Solar Food – local veggies and lamb
Our food excursion on Gotland led us to Lilla Bjers Farm south of Visby and to meet Elisabeth Gellerstedt at Gisslause Lamb Farm on the north side. We also went to Puttersjaus Dairy Farm (check out our blog about our zero-waste dairy experience here).
Beets in all shapes and forms, natural and nude directly from the soil. Just a pity they have to use plastic tape so zero waste beginners like us can't buy them (We did anyway, see below).
OK, here is a thought: How can anyone not smile when seeing fresh vegetables stacked in wooden boxes? With some dirt still on them, with all the vitamins inside and with the tasty greens on top as well. Of course we smile. At the same time we all understand that if these beats were to be shipped to Australia or Holland, the farm would have to take measures that would destroy the beauty, the freshness and many of the vitamins. And that they would arrive in a plastic bag on the destination, several weeks later. The possibility to have instant access to global food all year around, at any day of the week has made us numb. Our high demands have passed the point of dignity. The excitement and appreciation for local treats have been outcompeted by food trophies from far away. The longing for seasonal spikes have faded out as we are used to see all foods available all year around – in some shape or form. Yes, it is fantastic and we have in fact learned to love it. Or at least learned to benefit from it.
But can we go on like this? Most likely no. And do we really-really love it? Naae... maybe not? Maybe deep inside of us we stimulate more true vibes for what has been produced where we live, and harvested during the season we are in at the moment?
On our boat we are interested in digging deeper into ourselves and the habits and demands we have been brought up with. Habits most of us still live by. What can we do here and now to change? How can we learn more and what efforts are required to get better, smarter and more conscious food onto our own plates – be it onboard the boat or the kitchen back home. Our solar food mission has been inspiring and convincing to say the least. Taking the time to go and meet producers, dig into the vibes on their farms and listen to the stories about their products – every egg, every sip of milk and every carrot up to new levels of sensation.
Lilla Bjers Farm
The sandy soil at the awarded Lilla Bjers Farm is rich in minerals, taste and aroma. Without added toxins from artificial fertilizing, the vegetables are filled by nature alone. The soil is kept vital through rotation where the crops are varied in a six-year cycle: grass, emmer wheat, potatoes, vegetables etc.
The sensation of smelling fresh lettuce. To some extent we have lost the thought that fresh greens actually do have an aroma. That is possibly why it is a sensation...
These guys were sorted out and meant for the chickens. Because of their looks. But wait a minute...these were in fact the tastiest carrots we have had in a veeery long time. We tried to buy them, but the farmer gave them to us for free. With the right story, a bag of these cute and unique carrots could be sold for twice the price as "normal" ones. They make normal look boring.
While at the carrots, we managed to buy beets without the plastic tape around the stems. A little victory for a zero waste ambassador. But we could not leave the farm without a chance to make a statement...
...so we bought some of their beautiful heirloom spelt flour in a paper bag with their plastic tape on, and put it in our Zero Waste Fails container. Guri is showing more and what we will do with it in our Zero Waste Summary.
Gisslause Lamb Farm
If you visit Gotland you have to get close to lambs in one way or the other. Gisslause Lamb Farm is a great place to see them, pet them, check out real good wool and local wool designs, try the warm slippers or if you eat meat, taste them. Lambs and Gotland has a long story together Read more.
At the right time of the spring you can come to Gisslause and hang with cuties like these. Newborn the natural way and at the right natural time of the year for lambs.
Gisslause Farm founder Elisabeth tells us a little bit about how it all started and why...
Lamb skin – colors designed by nature itself.
Due to the lack of visitors and tourists on the island (Corona), Elisabeth did not have fresh lamb meat when we arrived, but her frozen meat was great to grill on an open fire anyway. The plastic vacuum package was not possible to avoid, due to regulations by the Swedish Food Agency, so consequently it is now in our collection of Zero Waste Fails.
Thank you Gotland, and see you soon again!
Sadly we have to sail off and leave for new destinations. Sadly because there are so many more farms to visit, so much more good food to taste and so many hard working farmers and chefs to meet all over this island. But we will be back. Before we took off early the next morning, we stumbled upon a unique restaurant, serving meat from Anders and Lotta's dairy farm, we passed the famous little narrow "Rose street" and we noted that something has happened within boating in Sweden...
Narrow little Fiskargränd in Visby is probably the most photographed strip of street on Gotland. If you love roses and haven't been there, google it and you will see what we mean :-)
A spontaneous stop Fabriken Furillen Hotel & Restaurant where local ingredients are cooked into perfection. Here some locally grown seasonal veggies and meat from Putterjaus Dairy Farm. A unique experience in an old limestone factory on a dramatic site.
Visby has been a dear sailing destination for decades. But the last years the marina has been seriously dominated by large size fossil fuel guzzling motor yachts. Many of them brand new. But 30, 20 and even 10 years ago this was a marina jammed with sailboats. As you can see sailboats are out-numbered and I bet we were the only electric boat in this marina this year 2020. As well as back in 2018 and 2019. One can only wonder what these motor yacht owners are thinking. Most of them seem to be of the generation with kids and even grandkids. Did they miss Greta, David Attenborough, Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement? We don't want to point fingers, but pssst....burning several liters of fossil fuel per Nautical Mile is not a good idea.