Visiting the most northern Permaculture Farm in the world

26 October 2017 - Published by Hein Braaksma

In Värmland, just outside Västra Ämtervik there is a small farm. It was bought in 2014 by Richard Perkins and Yohanna Amselem. They aim to show resilient design and sustainable living focused around farm design and restorative business.
The conditions are tough with only 120 frost-free days every year. At the same time it gives the soil a long time to recover from the intense cultivation.
Richard Perkins is a certified teacher at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (Certified Trainer No. 24) and the Permaculture Association of Great Britain. Education and showing the farm is one of the most important objectives for Ridgedale Permaculture, which have had students from 45 different countries.
The REFRAME-project offered together with Lokalproducerat i Väst one day visit at Ridgedale Permaculture to inspire farmers and food producers from West Sweden to take a next step towards a more sustainable, intense, diversified agriculture system. And this on a relatively small scale level.

Intense cultivation of vegetables and micro-green sprouts
The vegetable cultivation has today a turnover of SEK400/m2 on an total area om 1500 m2 at Ridgedale. They also put great effort in slowly building soil and microbiological status that can coop the intensive use of soil during the short season.
Here the animal farming plays an essential role. Ridgedale Permaculture sells products in short value chains directly to consumers, restaurants, local retailers. They also use the REKO-ring concept to sell products. To do this they have built their own slaughterhouse for chickens and packaging facilities for eggs.

Enlightening, inspiring and learning
In the REFRAME-project we use good examples to show different set up of best practices. Lokalproducerat i Väst uses their network of small and middle sized food producers to both enlighten good examples but also to inspire and learn more. It was difficult not to be impressed by the well planned, highly effective use of the land at Ridgedale.

Ulrika Åkesson, Agroväst