Tranehøj – more than a community
In a contemporary collective in West Zealand, residents try to create a good and more sustainable life and try to make efforts for the outside world.
As the collective movement broke through 50 years ago, it was in the youth revolt’s protest consumption and capitalism, authorities and core families.
One of the values the collective Tranehøj has taken from the time of the pioneers is to create alternatives to the consumer community – something that is increasingly urgent with many years of climate crisis. Together, we try to live simpler and smarter and to influence each other for a more sustainable way of life.
Another value is based on the conviction that the world can take a more human and fair direction if everyone tries. Something that will be both enjoyable and better when we do it together.
Climate and consumption
Everyone can try to reduce their climate impact, but some things become easier when you share with others. At Tranehøj, we only need one dishwasher, one stirrer, one saw, etc., and if we need a ‘new’, we will go after a used “new” one.
Organic self-sufficiency is part of everyday life, but as ‘small farming’ takes time, residents prefer to buy the organic food – wherever possible in the local area.
Tranehøj has invested in renewable energy sources (solar cells, wind turbines and solar heat) for the past seven years and is now self-sufficient with both electricity and heat, as well as gathering rainwater for watering of animals and gardens.
Waste separation and recycling have high priority. Kitchen waste goes to chickens, sheep and compost, and other waste is divided into plastic, paper, metal, etc. and driven to the municipal recycling center. We deal with a waste container for day-care – the same as a single-family home.
Tranehøj and the world around
The collection takes a lot of time, not least because we have ambitions for some degree of self-sufficiency while living in an old property in need of continuous maintenance. But we are also part of a community and of a world that we want to influence.
Tranehøj residents are ‘friends of refugee’ and offered an ‘asylum garden’ last year to residents of the nearest asylum center. Some of the residents are involved in development aid and organize yearly tours in local schools for young artists from countries in the South. The visits aim to strengthen young people’s global competencies and their experience of union with people in other continents.
The good life in the country is all about being active and create. It’s about living with the manure smell from the neighbor’s pig farm, while enjoying being close to animals and nature. It’s about being together across ages and giving kids peace of mind and good experiences. And it’s about living as ‘an entire human being’ – that is, being able to use many sides of yourself – both body, hands, head and heart.
Tranehøj is a collective pt. consisting of eight adults and two children and accommodating another family. We live on an old farm in Northwest Zealand. The oldest of the buildings are from 1822, and the farm was a parish, poor farm and retirement home before the collective bought it in 1984. The inhabitants are between 4 and 70 years old and together we have sheep, chickens, orchards and vegetables for own use. Most of us have paid work outside Tranehøj.
Gitte Jakobsen, Tranehøj