At Alstrup on Samsoe, close to Stavns Fjord, organic fruit and vegetables are grown at Yduns Have. We are Hester Callaghan and Bjarke Jensen, a young couple of educated ecologists who took over the fund owned farm in 2018. Yduns Have is the first farm bought by the Jordbrugsfonden Økologisk Samsø in 2016. The purpose of the agricultural fund is partly to attract young families to Samsoe and also give young farmers the chance without having to borrow a lot of money in the bank. Yduns Have is run in 4th year and we have just taken over the farm and continue to grow a ripple of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs and introduce hens into the farm in a portable chicken house so that the chickens have access to fresh grass at all times.
We want to create holistic farming where all the individual products support each other in a rotation and where there is as much focus on what is happening underground as what happens above the earth. By using methods of conservation agriculture, we want to avoid black soils that you will never find in nature, cultivate a variety of crops and minimize soil cultivation that interferes with the soil. We will endeavor to be self-sufficient with as much animal feed as possible and want to find a balance between animals and soil management when it comes to fertilizer. We think agriculture should be inviting and attractive – a place where you can get a good insight into where your food comes from. In the long term, we would like to extend our animal team with grazing sheep and cattle that give much back to the earth and save carbon by grazing perennial meadows.
Yduns Have is a community-supported agriculture (CSA) with 50 members. Community-supported agriculture is a widespread model abroad and establishes a stronger bond between farmer and consumer. Consumers pay prior to the season for weekly access to raw materials, which ensures the consumer organic food at a reasonable price and gives the farmer the liquidity at the time of the year where most expenses are held while there is a safe sale. We are really excited about the model as it gives us a direct contact with the consumer and the safe marketing gives us freer rein to try a little nasty and more risky crops.
Volunteering is an important factor in Yduns Have existence and daily operations. Yduns Have would not exist today without a strong group of volunteer enthusiasts who struggled to set up a farm fund and allow young farmers to start as self-employed. Volunteers also help on the farm during the season and we accept WWOOFs (WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms – www.wwoof.org) and HelpXs (an international organization of volunteers – www.helpx.net) against diet and accommodation works on the farm. It makes a lot of the atmosphere on the farm to share the experience and knowledge about ecology with people from all over the world. This is the way I myself and many others have been introduced to agriculture and ecology, and it would be a great honor for us to share Ydun Have with other interested parties.
Hester Callaghan, Yduns Have