Do you want to visit a summer farm in Sweden? These recommendations will improve the experience — not just for you but for the farmer, too.
Find a summer farm that welcomes visitors
The website for the association for summer farms, Förbundet Svensk Fäbodkultur och Utmarksbruk, has a list of summer farms that are open for visitors, as well as contact details. Local tourist agencies can also recommend open summer farms.
Check when the summer farm is open for visitors
Find more information on the summer farm’s website, Facebook page, or by reaching out to the farmer. Many summer farms are in areas with bad phone and internet connectivity, so it can be a better idea to send a text message than to call. Many, but not all, summer farmers welcome pre-booked visitors and may be able to arrange coffee and cake, a meal, or the possibility to stay over in a guest house. If the summer farm has specified opening hours, please respect these.
Make sure that the summer farm fits your situation
Summer farms are, by their very nature, not particularly friendly to those with special mobility needs. Some summer farms lack a road for the last stretch and many has terrain that can be difficult to manage. Groups with baby carraiges or wheel chairs are adviced to check that the summer farm is accessible, so you avoid disappointment.
Support the summer farm the best you can
Many summer farms charge visitors a small fee or ask them to donate to the upkeep. Buying coffee, cake and some milk products are a good way to get to enjoy the summer farm, today as well as in the future.
Remember “the gate-rule”
Avoid accidents by restoring all gates or doors the way they were before you passed them, unless the farmer or signs give other instructions. If you forget the lock, the garden patch might suddenly be full of baby goats instead of salad.
Animals are often “nice”, but…
Listen to the rules that apply on the summer farm you’re visiting. Only go into the pastures of animals if the farmer gives permission. By talking and moving calmly, you lower the risk that the animals get anxious. The visit is a great opportunity to develop children’s respect for animals — although the little bunny is cute, it deserves to be treated gently, not chased around or petted in a too forceful manner.
Dogs are not a good idea
Many summer farms forbids visiting dogs, for a good reason. The cows may classify your dog as a wolf and consider it a threat — and try to defend themselves. Leave the dog at home.
Good hygiene is crucial
Wash the hands before and after you’ve petted animals, in order to avoid spreading bacteria and illness to humans or other animals.
Keep track of the trash
Pick up any trash, cigarette buts and chewing gum so the animals don’t risk eating it by mistake.
Count on the farmer being busy
Ask your questions! Many summer farmers love to talk about their life on the summer farm. However, be prepared for them not having a lot of time to talk to you, due to the amount of work on the farm. The best way to find out more is to book a guided tour.
Enjoy the summer farm products — according to the instructions
Listen to the summer farmers’s instructions on storing and the best before-date. Those who are pregnant or in other risk categories should avoid unpasteurized milk products.
Tell your friends
For summer farms who welcome tourists, recommendations make a big difference, whether it is in informal conversations or on social media. Spread the word!
Hopefully you’ll have a great visit at the Swedish summer farms!