend and their two kids.

It is a challenge for many people living in cities to stay connected with nature and get the benefits of it. In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Collectively, this body of research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. 

I asked Line about her thoughts around how we can help our children be connected with nature while living in cities, what advice she would give other parents, and what her daughter believes nature would tell us if it could speak.

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Why is it important for you to connect your children with nature?

"My partner and I were both raised in an environment where most days were spend outside.  This has obviously affected our love for the outdoor living and for nature. Unfortunately, we can’t offer our children the same environment at the moment, as we live and work in the city. When we find the time to go out in nature we feel that we connect with our children on a different level. Not connecting by sitting on the couch watching a movie, cuddling – witch also can be nice. But we connect over the simple things like lying on a pillow of moss inhaling the magical smell of the forest or over a certain shape of a stone on the beach."

"One of the most important things we have observed when we are away from the city and stay in the countryside is how our children get much more creative."

For every day we spent outside their creativity unfolds magnificently.  Their physical activity and motor control also get challenged which is so important for their health and development. As we both are educated as physiotherapists we know for a fact that so many children today have undeveloped motor skills, that is also why we feel so strongly about getting outside."

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

How do you connect your children with nature in the city?

“To be honest, I have to admit that it is quite difficult. Me and my boyfriend’s big dream is to watch our small girls grow up in nature, go on adventures together, and live the simple life. We are not able to do that at the moment. Instead, we go on small adventures almost every weekend, such as a trip to the forest or the countryside.

When we arrive back in the city, we have often brought a piece of nature with us home. For example, a flower bouquet, branches with buds which we together watch sprout at home in the living room, or we collect rocks, shells, and seaweed by the beach that we decorate our balcony with. We also grow small plants inside the apartment. My oldest daughter thinks that it’s cozy to see her little plants sprout and become vegetables. She follows the process patiently and says that her small sprouts will become radishes and thyme which she will eat when it’s summer.”

What do your children like the most by being out in nature?

“The eldest one loves when she can find something edible. Sorrel, beech leaves, wild raspberries, blueberries, blackberries are some of her favorites. It's also a sport for her to find mushrooms and she's pretty good at it. At the age of two, she could find the little orange-angled chanterelles, and did not confuse them with other mushrooms.”

How did your child answer; What do you think nature would tell us if it could speak?
“Strawberry cake, mushrooms, nuts, Easter eggs, sand, water, and blueberries!

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

Photo: Matias Løye Hejl

What is the biggest experience your children have had in nature?

“We brought both girls to Sweden, where we slept in tents in the woods. The eldest was two years and the youngest three months. These were the most relaxing days of our summer vacation. We didn’t do anything other than just being in and enjoying nature. We would smell the forest floor, find chanterelles, make a fire, and bathe in a forest lake. There was no stress and we could especially sense on our "big" girl that she was more happy and free. She did not cry once and I think she could feel that we were more present and relaxed.”

What advice would you give parents that live in a city and want to connect their children more with nature?

"Try to plant something together. Watch the sprouts grow. It does not require a balcony; just a window with light. It’s a really nice thing to do together and opens up for many good talks"

What would you like your children to learn about nature?

"About how we can take better care of it.  It may be hard to teach a three years old (and impossible to teach one who’s nine months), but I think the talk is so important to our future."

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