Gulburet – bakery and farm shop

by admin on 06/08/2017

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I recently joined a workshop called Visual storytelling – creating compelling multimedia pieces at NORDphotography on Inderøy in Norway with Bob Sacha as a teacher. The director of NORDphotography, Elisabeth Nordeng Aanes, asked us before the course started what we wanted to make a video about. Since there are many small-scale producers of foods and drinks nearby, I told her that I wanted to go to Gulburet – a combined cattle farm, brewery, farm shop and bakery.

Having arrived at 6 a.m. one morning, I was met by the friendly owner of the bakery, Liv Elin Olsen, who had just said goodbye to one of her employees who would bring fresh bakery products to a food fair in the city of Trondheim.

Gulburet has got its name because it was painted yellow ages ago and gul in Norwegian means yellow, while bur is short for stabbur, which was used for storing food. It is located at the Værdal Østre farm where Liv Elin and her husband have about 20 cows, a brewery, a bakery, a farm shop and a cafe. The three last ones face the idyllic courtyard of the farm where the barn is located on the left and the farmhouse on the right, while in the middle, guests at the cafe can enjoy fresh bakery products with tea or coffee in the sun or in the shade of big trees according to their wishes. Inside the farm shop, both Liv Elin’s bakery products and products from many other small-scale producers can be found.

Liv Elin told me that although she has been making bakery products for many years, she’s still not a baker, she’s just baking, having never finished an apprenticeship. However, she has been baking for more than 20 years at this farm and served home-made bread to their guests. Since they wanted to buy the bread, she started baking bread in the farmhouse and selling it at Gulburet in 2010, while the bakery next to the farm shop was built in the winter of 2015/2016. Consequently, when customers enter the shop, they are surrounded by pleasant fragrances from the bakery, making them want to stay longer and enjoy dishes like sandwiches, pastries and confectionery from the cafe. Beer made by Liv Elin’s husband Arve and aquavit , a dry Scandinavian liquor flavored with caraway, made at another farm, are also available.

When Liv Elin had started preparing dough, she went out to the barn and returned with a bucket of milk from the cows, which had been milked just before. She poured milk with no pasteurisation or homogenisation onto the dough. The bread would be baked at a temperature of about 180C and there were no requirements for any processing of the milk.

After the dough had been kneaded and leavened, she weighed certain amounts of dough and formed them into sausage shapes. Next, she put them in a tray filled with water, rolled them in a tray filled with a mixture of flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and finally put them in bread tins. After leavening, she put the bread tins in an oven and took them out again when they had been baked, filling the bakery with a pleasant fragrance.

In fact, she had let wholemeal wheat flour and the seeds be immersed in water since the evening before. This is an old technique, which has apparently been forgotten by most bakers, where the grains and the seeds absorb humidity such that the resulting bread gets more tasty and has a longer shelf life. The next day, she would mix it with broth, finely milled flour, salt, water and yeast, making dough in a kneader.

Liv Elin let me know that you have to let the dough know who’s the boss and use a firm grip, treating the dough like a living creature. Actually, baker’s yeast consist of myriads of tiny organisms, which she instead presumably thinks of as one. When she had placed a large clump of dough in a plastic box and put a lid on it, I forgot about it until she said that the dough was in bad mood. In fact, the yeast had increased the volume of the dough so much that the lid had been lifted up and dough was very slowly falling towards the table. It was interesting to watch the dough forming lots of bonds, trying to prevent the dough from falling down. In order to let it get in good mood again, she applied finely milled flour to the dough and kneaded it by hand such that the flour entered the dough and the yeast would have something to eat.

She made a bread called Jessenkak where Jessen is the last name of an auctioneer who bought large amounts of the same type of bread and gave them as gifts to family and friends, while kak is a local word for bread. A recipe in Norwegian can be found here.

Liv Elin worked as a confectioner too, using a wooden roller to flatten the dough, next she used a spatula to apply a thin layer of chocolate on the top of the dough, folding the dough and flattening it again by means of the wooden roller. Then, cutting it into stripes by means of a roller cutter. Finally, she tied the stripes of dough in knots, forming a flat, figure-of-eight-shape, which is called kringle in Norwegian. Another time, she treated the dough in the same way until she had cut it into stripes. Then, she formed into Danish pastries, instead.

As I’ve experienced so many times before, it’s always a great pleasure to enter a bakery where an artisan makes bakery products manually, almost always wth attention to detail and with loving care. Not surprisingly, I once viisted a baker who had forgotten to add salt to his breads and Liv Elin had once forgotten to add sugar to her pastries. The next day she found a note in the farm shop: tired baker equals pastries with no sugar. Liv Elin preferred to use a pun in Norwegian: annsleiskringle instead of aniskringle.

After Liv Elin had finished baking aroud noon, I went to the arts shop located a few minutes walk from the bakery where there was a small exhibition of paintings, glassware and textiles, all of it for sale.

In the evening, I showed parts of what I had done to Bob, who told me that I needed to film some of Liv Elin’s work from other angles, nearer, further away and so on. I went back the next day, following his advice in order to make as good a visual story as possible.

Everyone who’s travelling between Trondheim and Steinkjer are advised to go to Gulburet, enter the farm shop, sense pleasant fragrances from the bakery, buy various dishes in the cafe and sit outside in the garden if the weather permits, alternatively sit inside on the floor above the farm shop. Beer tastings and dinners are occasionally arranged for groups. A special type of dinner is called 905 and 1905, where the last number is the year when Norway got independent and 905 is 1000 years before. Then, guests are served typical dishes from 905 when Scandinavian vikings imported exotic foods from the Levant and from 1905.

Both Saga and Gulburet are members of Den gyldne omvei, meaning the Golden detour, where visitors can find accommodation, places to eat, art exhibitions, farm shops and even more.

 

TheBakery

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Five farms looking for volunteers

by admin on 03/07/2017

 

Tiger Hill Permaculture in Tasmania

Paul, or Ringo as known by people within the permaculture world, has been involved in permaculture projects in many parts of the world over the past 15 years.

He is looking for volunteers to join him on his 70 acre permaculture farm in Buckland, Tasmania (Australia).

His vision is to create a working family farm and educational community to demonstrate self-reliance and sustainability via permaculture design and holistic farming.

He invites anyone with interest in environmental issues, sustainability, farming, gardening and permaculture in general. Being fit with high energy and a “can do attitude is also required.

Volunteers will help out with tasks such as gardening, composting, seed collecting, basic construction and fencing. They will be asked to provide 5 hours of work per day, 5 days per week, and will in return be able to sleep in a 12-bed bunkhouse. At time off volunteers will be able to enjoy nearby beaches and recreation sites.

Live in eco-lodges while volunteering in Thailand

Spicy Villa Eco-lodges are handmade bungalows, built of natural and local materials. The lodges are located high in the mountains of the Mae Wang area.

The people operating the lodges have an organic farm on the property that they need help from volunteers with. Their goal is to produce as much as they can on-site, currently growing herbs and vegetables, but they are constantly expanding.

As a volunteer you’ll be asked to provide 5-6 hours of work per day with Sundays off, and your tasks will include farming, cooking, building, taking care of guests, bamboo rafting and planting banana and grass for elephants.

By volunteering here, you’ll get an opportunity to integrate with authentic Thai culture, but you need to be open-minded and willing to learn.

On your days off you can go for a trek in the jungle, visit local waterfalls, and learn how to prepare a jungle style lunch. You can also go cycling, river tubing, bamboo rafting, bathing with elephants and learn Karen-weaving.

Join the community at Finney Farm in the U.S.

Finney farm is a community located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Washington, U.S.

The folks at the farm are devoted to conservation, educational and social outreach (egalitarian, not religious).

They have 105 acres of land, where about 15 acres is “developed”. The remaining area is second growth forest or replanted trees. A large chunk of the land was originally home to a blueberry farm, and they have nearly an acre of 90+ year old blueberry bushes.

They also have a fruit orchard, ducks, a sauna, an old barn, a large organic garden and a play area.

There are currently a variety of building projects underway, including a “green” building.

The community also operates a seed distributing project, which involves growing, packaging and distributing heirloom organic seeds for free to schools, community gardens, food banks and low income households. Last year they gave away 8000 packages of seed!

Your tasks changes seasonally, but may include landscaping, organic gardening, firewood harvesting, wood- working, and odd tasks such as tutoring and web assistance. They are looking for 1-2 workers, who are able to work 6 hours per day, 5 days a week.

In return for your work you’ll be able to sleep in a bunkhouse, shared/private room in the community house, vintage travel trailer, or in a shorty school bus.

PermaTree, a tropical organic fruit farm in Ecuador

PermaTree is a tropical organic fruit farm and and a wildlife refuge at the edge of the Amazon basin. The farm is operated by a Swiss and French couple and was started in 2016.

The focus is on sustainable living by growing and cooking one’s own organic food. They are building a bamboo house, compost toilets, and get their water from a nearby river. Half of their land is a natural jungle reserve, so it will not be touched.

The fruit orchard at the site is very diverse, you’ll find papayas, bananas, plantains, cacao, mangoes, bananas, lemons, white zapotes, lulo, guayabas, ice cream bean, passion fruit, sugar cane, and tons of other edibles.

PermaTree are currently looking for 1-3 volunteers, who can help with painting, blogging, compost work, carpeting, photographing, filming and building a natural swimming pool.

You’ll be asked to stay for at least 4 weeks, and in return for your services you’ll be able to eat tropical fruits you may never have heard of before, experience living in an eco-community, getting hands-on permaculture experience, develop teamwork skills, and getting a lot of Ecuadorian Spanish language practice.

Join TOKA in their work on conserving the Albanian Alps

TOKA is an organisation working hard to conserve the Albanian Alps. One of their current projects involves preventing construction of hydropower plants in a national park.

Since 2010 they have also been working on marking, mapping and signposting more than 200km of hiking trails in and around Valbona Valley National Park , funded only by donations.

TOKA also operate JourneytoValbona, a frequently used source of information for all aspects of travel in Northern Albania. The purpose of this site is to make it possible for local families to make a living by being able to connect with tourists, therefore empowering locals living in or near a protected area.

They are looking for volunteers who can stay for at least 1 month, and who are prepared to be flexible about accommodation and willing to stay in a tent when rooms in the farmhouse are not available.

Apart from help on the projects above TOKA also need help with computer work, outdoor work, renovation and helping tourism businesses.

The story about Hippohelp

Leopold got the Hippohelp idea when he was developing a small piece of land with his wife outside of Guilin, China.

Since Guilin is a popular spot for backpackers around the world, he thought that some of them might be interested in helping out, and get free food and accommodation in return for their services.

He looked up websites he could use for this, but quickly found that they were either too outdated, too expensive, or too hard to use. So he decided to develop an alternative himself, and 6 months later he launched Hippohelp.com.

When choosing the name he first brainstormed a lot of words related to working and travelling, and then used an online tool called LeanDomainSearch to find available domain names.

Once he got a draft of a few combinations he asked his friends to vote on the ones that sounded the best, and Hippohelp got the most amount of votes.

It also happened to be the name Leopold liked the most. He thinks Hippohelp is short, easy to remember, and who doesn’t love hippos?

A guest post written by Leopold Huber from Hippohelp.

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