First year farms
The first (foundation) year of the BINGN Apprenticeship Program takes place in Norway on two neighbouring farms, Fokhol Gård and Alm Østre, where the students live, work and learn together. Here you will find some more information about these.
Fokhol Gård is a 120 ha biodynamic farm, located ca. 100 km north of Oslo. In 2022 there has been a generation shift on the farm, so a group of 6 young farmers with their small children have taken over and will start to develop new areas.
On the farm there are so far:
- 25 milking cows + heifers
- 50 ha fodder production (hay making, silage production)
- 30 ha pastures
- 5 draft horses for working purposes as a supplement to the tractorbased equipment
- 35 ha grain production and processing of the grain (cleaning)
- 4 ha vegetable production (potatoes, root vegetables, cabbages, fine vegetables)
- 2 polytunnels
- herbs, berries, flower garden
- 23 chickens
A big guesthouse is also part of the farm, where seminars and meetings are taking place. There are many visitors, guests for just a night or bigger groups for the weekends. This brings live and exchange of people to the farm!
The interns are also living in the guesthouse on the farm where the kitchen, bathrooms and a living room is shared. But everyone has their own bedroom.
Fokhol is owned by a foundation of common utility, which aims are connected to biodynamic farming, as well as pedagogical activities and research. The board of the foundation has given the responsibility for the ongoing work, and for the creation of new activities, to the group of people managing the farm.
Alm Østre is one of the oldest organic-biodynamic farms in Norway, run by a group of enthusiastic farmers. We grow approximately 35 different kinds of vegetables, sold in weekly vegetable box scheme, and at our farm shop. We also grow wheat, barley, rye and spelt. Of livestock, we have chickens, milking cows, sheep and pigs.
Alm Østre as it is today has a long history. On 1967 took young Trygve Sund the farm over from his uncle. A few years later, together with his wife Erna, he converted the land to organic-biodynamic farming. For 40 years they run the farm and built up a versatile place that has been attracting many young people from the entire world to take a part in this project about biodynamic farming and community life. In January 2010 Trygve and Erna together with their children established a trust, Alm Østre, Trygve died in November the same year after a long period of sickness.
Today we are an international group that is running the farm. The farm consists of 54 hectares of land and includes 28 hectares of grassland and pasture, 18 hectares of grain and 6 hectares of vegetables. We produce milk (25 cows), meat (30 cattle and some sheep), eggs (50-80 hens) and vegetables. In summer we keep some pigs for the delight of us and the visitors… We work together and eat together, breakfast and lunch, using mostly our own products. Most of our apprentices and volunteers are accommodated at the farm’s oldest building from 1732.
We want to offer the opportunity to gain experience in primary production, in the production of food and animal husbandry – and to be part of a project which can serve as an example for the future. We can consider ourselves to be part of a universal movement which Wangari Maathai (Green Belt Movement/Nobel Peace Prize) once described in the following words: ‘We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own.’ Biodynamik farming gives us the opportunity to produce healthy food and in the same time build up the soil to get more and more vital and fertile.
Read more about Alm Østre on their website (mainly in Norwegian).