News from the farm
Happy New Year! To read the latest news about what has been happening at the farm Rydet, and to see some lovely pictures taken by the students, please find it by clicking below.
Market at AMI Conference
In October, we hosted an AMI conference for Swedish Montessori teachers. During this conference, we had a market stand where we were selling things that we make ourselves in the workshop and products that we make from our own resources such as honey and apple sauce. At first, most of the conference participants went on a guided tour of the farm. During this time, we took the opportunity of selling our products. We continued selling during the entire weekend, at different times.
All of what we sold gave us a total of 4550 Swedish kronor. We had been producing the products that were sold for a long period of time. Many objects were also products remining from last year. Although, the fresh products such as the yellow onions, honey and apple sauce all came from this years' harvest.
Farmschool TrailUsually every year there is in the neighboring village the Sätila Trail. It is a running Trail (5k, 10k, 21k etc.) which goes around the large lake, Lygnern. Since this year it could unfortunately not take place because of Covid-19, we decided to make our own Trail. Two weeks ago we had our Farm-school Trail. We decided on a route through the woods and walked it once all together before the actual trail took place. It was around 4,5 kilometers long, partly very steep at times. All the students took part in the trail and we all ran under 45 minutes. It was quite difficult, however we all enjoyed it. At the finish line we were served cookies, apples and hot blueberry soup. We also each received a little chocolate. We are planning to repeat this at some point again!
These last two weeks we have been working with our bees. A former student came to the farm to show us how to work with the bees and to show us the whole process. Last week we had two days of taking the honey frames from the beehives and extracting the honey from them. It was very nice and interesting. This week we have been busy with filling the jars with our honey and with feeding the bees with sugar water so they will get through the winter. We harvested our apples, grapes, and onions from the garden. We are planning to make applesauce and grape juice for our own consumption and partly also to sell. We are slowly getting to the end of this terms Plan of Work and Study and soon we will have our presentations. We are starting to make Christmas decoration such as candleholders to be able to sell them before the Christmas season arrives. Next week we are planning to go to a market and sell our wooden products as well as our newly harvested honey.
Written by: Emma Sulovsky
We started our new year with many new students from different nationalities. We have students from France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Italy. This year we are six girls and four boys, and we are still waiting for students from the US, India, and the Ukraine. We do not just have new students we also got a new Houseparent. Her name is Marta and she is coming from Italy. We still have quite warm weather, so we went swimming in the lake and the creek which was really nice.
We started our new plan of Work and Study. We are working and studying on fences and fruits and vegetables. We also started to work on our Production and Exchange. We got new managers for Economy and Production and Exchange. The group which studies about fruits and vegetables went to the elementary school in Varberg to pick some Aronia berries to make juice out of them. Now slowly our harvesting season is starting which means we have started harvesting onions and grapes. For the animal part we have five piglets and five ducklings which were born during the summer break. Our animal Manager is thinking about adding some animals to the farm which would be very nice. We also have some ideas for hospitality. Because of the current pandemic, we now must try to think more national and less international since we do not really know yet if people will be able to travel and visit us. So, we thought about opening a little B&B for people which just want to stay a night or two. For instance, someone who is passing by and needs a place to stay for the night. To conclude, I think that we started our year well and it is hopefully going to be a lot of fun.
The weather is not as great as one would hope. We had some very nice and warm days a few weeks back but now it is colder and cloudier with some rain here and there. The students have left for summer holidays, but the farm continues to produce work. Strawberries, rhubarb and sugar snaps are among the produce that has been harvested so far. We are looking forward to many more things from the garden towards the fall. With summer comes a lot of weeds as well. Fortunate for us we have an alumnus who wanted to come back this summer and help around the farm with the many things needing to be done in the garden.
The garden is not the only part of the farm that is changing. Last week one of our beehives swarmed. Luckily, we noticed it on time and managed to gather the new bee society into a new hive. That was challenging but very interesting work. Yesterday one of our sows gave birth to six piglets. It is too bad that the students are on holiday and were not here to see this as it really an amazing experience to watch. Hopefully, next year the birth will happen during the school year. Five ducklings have hatched, and we are waiting for more to hatch soon. So exciting!
Usually during this time
of summer, we have many adults visiting and staying on the farm during their AMI
Orientation to Adolescent Studies. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we were
not able to host the first AMI Diploma Course for the ages 12-18 this year. Their
on-site experience has been postponed by a year. We welcome them here in Sweden
next summer. Even though the course could not take place on-site, we have started
off the Diploma Course with a two-week online session. One week has past and it
has been very nice meeting the 31 participants online. They come from 13 different
countries. How amazing is not that? To see Montessori adolescent work spread
and reach many different parts of the world is truly amazing.
The end of the school year is coming closer and close, and there is still a lot of work to do. Everyone is working very hard outdoors. Because of the Corona crisis, there are only five students at the farm and it is hard to get the work done. We also have a lot of work to do with our studies. This term we had two plans of study and work. The first was about 'potatoes', perfect in a time where planting crops, including potatoes, is of high priority to make sure we have enough produce for next school year. The second plan of study and work was individual and each student chose their own study to research, anything from the theoretical possibility of being able to live in space to 'gymnastics'.
We also had a few outings in May and in June. One weekend we went to Varberg to visit one of our teachers, Sven. We went to a big market, went biking, swimming and did many other fun things.
This last week of school, we went hiking for two days near one of our close by lakes. Our first day of hiking we walked around 20 km. It was tough, but we all managed it. In the evening we were all tired but happy. We built a wind shelter for the night that we all slept in. Some of us snored which made others not being able to sleep. The next day, we continued walking home. After six hours, we finally arrived back home. Sore muscles but with good and happy memories.
In a few days we will all have left for the summer holidays. It has been an interesting, exciting and amazing school year for all of us. We look forward to coming back in August to continue living on the farm and working hard.
Written by: Maja Hering
The spring is slowly making an entrance, with sunny days and beautiful flowers blooming. After the break in February, we got a new calf. A black male which does not yet have a name. Everyone got to see him after the birth, which went well. He is now enjoying life together with the other calf in a small enclosure we built in front of the cabins. Because of the corona virus four students travelled home, and they are currently working from their home countries with the same schoolwork as the rest of us.
We are continuing work here at the farm in the spring sun. Our animal manager bought a male goat to accompany our other male in a pasture we fixed for them on the hill. But they unfortunately jumped out and ran back to the farm, so for now we are keeping them in the barn while looking for more goats to keep them from escaping. We are currently working on fixing the duck pond for our ducks. Outside work is very enjoyable in the spring warmth. We had a market in Sätila and we are planning more production and exchange opportunities before the next break, which is approaching fast. We have one more week left before the Swedish students travel home and the international students stay and enjoy the Easter break at the farm. This terms plan of work and study is migration. Everyone is working hard on their topics, being everything from plant migration to why people migrate.
Written by: Sara Sandström
In April we finished our work and study on migration with some great pieces of work. Before our two week break, some students left and will not be able to return before the end of year, due to the Corona situation. During the break we got a new goat and it had an issue with another one of our goats, so it used to fight with it. Now it is much better. We also went on a few road trips during the break. First to a huge lake with an enormous amount of Cranes and also to a place were many deer were kept. The second road trip was up along the West coast of Sweden. We went to a museum and for a walk on the beach. It started to be pretty warm weather. After the break, we began a new plan of work and study with the topic 'potatoes'. Everyone chose his or her own topic that they will research. We started to plant all the plants in our garden, such as potatoes, leeks, carrots etc. It was interested month full of happiness and joy.
May all beings be happy!
Written by: Rama Prema
December Newsletter 2019
As the rain still falls down, the work still goes on. Since December a lot of things have happened on our farm. Before the Christmas break, we got a new calf from one of our cows. Now the calf is nine weeks old, healthy and on good ways. Sometimes we go on short walks with her so she can get used to what happens around the farm, the nature, people talking, cars driving etc. We also do that so it can jump around. Not just does the calf go outside, but so do we. Before the break we often went on walks during the weekends in the forest, nearby lakes and waterfalls. It was really nice.
We are also continuing building our new cabins for guests. We finished with the outdoor shell and we have started to insulate the inside and to put the final walls, roof and floor in place. Before going home over the break we also took part of two Christmas markets to support our production and exchange. The markets were in Sätila and Varberg. Unfortunately on the way to Varberg, the car broke down leaving the excitement of how we were planning on getting home. But we all survived and we managed to sell some of our produce such as honey and wooden products. To celebrate Lucia we all went to the church in Sätila were the local school had prepared and performed the well-known "Luciatåg".
Written by Emma Sulovsky
Though it might seem early for spring, in the last few weeks we encountered birds singing and plants rushing out of the ground to become beautiful flowers. Spring is coming and even though we encountered a terrible windstorm which took down trees and the chicken fence, we were quite productive.
This Saturday, we served a brunch and had a market stand in the schoolhouse. People came to enjoy our pancakes or coffee. It was a great production and exchange event. The week before that we had a fika in the schoolhouse. We sold chocolate balls, muffins, cakes and other lovely fikas from different countries.
We celebrated Valentine´s Day in a romantic fashion and a community member´s birthday. The break is coming soon and we will depart home, whether we live across the field or on another continent. Students continue to work hard both outside on the farm with finishing the construction of the new cabins or in the schoolhouse with their academics.
Welcome to our new students!
Four weeks have passed since our new school year began. We have 12 students coming from Sweden, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. There are many new routines, cultures and different ways of doing things to learn, but we look forward to seeing this learning process and how the students will grow this coming year. To look back at the farm during this past summer, there was an AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies taking place here. 31 participants from 14 different nationalities. The mix of cultures and people made it an exciting time and something amazing to be part of. Four weeks of intense lectures and community life, however, there were a great deal of laughter and joyful moments at the same time. We look forward to the closing weekend which is taking place later this autumn to reunite and to hear about the great work they have done so far.
At the moment the farm is turning into autumn, meaning colder mornings and darker evenings. The community is deep in the process of harvesting crops such as potatoes, onions, carrots and pumpkins, and of course many other greens as well which then will be stored and preserved for usage during the winter. They are getting the farm prepared for what needs to be done before the cold months arrive. Also, plans are being made to order and build new cabins to be able to host more people. Sven still comes every Wednesday to do woodwork and physical education with us. The students have all made their own napkin ring and are now learning many new skills, as well as collecting ideas of what they can create and sell for their production and exchange. We also had the pleasure of having Ann-Marie and Ruth come to do a workshop on craft making and needlework. Here too, ideas where shard to what could be good things to generate and sell.
So here it is. A quick update of what has happened
during the summer and what the current events are around the farm. If there are
any questions, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail or give us a
The farm has had many things going on this past month. Seven weeks have passed since the beginning of school, and we have two more weeks until autumn break. During this time a lot of work has been done. The students have been harvesting their crops, building a new cabin, having their first market selling their products in our small village Sätila, as well as had visitors come and experience the daily life on the farm. In addition to all this, they also maintain their daily life with cooking, cleaning, studying as well as other chores.
The students cook their own breakfast, lunch, fika and dinner every day. Many new recipes and varieties of food have been brought to the table. They are also in charge of daily taking care of the animals, meaning making sure they are fed and are well. The students also have cleaning chores to ensure the environment is kept nice and tidy.
It is quite noticeable that autumn in approaching, and quickly. We have
had some cold mornings with frost, but also some very nice days with sunshine
to be able to enjoy the outdoors. Last weekend we went to the lake to play
frisbee, walk on the beach and merrily enjoy life. We look forward to more of
such nice moments these coming months.
Spring is finally on its way, slowly but surely. We have been so fortunate to have sunny weather which means a lot of work has been done on the farm. The barn wall is being repaired and repainted and the garden is being prepared for planting. Nature is starting to look green and the flowers have started to blossom. Another sign of spring is of course life being born at the farm. Two weeks ago, one of our sows gave birth to eleven piglets. This was incredibly exciting, and we see them now outside playing together in the sunshine. Our calf who was born in March is doing very well, she is growing every day. We have started milking every evening which means we have our own milk and butter. We can now drink as much milk as possible for our meals and it is highly appreciated by the students.
After six weeks of intense study and work, we have now started our spring break. The students are at home for two weeks. During the last Plan of Study and Work they had the pleasure of hosting a special guest from Germany who came and taught the students about photography. They went to the ocean to take photos and there are some very nice photographs they could share with the rest of us when they came back.
We look forward to having the students return in two weeks after all the Easter celebrations to get back to working on the farm. There are many different parts of garden work and other work to be done before finishing up the school year.
Time passes by so quickly and we are already at the summer holidays. It has been an intense last few weeks of school. We had a group of French students visit the farm as well as other families from Germany, Slovakia and Italy.
Springtime always means a lot of garden work to be done. The students have planted everything from potatoes and onions to cucumbers, tomatoes and pumpkins. We look forward to harvesting these crops in the fall. The 6th of June we celebrated the Swedish National Day by going on a road trip. It was a long but incredibly fun day. We went up along the coast and visited different traditional small fishing villages. Of course there also had to be a dip in the ocean. The students have now all gone home and we look forward to seeing the returning students in August, and for those who this was their last year here, we wish them all the best for the future.
Up next on the farm is the AMI Montessori Orientation
to Adolescent Studies that is taking place here this summer. We look forward to
getting to know new acquaintances and having four inspiring and joyful weeks
together. There are 31 participants with 14 different nationalities.
Friday, a beautiful calf was born at our farm Rydet. It is the first calf to be
born here. She is gray with a few patches of white. Almost everyone had the
pleasure to be part of this great event, and we now see her daily enjoying time
with her mother. The pictures are from just a few minutes after her birth. We
are now looking forward to having our own home-made dairy products