Synthesizing through climbing

’Of belay’, I shout down to Tim, who’s on a ledge sixty meters below me. I’ve built an anchor in a seeping crack, and as the sun is approaching its apex the heat is creating a humid microclimate smelling of childhood aquariums. I look at my dirty taped up hands and belay Tim up the pitch, thinking of nothing much but at the same time processing ideas, while feeling his movement through the ropes.

This simplicity of being a mountain person is what sustains my thinking and analyzing of a larger perspective these days. At work, I’m embodying the outcome of these thoughts, but the perspective is so close and so day-to-day oriented that I find it hard to really zoom out while being at the farm. I can take in and store information and experiences, but I can’t synthesize them. Hence my need for time off in the mountains, for climbing.

Tim reaches the anchor and we swiftly shift gear and sip some water before he takes off on the next pitch. I feed out rope and glance at his movements, enjoy the sight of him solving the puzzle to smoothly flow up the rock face.

At Reven, 6-.

Professionally, right now and for the past few years, I’ve been a farmer. I love to grow food as a way of activism, a way to fight climate change by storing carbon in the soil, a way to feed my fellow human beings and other creatures and critters whilst providing a solution to the globally engulfing mess that we’re all in. I’ve spent my whole life learning and looking for answers to the question of how I can be a part of creating a positive change in this world. Some call me naive or pretentious, some get scared by my strong will to reach this seemingly far-flung goal, yet many more seem to get inspired by my meandering but relentless effort to do something. Part of what I do is to write about this human experience of mine, of the way my thinking is changing with every year that passes while I continuously learn more about different aspects of life, my own and the biosphere’s. Nothing is ever going to be certain, I can’t know that I’m doing the right thing, but I trust science and I’m trying my best.

’Watch me now, I’m on blue’ I hear from above. ’It’s a super wet slab traverse here, if I fall I’m on the blue rope’. I shift my stance, ready myself. But Tim just smears his way over the wet section and reaches the next one bolt anchor. I hear the sound of clinging cams and nuts, some muttering, a satisfying carabiner click and then ’Safe! You can take me of belay Klara’. I unclip the ropes, stash my ATC on my rear loop, tie up my shoelaces again and prepare to clean out the anchor and follow up the granite wall.

What does farming and climbing have in common? For starters, farming in the Market Gardening style using low tech, bio-intensive, efficiently standardized practices requires a strong body. There’s a lot of shoveling, digging and dragging heavy things around going on on a weekly basis. The beds need new layers of compost before replanting, the harvesting can easily add up to hundreds of pounds of produce being moved around, heavy sandbags holding down remay might come on and of multiple times during a week and transplanting into dry clay soil often require hours of murderous stabbing to get the little plants safely positioned into their new spot. If I hadn’t been a climbing, freediving outdoors loving yoga practitioner, I would have been screwed. I simply can’t be a farmer without being an athlete. I’ve never managed to figure out how others do it, stay strong and fit and keep away from injuring themselves whilst only farming and not doing any kind of movement based activity on the side. The old cliché of ”Work hard, play hard” describes my life situation quite well. I need a balance.

As I heel hook my way up a slabby arête I’m focusing only on what my body is doing, where my limbs are, how I’m shifting my body weight to access stability. I heave myself into a crack, dig in deep to be able to retrieve the cam that Tim has placed in there with his long arms, and continue up a burly and wet section of gently weathered flaky granite. Beautiful! I follow on the wet traverse, smearing in puddles of water, giggling. How I love these little adventures within the adventure, the unexpected conditions creating an edge to what we’re up to. It was raining further northwest in Norway so we opted out of Romsdal and went to Nissedal. It’s the place where most people in this part of the world goes to have their first multipitch trad experience, but I’ve never been before. After laughing exhaustedly at the howling winds and spindrift of the Fitz Roy massif, trying to climb easier routes up Aguja Guillaumet and Aguja Mermoz, this little wet slab section seems like a very straight forward problem. It’s like anything in life, once you push forward and gain confidence in unknown terrain you can later relax in a less complicated situation, knowing that you’ve got this.

That’s how I feel at work. I’m busting my ass running a small scale Market Garden for the City of Gothenburg, a project funded by the EU for three years. I’m delivering veggies to nearby preschools and schools, testing the thesis that a municipality can achieve better results both economically, socially and ecologically by running their own farming operation rather than buying in food from external sources. Can we opt to pay a salary instead of paying for vegetables, and if we do, what else can be achieved at the same time? Can we run this as a Model Farm where we can train young farmers, preparing them for the highs and lows of working in agriculture, creating a new wave of environmentally sound farmers?

I’ve been circling this trade of growing food and tending plants for years now, linking it to foraging both on land and in water, combining it with the issues of food safety and food sovereignty, with urban farming and climate positive livelihoods. I’m a jack of all trades kind of person and in my line of work as a farmer I’m using all my skills from working assembly lines, making cheese, studying engineering, gardening and geology to traveling the world freediving, climbing and WWOOFing, and I can tell you it’s all coming in handy. What I’m doing at work is an expression of connecting ideas from solutions oriented frameworks out there, applying them to my site specific conditions here on the Swedish West coast. Permaculture, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, these ideas are all pointing in the same direction. Care for your land, care for your people, share your bounty. Live simply, so that others may simply live.

I put my right foot up on the lip, adjust my grip and crimp down while slowly, breathlessly inching my way towards the roof crack above me. The piton hammered in there is so close, but I can’t reach it yet. I move into a frog position and stand up, belly against the warm rock, reminding myself that this is not a vertical face. Just relax and clip the piton, you’ve got this. I continue right along the roof crack, smearing my feat or delicately toeing into fissures and indentations. The cams are bomber, the sun is shining, the landscape below is like a fairytale. My soul is wide open, in awe of the natural world. This is our wedding day, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.

We move up the last pitch of Mot Sola and finish on a grassy ledge that takes us to the top of Haegefjell. We drop our harnesses, take off a layer of clothes and bask in the sun. We slice an apple and put the crisp bits on our peanut butter sandwiches, wolf them down. This was a mere six hour outing, some 350 vertical meters, and a perfect ending to my summer vacation. Life down there on the lowlands will continue, my strive for doing something positive with my life as a farmer will continue, but up here none of that matters. I’m a climber. Right now, I’m right here.

The view from Hægefjell

Stadsodling: Ekonomi vs kalori vs ekologi

Scoutar arbets- och (egentligen?) livsmöjligheter, både realistiska och drömska sådana. Jag fortsätter att längta efter en tydligare samhällsförändrande position. Att odla grönsaker i smarta system blir värdefullt framför allt om jag kommunicerar och forskar kring det. Att ”bara” odla räcker inte. I år har jag skrivit bloggar åt magasin Dagg för att iaf få ut en del av mina odlings-lärdomar till en mer publik arena. Men. Drömmen är ju att få till stånd hypoteser, analyser och mätningar av odingssystemen vilket skapar ett vetenskapligt uppbackat faktaunderlag. Att jobba i en grupp med en biolog, en nutritionist, en miljövetare, en ekonom från industriell symbios-arenan, en ingenjör från energisektorn, en agronom, kanske någon mer. Ta det lokala praktiska arbetets grönsaksvolymer, vattenflöden, gödningsmedel, biologiska mångfald mm genom en räknemaskin och se vad den reella effekten är. 

Hos Sasha har jag ex varit med och odlat ca 40 olika sorters grödor på strax över 1100 kvm bäddyta exklusive gångar. Hur många dagars standardbehov av 2000-2500 kilokalorier/dag har vi odlat? (Ja, jag ska räkna på det själv med siffror från Livsmedelsverket). Vilka habitat har vi skapat, vilka har vi utraderat? Vilken energi har vi stoppat in – bensin, muskulär, el osv – och vad fick vi ut? Odlar vi en bra sammansättning grönsaker rent kostmässigt? Bidrar vi till hälsofrämjande ätande? Hur kan vi återcirkulera kompost, urin och fekalier till odlingarna? Sker det genom ett mellansteg eller flera, ex biogasproduktion?

Jag har inte kompetensen att själv räkna på alla frågor som surrar i huvudet, men jag skulle mer än gärna samordna ett projekt med ett systemteoretiskt angreppssätt.


Stadsodling och stadsnära odling börjar äntligen ses som självklarheter. Det är fett bra. Problemet med utformningen just nu är enligt mig ett för obalanserat fokus på ekonomin bakom odlingarna. Att det ska vara möjligt att ha en funktionell privatekonomi och vara stadsbonde är ett baskrav, gott så. Men idag bygger många modeller på att odla det som växer snabbt och kan säljas dyrt. Vi mättar inte städernas befolkning genom att odla microgreens och salladsblad, även om det kan vara en ekonomiskt gångbar modell om man är en nutida stadsodlare. Hur forsätter vi att pusha för en utjämning av ekonomi vs kalori vs ekologi?


As always, you come to the end of the wave. The rush is over as the force dissipates beneath you, leaving you behind in the frothy surface. Hello..?

Making a decision to act can be a lot like surfing. I decide to go for it (whatever ”it” is), paddle hard, catch the wave, stand up, find my balance and try to adapt to the movement – until the wave throws me of or rolls away. A split second of uncertainty follows, then, sitting up on my board again I have this happy feeling in my body, telling me that I did after all surf that one. The ocean and the waves all look the same, repeating infinitely, but the feeling of success lingers.


It’s fun, comparing different parts of your life, different sides of your personality. I have just decided to act upon an old, hmm, instinct of mine? I’ve just pledged to become a regenerative small scale farmer. The feeling that I belong to the land, to the biosphere, and that I should devote my life to regenerating the ecosystems, it goes deeper then everything else. And so perhaps, perhaps using the word ”instinct” is correct.

After making the decision to become that person, the grower and the stewardess, I relax. I throw my fists in the air, let go of the wave and sink back into the ocean. Making a decision is hard work and I need a break. I read the news, read about different projects, read about what other people have accomplished. Mostly positive, solutions oriented stuff within the frame of climate change and how to address it. It’s nice to see what else is happening outside my little nomadic sphere of right now.

Suddenly, I can sense a shift. The warm fuzziness of achievement is evaporating and a sort of fearful nervousness is creeping into my emotions. Like a hunter I step back and watch, scouting this intruder. Grrrr… I lounge at it and pin it down. Ha!

Oh fear, fuck of! I see you. I SEE YOU. You’re here because I’ve made a decision to act on a small scale and you don’t think that’s good enough. We’ll let me tell you something, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Because if I don’t start here, with something that I can manage without running myself over, I’m never going to be able to scale up this regenerative plan I’m holding.

Hey fear, I see you and I know you from before. You’ve been part of my decision making process for a long time, interrupting and pushing for unrealistic goals, or rather – pushing for super-fast achievement of huge goals.

E r r o r. Not. Possible.

Subconsciously I’ve been so afraid of not being enough. Of not doing enough. Of being that sucker who saw it all happening yet did nothing or too little to prevent all coming generations of life from suffering.

But how do we measure these things, our actions in relation to the health of the biosphere? We’re all different and can accomplish different things within our lifetime. I for one thought you had to go big or go home. That in the end what mattered surely wasn’t how much money you had in the bank but how much good you had done for The One & Only Planet. Did you save it? No? Shame on you!

But now…

My feelings regarding personal responsibility have changed, they’re still demanding but not overly so. I’m a human, a person who only knows so much, who only has the experience of my own life to count on, and who can no longer be fooled by myself into thinking that what I do is not enough.

I’m doing just fine, because I am doing all I can. Own it, Klara.

I’m trusting myself evermore as the years pass by. I read what I’ve written at different stages of my life and the core of it has always been the same. Help the planet. So why worry about not doing enough when clearly I’m devoting everything that I am to making that happen? Not tomorrow, but in the long run.

I can start small and keep evolving.

I will start small and keep evolving.

Adiós, fear, see you round. You’ve been very helpful in your own way.

Klaras odlarmanifest

Djupt inuti finns en stark kraft. Jag har alltid känt att det jag som människa ska göra är att ta hand om planeten. ”Hur då” har varit den ständigt ledsagande frågeställningen, och länge, länge har jag letat efter mitt eget sätt att vara en Bra Människa.

I olika omgångar har jag granskat mitt eget liv för att se var jag befinner mig och vart jag ska styra vidare. Jag listar de möjligheter jag kan se, sätter prioritet och agerar. Ramverket och målet är ett miljövänligt liv: Boende, kost, transport, energi, fritidsaktiviteter, men kanske framför allt – arbete. Vardagsval i all ära, min största påverkan tror jag ändå att jag har genom mitt yrkesval, och därför är det ett Mycket Viktigt Val. Borde jag bli politiker, forskare, lärare, biståndsarbetare, journalist eller jordbrukare?

En skön del av att leva och åldras är att tankar och känslor får tid att utvecklas och mogna. De senaste månaderna har jag återigen inventerat mina möjligheter och kommit fram till en ny insikt, och jag tror att jag kliver in i nästa fas i livet i detta nu.

Jag ska bli småbrukare. Jag ska odla mat och restaurera ekosystem. Det har tagit lång tid att komma överens med mig själv om detta, men nu är jag redo.

Tänker jag igenom de andra möjliga yrkesvalen så placerar de mig alla alltför långt från jorden och samtidigt alltför långt från mina egna etiska kriterier. Jag vill inte motarbeta mig själv. Jag har svårt att se att jag skulle vara nöjd om jag inte får vara med och skapa något verkligt, något att ta på, smaka på, njuta av. Jag älskar att arbeta med odling, kompost, träd, vattensystem, maskar, tång, grönsaker, jord… Ute är mitt inne på så många vis, och om jag får leva i jorden så tror jag att jag över tid kommer att bli allt det andra med, lärare och politiker, journalist och forskare. Jag kommer att göra det mycket bättre om jag grundar mig i jorden, som odlare, trädgårdsmästare och småbrukare. Det är på många sätt att vara aktivist, och det passar mig utmärkt.


Once upon a time back in Violet Town…

Murrnong Farm. Hmm. Where to begin? Let’s tell it like a saga!

Once upon a time, way Down Under, there was a young man looking for a piece of land for himself and his lady. Not just a house with a garden, but a place where you could be and that you could live from. He wanted to create something, to get his hands dirty and just do it, do all those things that people were talking about if you listened in on the alternative scene of the day. He wanted to build a house, to grow food, to keep animals, to plant trees and keep bees and all other things that are part of a self-sufficient-and-beyond kind of farming ecosystem. Why only think about it, when you can act? And so the young man went out on a search for a Good Spot.

In Violet Town, a small place of some 650 inhabitants, he came across an old paddock. The rectangular 8 hectares had some good soil for tree growing and sat just at the edge of the village. It was close enough to a community but still provided space and privacy to do your own thing. Hm. Yes. This was it, this was the place. He just enough money to buy the piece of land, and to build a water storage pond. Bingo!

Murrnong map

So began the story of Murrnong Farm, by now a small and constantly evolving piece of land on this Earth.

The young man set about implementing all his ideas and skills, and step by step the transformation took place. What was once a plain cropping or pasture paddock (and maybe cultivated for the murrnong yam daisy before that?) turned into an interconnected system featuring humans, chooks, goats, cat, bees, birds, fruit trees, olive trees, trees for timber, nut trees, shrubs, perennials, kitchen gardens, buildings, water tanks, sheds, machines, ladders, tools, storage, irrigation and fertigation, and much, much more. All these different elements played their own parts at the farm, working together in the symphony of life, co-creating diversity and abundance.

At first the place had looked to some like a mad person’s project, with a bunch of built structures and a few young trees, but as the years passed the maturing system claimed its rightful status as a Proper but Different Farm. Things were really taking off, growing and multiplying and diversifying. As well as feeding the farm household, surplus food was now being rolled out from the former paddock, getting sold at markets on Saturdays. And hey, providing food is what farming is ultimately about, eh?

While the farm was developing, the young man and his lady had two children together but later went separate ways. The children of the farm grew into clever young adults. The young farming man grew into a wise man. All was good at Murrnong, almost. For the wise man, something was still missing in the human puzzle. A loving connection to a partner, another person with whom to share life and all in it. He found it, lost it, found it, lost it… Meanwhile people came to stay at the farm, to learn from hands-on work how a permaculture system can be shaped and maintained. Some were older, most were young. Once there was this one woman, she had something special… then, like other helpers, she went away to continue her life elsewhere. Nothing had happened, but an imprint was left with the wise man.

A few years later he saw news of the woman on the Book of Faces on the internet. ”You look nice in this picture!” he wrote, and that was the start of a long, long conversation. It ended with the woman marrying the wise man and moving Down Under to his Proper but Different Farm. Love. Yes. Yes! Now they were two, one wise man and one wise woman. Life on the farm kept rolling with the seasons, crops came and went, helpers came and went.

The wise woman had a connection to another young woman, who was out travelling the world with her partner. They were researching stuff, like permaculture and agroecology. The couple asked if they could come help out at the farm. Was there a need for more hands, for more skills, for more energy? Always, the answer came, and so they drove their little van to the farm.


Two weeks flew by while moving goats, pruning trees, harvesting olives, chopping wood, mending broken things, making jam, cooking food etc. The couple jumped in with the rest of the current team, working away and thoroughly enjoying whatever they were doing (except when the young woman lured her partner into milking a goat, which he really wasn’t that keen on…). It felt good, deep down on the inside, to be a temporary part of the Murrnong Farm. It felt good to live the shimmering dream of a farming lifestyle and feel content, happy. Then again, it was time to move on.

The wise man and the wise woman were sad to see the young couple continuing onwards, but gave them good food and warm hugs and put them on a train. At Murrnong Farm, people come and people go, so it is.

Maybe one day, the right people will show up, the ones who will want to permanently move into the cob house where the young couple had been sleeping for some nights. Maybe one day the wise ones will have a second nucleus, a second home, forming at the farm, providing skills and stability, furthering the resilience.

I hope so.

The End.


My preferred kind of ”office”

When I give in to my love for the land and just open up to the possibility of working on it, in it, with it, I feel so strong. So calm. So happy. So relaxed. So clever. So in the right place.


All these positive emotions are pronounced and enhanced when the land I’m on is also geared towards food production, not just food for humans but for the ecosystem, hence a cyclic approach. There seems to me little point in farming a landscape unless you make sure that you over time enrich the soil biota, the carbon stored, the living mass above ground, the water cleaning structures etc. Mind you, I’m not arguing that all landscapes should or could be foodscapes with an output suitable for humans, its simply the version which happens to be my preferred kind of ”office”.

Back home, working as a gardener at Gothenburg Botanical Garden, I’ve had the chance to learn more about the skill of taking good care of plants which are not necessarily well suited for your climate. Being a living plant museum, there is so much information stored in the trees, shrubs, herbs, bulbs and tubers which are growing there. In a limited space such as this garden, there is no room for large scale ideas, and so most species have but a few individuals representing them, and we are all collectively pampering them as best we can. There is no special
focus on food, since the focus for a botanical garden by default is on maintaining a gene bank – and to present it in a beautiful and interesting way. I can totally roll with that, I think it’s a valid and useful raison d’être, but it took me some thinking to get there. During this long journey I’ve made a point out of visiting other botanical gardens and to talk with different staff members, and this has really helped furthering my understanding of the ”why, how, who, where and when” kind of questions related to my own judgement of the validity of preserving plant material in the setting of a botanical garden. I’m even more proud now than before of the place as a whole and of the work done back home in the garden in Gothenburg.

Switching back to looking at gardening as a way of providing food, the strategy needs to be a bit different. At a farm, even at a place like Murrnong Farm (where Tim and I are working/wwoofing right now) which is based on the principles of permaculture, diversity will in a way be limited. A farms primary reason must be to provide food, or else it will not be able to continue. You can’t acquire the energy needed to maintain and regenerate your farm (and yourself and everyone else feeding from it) if you dilute the calorific outcome by going all in on diversity. Yes, diversity is key to allowing for anomalies in weather and it’s consequences, e.g. droughts, pests, frosts, floods a.s.o., but be mindful: how will you cope with the myriad of outputs that your farm system will deliver if you are putting diversity too high on the wish list? You can of course find and use many different seed sources within the same species or graft many different varieties of the same fruit tree, because that allows you to work with a meaningful and wide enough diversity. Step too far beyond that, and you might loose sight of the food. If you can’t be efficient enough, your not a viable farmer.

I do enjoy working in the diversity of the botanical garden, because the site is such a great teacher, and of course there are many skilled gardeners and others to ask for advice and information. I feel that everything I learn there will at some point come in handy again. There’s no regretting signing up for a couple of seasons there instead of going of to work at a farm. I’ve learnt through life to value all learning opportunities, you just have to zoom out to understand in what area these opportunities take place. For example, cleaning the husks of from hundreds of nuts last season after my colleagues brought back a batch of North American nut species was a perfect intro to now cleaning hundreds of walnuts and pecans grown for food here at the Murrnong farm. Honing your skills is not something that requires you to constantly be in the same kind of setting, for cross pollination can potentially bring you so much further. All kinds of experiences and skills count, as long as you can live with the fact that you don’t always know when you’ll be able to use them next time.

For me, I can truthfully say that I have a wide and broad range of skills listed on my internal CV. Not all of them seem relevant to a potential employer, but to me they are. So on paper I narrow it down to what’s applicable right now, and of I go.

I am a gardener. I am a food grower. I might one day be a farmer.



Jag gillar ju att snacka högt om mina tankar kring världens väl och ve, as you might have noticed.

Fick nyss möjligheten att vara med i den podcast som Nina Frogneborn producerar åt Botaniska. I avsnitt 6 pratar Anders Stålhand, chefsträdgårdsmästare, och jag, Klura filura, om trädgårdsmästarens roll i dåtid, nutid och framtid. Rätt vettiga är vi i vårt resonemang, tycker jag allt.


Här hittar ni avsnittet.


Växten, skörden, maten

Det är vår – igen – och det växer – igen – och jag vill äta upp allt – igen.

IMG_1657Att äta mat som kommer från marken nära där jag lever, det är fint det. Det är PK, inte bara politiskt korrekt, utan framför allt PermaKultur. Att se möjligheter, flöden, potential, outnyttjade resurser, läckor, system och subsystem… det är permakulturens början. Att se och sedan interagera med dessa observationer, då börjar vi närma oss aktiv permakultur. Där i svängarna är jag under vårens skira månader. Jag gnuggar snö och vinter ur ögonen, rättar till ogräsglasögonen på näsan och börjar plocka.

IMG_1654 IMG_1652 IMG_1658 IMG_1668

Växter från barndomen – harsyra, nässlor, ängssyra, almfrön, granskott, berberisblad, groblad, rölleka, maskrosblommor – har fått nya vänner i kökets alla salladsskålar, pestoröror, pajer, lasagner, woker och smoothies.

Under mina tidiga plockrundor genom stadens gröna bakfickor letar jag också reda på ramslök, parkslide, olika sorters rams, unga skräppor, lönnblommor, lindlöv, strutbräken, ängsbräsma, löktrav… I trädgårdens perennrabatter skördar jag funkia i mängder, den är åh så god!

Säkert är det tjugo arter till jag skördar av, men det är liksom svårt att komma på vilka de är när jag sitter här framför en datorskärm och försöker erinra mig hur det ser ut bland buskagen. På en hel växtsäsong, då är det nog uppåt femtio olika växter som slinker ner i maten, och det är högst troligt en underdrift. Är inte det fantastiskt, så säg, att det finns så mycket mer att lära sig om och äta av i det där gröna, det som är en levande, behaglig fondvägg bestående av träd, buskar, örter, ogräs, svampar och rötter, det som vi vandrar runt i men inte ser i detalj.

Jo, det är helt klart magiskt. Därför, tillbaka till permakulturen. Varför har jag gått in så hårt för att förstå naturen? Varför håller jag egentligen på med att plocka sådant som potentiellt har avgaser och hundkiss på sig, för att sedan stoppa det i min mun? Vad drömmer jag om när jag sover i vår lilla kolonistuga?

IMG_1102Jo serru, låt mig för sakens skull lista ett gäng aspekter kring vad jag anser är förträffligt med udda och vild mat:

  1. Lust, glädje och avslappning.
    Det är numera solklart bevisat genom forskning (1) att det visa djuret Homo sapiens (homo = man, sapiens = vis), mår bra av att vara i och/eller se på naturen. Jag upplever det själv varje dag då jag är ute och fridyker, klättrar, vandrar eller gör något annat skoj bland hav, skog och berg, eller när jag arbetar som trädgårdsmästare. Min erfarenhet säger mig att jag bör tillbringa tid i naturen för att bli lugn, balanserad, avslappnad och avstressad. Jag blir ofelbart på bättre humör av att gå ut ur människobyn och in i djungeln. Det är en lättillgänglig medicin för en människa i nöd, och numer går det även bra att få tid i det gröna utskrivet på recept från doktorn eller fysioterapeuten tack vare FaR, Fysik akivitet på Recept. Mycket praktiskt för den som behöver en liten hint och en knuff att ta sig ut. Att passa på att plocka sig lite mat medan en går en promenad eller röjer i trädgården är en mycket tillfredsställande bonus.
  2. Det är GOTT!!!
    Jag är glad att jag har fått återupptäcka en smakpalett som är så mycket bredare än vad mataffärernas grönsaksdiskar kan erbjuda. Inte ens mitt eget trädgårdsland smakar lika spännande som alla de udda och vilda växterna. Här kommer syra och beska fram på ett helt annat sätt än i våra vanliga grönsaker, och peppriga, senapsstarka toner ger fina kickar. Dessutom är de flesta smakerna mer koncentrerade, dvs varje litet blad av ramslök är en ekvivalent till fem fjompiga salladslökar. Att blanda till en sallad med 50% vilda växter är en riktig smakhöjare.
    Aldrig i livet att jag tänker sluta äta så här god mat.
    gröndrink Sallad våren 2013
  3. Ekonomiskt, privat och globalt.
    Att plocka sådant som växt till sig utan att jag har lagt någon tid på att hjälpa till, det är god privatekonomi det. Istället för att gå in på affären och köpa en påse långväga bladgrönt för 250 kr/kg försöker jag så ofta som möjligt gå ut i naturen och plocka en purfärsk, varierad dito, för då behöver jag inte först lägga tid på att arbeta ihop pengarna.
    Ordet ekonomi stammar från grekiskans oikos, ”hus” och nomos, ”lag”, och betyder sammansatt ”läran om hushållande med resurser i ett tillstånd av knapphet eller brist” (3). Det där att hushålla med resurser, det är jag starkt intresserad av, och jag är därför irriterad på att denna betydelse har gått förlorad i en märklig nutida begreppsförvirring på globalt plan. Ofta hushåller vi inte alls, ofta slösar vi som f-n med resurserna även om vi förstått att de är knappa.
    Vad jag (och många andra) förespråkar är att vi långsamt går över till att förstå, nyttja och regenerera de lokala matresurser vi har tillgång till, och att detta nyttjande är baserat på lokala förutsättningar vad gäller klimat, jordmån, nederbörd etc. Vilda växter och fleråriga grönsaker/perenner är en del av lösningen vad gäller en stabil, lokal-global matförsörjning. På detta tema passar det ypperligt att lära sig mer om regenerativt jordbruk och matsäkerhet (4), men det får inte mer utrymme just här.
  4. Kunskap är makt.
    Jag är trygg i min vetskap att jag kan trolla fram mat vart än jag går. Jag kan inte alltid bli mätt på det jag hittar, men jag överlever. För varje år som går lär jag mig något nytt om en särskild växt eller snappar upp fler växter att äta. Är jag t ex i havet finns en stor tångbuffé och på stranden växer både bladgrönt och kryddor. Varje sorts landskap har sin egen ätliga flora att bli bekant med, och att ständigt smaka på och skörda av växterna är ett snillrikt sätt att hålla sin kunskap vid liv. Att ge den vidare till fler människor är mig också kärt (5), det var så mitt företag Stadssallad uppstod, genom guidade salladsvandringar i Göteborg. Det ledde vidare till fler engagemang, t ex att lära skolbarn om maten i och vid havet. Ni kan ju tänka er vilken rolig dag på jobbet jag hade!tångskola
  5. Det är nyttigt.
    Växter som klarar sig själva och har en lång växtsäsong har ofta ett högre innehåll av både vitaminer och mineraler. Detta gäller framför allt de fleråriga växterna, ex funkia, nässla och lind, som med sina etablerade rotsystem har en mycket större tillgång till olika näringsämnen, både via egna finrötter och tack vare ett symbiotiskt förhållande med mykorrhiza (6). Just i dagarna har det utkommit en ny svensk bok om fleråriga grönsaker, skriven av tre permakulturnördar. Där står myyyycket mer om nytto- och odlingsaspekter.

    1. Det är roligt att vara annorlunda
      Jag gillar att göra sånt som andra inte gör, att vara icke-normativ och ifrågasättande. Med den enkla handlingen att plocka och äta udda och vilda växter så bojkottar jag hela jordbruks- och matetablissemanget. Då känns det bra inuti, då sjunger min hjärna ”/Sälj er sunkmat/ till någon som är lat/ Ha Ha Ha!”

Nog med aspekter för idag. Summa summarum är det roligt, gratis, hälsomfrämjande, smart och kreativt att äta i naturens skafferi. Jag tänker fortsätta med detta.

PS. Om ni önskar lyssna till min ljuva stämma så finns här ett klipp från ”Förmiddag i P4 Göteborg” om vad man kan äta i staden.


(1). Se bl a forskning från Patrik Grahn, professor vid SLU.

(2) Fysisk aktivitet på recept, FaR.—fysisk-aktivitet-pa-recept/

(3) Ekonomi, Wikipedia.

(4) ”Wake Up Before It Is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now For Food Security in a Changing Climate”, UNCTAD, 2013.

(5) Det Vilda Göteborg, hemsida och bok.

(6) Skosträdgårdsbloggen, ”Goda skäl till att odla fleråriga växter”.


Gardening the Planet

We all want and need things in life. The ”wants” can differ in all directions, wanting a job or a phone, wanting a girlfriend or a new life. Emotional needs like feeling special and wanted intermingle with physical needs such as food and shelter.

Having had the opportunity throughout life to figure out some of my own wants and needs, I tend to also go meta level to try to see the patterns of these wishes so that I can make them happen more easily and often.

Just below Cerro Rincon, Silver Mountains, Argentina.

A huge need for me is to live my life in an adventurous way. Pushing my own limits is a constant source of energy, and the opposite – not pushing – is draining. That’s why I freedive. That’s why I climb. That’s why I surf, go long distance cycling, go paragliding, hike for weeks and do all kinds of personal athletic challenges. It’s also why I study, study and study some more – my brain is always in need of new facts, new input. That’s why I started a company and put myself in front of hundreds of students and listeners as an educator.

But, that last bit of starting a company is – in retrospect – also the point when things started getting a bit complicated a few years back. It turned out to be less of an adventure and more of an eroding experience. I turned out more stressed and less free. Sure, it gave me a huge chunk of experiences and new wisdom plus a weird, organically composed human network to tap into, but it also dragged me towards the center of the mass where I really don’t feel that I belong.

This, on the other hand, this is where I belong. In places in nature where most people would think they are about to die, because they’re out of air or just to tired to hold on.

I’m an edge person. I hate being stuck in the middle of something, be that a group of people or an area of science. The way I kindled my little company to life was very much in an edgy way, but in the end the entrepreneurial gravity started tugging at me, spinning me inwards. I was choking and leaking, unable to reset my navigation.

Here’s two important clues as to what happened:

  • I was working solo ==> Not feeding my brain enough, that is: To few deep work relations, to many shallow ones.
  • I was working odd hours ==> Not feeding my personal social adventurous life enough, but instead draining myself of energy.

So what do you do in that position? Keep on going, hoping that you’re soon over the hill and that on the other side you’ll be able to hire colleagues, get a work space and set a routine for your working hours so that you can also have some ”free” time again?

Nah. I did one of my meta level zoomed out analyses and figured it was better to go low key with the entrepreneurial stuff, get a job at an established workplace and start honing my skills and up my experience in the field where I have finally realized that I want to be (even though I have yet to discover on what step in the hierarchy I shall place myself).

That field could be called something like Gardening the Planet, in the most regenerative way possible. I am sure I will get there, and it will be together with others. Meanwhile, I will also hold a large space for adventure.

So here I am, about to start my second season at the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg. I actually feel like I own all my titles now, that I AM a gardener, an engineer, a permaculturist, and that even though I don’t have a paper stating that I’m an adventurer, that doesn’t matter because I’ve always been that. I’m still ranked as the best female freediver in Sweden of all times. I still biked all the way to Gibraltar to look over the strait at Africa while chatting with monkeys. I still moved to Argentina and became una andinista. Those experiences will never go away, and I will be forever grateful to myself for being so annoyingly stubborn that I keep on setting myself new, odd goals.

This summer, we will be swimming for 10 days in a fjord somewhere in Norway, our equipment stuffed on SUP-boards. I am so looking forward to this little adventure and the gardening season, before the larger 15-months adventure goes boom in 2017.

Oskar, Klara and Eric swimming with a longboard in Gullmarsfjorden, 2009.

Forza! Norway, 2012. I had gotten stung by a wasp, my left foot supersized, unable to squeeze into a pair of climbing shoes. Hiking in flip flops was the alternative option.

This summer, MounTim will come with me, the sealion, on an ocean adventure… yay!