Friday 7th – Järna

 

After a night in the kitchy hotel the day started with a bus ride to Nibble Farm where Hans von Essen, the guide for the day, introduced the Sustainable Food Society and led a tour around the “Eco trail”, passing the Anthroposophic Hospital and the Waldorf school “Örjansskolan”. A good opportunity for the participants to enjoy the beautiful countryside and breathe in the smells of hay and manure.

The Eco trail led to the BERAS centre where the group got a short introduction to the “BERAS project” an agricultural project to prevent the eutrophication of the Baltic sea by practicing ecological recycling agriculture. http://www.beras.eu

The introduction was followed by a demonstration of “Your 2000 squaremeters”. 2000 squaremeters per person is the sustainable area required to feed every person on the earth. The gardener …. told about her strategy for her 2000 squaremeters and answered a few questions.

 

By coincidence the Transition movement in Sweden had their annual meeting in Ytterjärna at the same time as the Sustainable Sweden tour was there. The two participants Natalia and Antoni were really interested in the meeting and decided to skip the ordinary program and spend the day with the Transition Sweden group. Something that they didn’t seem to regret when they came back later that afternoon.

The people staying with the regular schedule didn’t regret much either. Next study visit went to Saltå Kvarn, a company in food industry providing organic products. A quick look at the small shop and café was followed by a tour of the mill.

As a present from the people at Saltå Kvarn a little goody bag with rolled oats, raisins and apple juice were handed out to everyone.

The next study visit went to the Igelstaviken high school. Patrik Derk, the CEO for the municipal owned real estate company Telge Hovsjö AB talked about their work with sustainable development from an economic, ecologic and social view.

Then Sara Jervfors, manager of the dietary unit, explained more about the project “Diet for a clean Baltics”. The municipality of Södertälje has a goal of providing good organic food for all the schools in the municipality. In order to save money as well as increase the quality of the food they have educated cooks, serve as little ready made food as possible, cut down on the meat etc. This project has been very successful. Just by doing these things Igelstaviken high school provides the most delicious and nutritious buffé imaginable on the same budget as all the other schools in the country. The group was really lucky and got to eat their lunch at the school cantina. Most were as stuffed by the food as they were stunned by the fact that the students get that lunch for free every day.

The next two hours were open for free discussions in groups together with Patrik Derk or for a walk in the sun for the people that felt like doing that.

The last visit of the day went to the “Eco bank” located on a biodynamic farm outside Järna. The Eco bank is a conscious bank working with a triple line approach, profit, planet and people. The bank only borrows money to projects within sustainable development and the loans are only financed by deposits. The general idea is to provide an alternative within the existing system.

After the visit and a quick hello to the Transition Sweden group doing some weird kind of chanting exercise (don’t ask) the group went back to the Anthroposophical centre in Ytterjärna for some free time before a last reflection time in the sunset.

Apparently it wasn’t an entirely good idea to let french and quebecan people have too much free time referring to the very bruised and scratched Julien returning from it. Whether the bruises were caused by the murder attempt of a quebecan participant or from the battle with a swedish viking never became totally clear.

That the first week had already passed was hard for most people to comprehend. Everyone seemed to have learnt a lot, both from each other and from the study visits and had fun while doing it. The importance of having fun was pointed out by many. As Mathieu expressed it: “We need to make sustainability sexy (fun) in order to make it popular”. Hopefully the Sustainable Sweden tour has taken the first step in that direction.

The last dinner was once again held at Ytterjärna restaurant with a delicious buffé made on local food.

After the dinner the party was moved to the hotel were red wine was mixed with songs from different parts of the world. When the improvisational jamming woke the bus driver up the party had to move upstairs where the party continued until late night.

Not much sleep that night but lots of fun!

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