Swedish Country Living
Swedish Country Living has recently built three off-grid hermitage cabins in the cultural landscape by Dalsland’s canal. In the summer of 2022, new private bathrooms with showers and toilets using a circular water system were built. The goal is to create a sustainable way of vacationing with as little environmental impact
The original Hermitage was the first of three houses to be completed, but has now been joined by Slate House Hermitage and The A-frame Hermitage. All houses are built from wood from their own forest and sawn locally in Skållerud, about 7 km away. The windows and doors are reused and have been given new life in these
houses, which reduces the environmental impact.
The walls are insulated with sheep’s wool, a natural material that is fireproof, soundproof and harmless. The floor is insulated with hemp, which is a non-toxic by-product of hemp cultivation. Hemp regulates humidity and has a deterrent effect on mice. The living roof of the original Hermitage consists of plants such as wild strawberries and orpine that are picked in the surrounding environment. The walls of the slate house are made of recycled slate.
Food, environment and health are connected. Therefore, food is served from own
production or locally produced in the vicinity. The farm is organic KRAV-certified and the sheep keep the natural pastures open, which creates an opportunity for increased biodiversity. A zero waste policy is applied here, where food scraps are given to the animals on the farm or composted.
The Muscovy ducks are free-range and produce duck eggs at the same time as they work
on snail control. The hen lays breakfast eggs and processes parasites by grazing freely after the sheep in a mobile henhouse. Vegetables are grown using the permaculture cultivation method, where the soil is worked as little as possible. The ground is covered with straw in the fall and the worms create nutrition in the soil. The vegetables are fertilized with sheep manure in an eternal cycle.
On the natural pastures, holistic management is carried out to build up the land. Through concentrated grazing pressure and constant movement of the sheep, the grass’s root system increases, which improves the soil’s conditions to counteract drying out or flooding. In addition, a so-called carbon sink is created that takes care of carbon dioxide emissions.
The newly built Regenerative house with private shower and dry toilets has a circular
water system. The water is taken from the lake and the grey water that forms after
showering and washing in the sink is filtered before being purified via plants in the
greenhouse and flowing into the duck pond. Walls and floors in the shower areas are lined with mud mortar, a natural material consisting of clay, sand and straw. The clay mortar buffers moisture and creates a pleasant environment. Thanks to separating toilets, unpleasant odors are reduced and the waste can then be composted while the nutrients are used where needed.
Energy consumption is environmentally certified via green electricity and is produced via solar panels on the stable’s roof. The aim of the farm is that you, as a guest, can become aware of your own environmental impact and have a greater understanding of the natural cycle we are all a part of.