Rauland experience – Pt 2

This serie is about Vanessa’s experience in Rauland, to check out part 1 click here.

So, during the week I got to know a bit more about the Raulandsakademiet’s history, and how they were always strongly connected with the village itself. They still offer over 60 courses during the summer (which you can read a bit more about here), they also have an amazing kitchen team that always prepares delicious food for the guests, students from HSN, and the community in general. In fact, the kitchen team already had a garden for their own use where they grow some herbs and edible flowers before the student’s started planning their garden.

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Kitchen’s garden

After that I got to talk more with the students about the garden project itself.  Already on the first day we met, I got to help harvesting some salad and I got invited to a meeting/dinner party. Everyone brought a vegetarian meal, we added the salad and we sat down to talk a bit about how the project was doing, what the plans were etc.

It was incredibly good, everyone was super friendly with me and the food was amazing!

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Gardening enthusiasts enjoying a nice collaborative vegetarian dinner

By the way, let me explain for you guys what this project is after all. HSN in Rauland is a college where you can learn about Norwegian traditions which includes handcrafts, music and dance. They support students taking part in different activities and one way to do this is offering money for new projects. Johanna (the one with purple-ish shirt) got excited with the opportunity, gathered some friends and came up with the idea of a community garden. So everyone from Rauland could come by and learn more about gardening, enjoy some fresh and organic products, maybe even get inspired and start growing their own veggies.

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The famous student’s garden

Since Norway it’s quite a cold a country they were a bit afraid that plants would not grow that easily. But happily, they were wrong! After reading more about permaculture, listening to more experienced people and a lot of love, the Garden grew incredibly well! In this rather simple and small bed they were able to harvest around 2-3 portions per day of salad through the whole summer, they literally needed help of the community to eat it all!

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Bjørnhild and Mélissa taking care of baby plants. Each student got an amount of seeds to put in a nursery before they transfer to the main bed.

The bed itself was made of old pallets and they took special care to make the bed warm. Like painting the pallets, coating the interior with felt, adding a thick layer of manure (the bacteria activity warms up the soil) and using old windows as lids, so they could close it on cold days, but light would still be able to enter!

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Ada, Frederic and Johanna building the bed.
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Frederic and Ada fixing the windows
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Jonathan watering the plants, students had shifts to make sure that the plants had everything they need!

Well, I guess you now have a vague idea about how much I learnt and enjoyed having this experience!

By the way, a practical guide for gardening will be released, we’re just making sure everything is good enough 😊

 

Written by Vanessa Ferreira Costa, revised by Sandra Meglićand and Ingrid Hamberg.

This blogpost is a part of a series of articles written by Vanessa Ferreira Costa and Fernanda Miranda Cunha. They are participants in HI Norway and HI Brazil’s exchange project funded by FK Norway, and are working in Brazil for one year. You can explore the project further here and at the project’s social media channel.

 

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