The summer farm Svedbovallen is a popular attraction for tourists coming to Järvsö. The farm is first mentioned in 1620 in a court document regarding a dispute. It used to be the faraway summer farm of the villages Myra and Grönås, until 1953 where the farming stopped. After the municipality of Ljusdal got the summer farm, it restarted in 1970. During the coming years, farmers were hired for the summer by the municipality.
In 2018, support from the EU and the agency Jordbruksverket made it possible to extend the farm with a modern dairy facility for creating and storing cheese. The farm got running water and electricity to facilitate the production of artisanal cheese. The summer farm is now run by the trust of Stenegård, together with local forces in the form of volunteers, business owners and local organisation Järvsö Hembygdsförening.
Several of the cottages are used as summer houses, but visitors are welcome to the houses once owned by the farm Björs in the village of Myra. Apart from the current four farm houses, the area shows traces of thirteen other building foundations, showing that the farm area once was much more extensive than now.
The cottage at Björs summer farm shows us what it could have looked like when the farm was in use. The beautiful, high bed with its white linen decorated with local hot-pink embroidery patterns wasn’t for sleeping in. It was just used as a way to show off for guests — look, how rich they were, who could afford such a bed! The window sills are filled with pink geraniums. Hand-woven carpets decorate the floors, while now-dried branches of birch leaves shows that the cottage had been made beautiful for a festive occasion.
On a rainy day, visitors can warm themselves in front of the fire with a cup of coffee. Once, this coffee would have been made in the shining coffee kettle that stands next to the fireplace. In the next room, a cast-iron stove was used for heating as well as for cooking. In this room and the one upstairs, the volunteers usually sleep. They take turns to spend a week or two at the farm to take care of the animals.
Svedbovallen is an early example of a summer farm that got a museum function and was adapted to tourists. A café, concerts, guided tours and sloyd courses for the children have lead to a large number of visitors during the years. Two kilometers away at Harsen, visitors can also learn more about Swedish summer farm life at the summer farm museum Bergmans skojegård. In the summertime, it offers guided tours.
After the renovation in 2018, Svedbovallen still hasn’t managed to find a long-term farmer. Hopefully, they’ll soon find a farmer who cares just as much about animals and crafting milk products as running a café for visitors, so the farm can keep flourishing in the future.
Before visiting, check out the opening hours and read the advice for a great summer farm visit.
In the summer of 2022, the summer farm is unfortunately closed. Let’s hope that Svedbovallen can open again next summer. You can, however, visit the area and walk around. Just remember that several of the houses are private summer houses.