”You couldn’t even see the next house”, Annika Rudolfsson says, and gesticulates at the farm a mere 20 meters away. When she decided to restart the farming at Krype summer farm, it had seen no farming activities since the 1930s. Even if a couple of the houses had been used as summer houses, you could tell that no animals had grazed the area in a long time. Years of slumber had turned the grounds to bushy forest. With the help of friends and acquantainces in the area, as well as recently arrived immigrants in an integration project, Annika could take down trees and get rid of the worst of the bushes. Now, of course, the goats are particularly helpful.
On certain Fridays, people from the area take turns to keep the café open and welcome visitors in the house known as ”Mats cottage.” Here, cute little coffee cups of china line the shelves and a row of spoons hang on the walls. The fireplace gets assistance from a stove run with camping gaz. It makes it easier to serve not only coffe (with cookies or buns on the side, of course!) or sometimes even a thick potato porridge dish called pärgröt, served with whey butter sauce.
For those who get curious, it’s possible to come for a longer stay. “To hold a ‘course’ — it sounds so serious and boring. Here, we have ‘camps’ instead!” At Krype, children from the area can spend a few summer days experiencing the summer farm life. Herding the goats, churning butter and playing “summer farm ping pong” are some of the tasks.
Adults who want to experience something similar can join Annika for weekends focused on butter churning or the melodic herding calls called kulning. Adults and the older children can come for camps with overnight-stays. They stay on the attic of “Mats cottage”, where the mosquito nets hang in the dusky light from the window.
The herd grazes freely in the forest during the day. Normally, they come back without a problem, but a few times, summer house owners have called to ask about their new, unannounced lawn mowers… During the night, the calfs stay in the enclosure while the cows are out. They come back in time to be milked during the morning. Two out of nine goats give milk. Annika chooses to milk the two cows that give milk only once per day. It is enough for her household needs and to make some cheese. The calves get the rest. The milk is chilled in the little stream that runs through the summer farm.
Even if Annika runs the summer farm, she gets a lot of support of friends who regularly come to help out. When I’m there to visit, Tuula moves the firewood and cleans the café. Tore was just going to leave a few metal sheets but suddenly finds himself together with Annika extending the cow barn from the 18th century. When the gadfly are too difficult, the cows take cover here and in the goat barn.
There’s always something to do at the farm. Annika claims not to be scared of work, and it shows. It’s also a necessity here. Annika has run several shops before, but summer farm life is different. “I’ve borrowed everything — I own nothing”, she says and sounds pleased. The cows come from one farm, the goats from another. The summer farm and its cottages are also rented. But, it is clear that Annika still is the sovereign.
Visit Krype summer farm
Check the opening hours and follow the advice for a great summer farm visit, to make sure you get a pleasant experience!
Annika runs the Facebook page Fäbodresan about life on Krype. You’ll also find more information ahead of your visit.