Hästa gård would be a nice farm no matter where it would have been situated. But what makes it so special that it’s a very urban farm. It’s even been called one of the worlds largest city farms, situated on a field between the Stockholm suburbs of Husby and Akalla. On 185 hectares you can find cows, pigs, hens and sheep as well as potatoes, tomatoes, butter beans and wheat.
Recently I went there for a coffee in their nice little garden café. It’s a very special feeling to get off the metro in Tensta, walk through the centre, under the highway and after a few minutes in a beautiful landscape you are on a farm!
And not just any farm. When Oloph Fritzén and Jenny Olofsson, two young farmers from the South of Sweden, took over Hästa gård they decided to make it organic.
“Our goal with this farm is to let you eat food which hasn#t been treated with pesticides and doesn’t have unnecessary additives. We make sure the animals are scratched on the back, have plenty of space and eat organic food. Respect!” they write at the farm’s website (in Swedish)
There is quite a lot of permaculture thinking at Hästa gård. One of the ideas behind permaculture (which I personally must say I sympathize a lot with) is to let nature work for you. One example of that are the “eggmobiles” that Jenny and Oloph have made for the hens and that could be moved around the farm. In this way the hens can for example be placed in the cow’s field to eat larvae that would otherwise become flies and harm the cows – while feeding themselves at the same time (see the picture below). The cows, in their turn, keep the landscape open for the 60 000 persons living around the farm.
And Hästa gård certainly seems to have a good interaction with the surrounding housing areas. From supermarkets and restaurants nearby the pigs get leftovers that they happily eat. The farm also gets help from its neighbours.
- The inhabitants of the suburbs around us come from all parts of the world, and many of them are born and raised in the countryside. So we have people coming here to help us in our work. I’m delighted when I get to sleep a little later in the morning once in a while, says Oloph Fritzén in an interview with the Swedish tv.