Getting to know the soil

Blog post

Ebba Svenung

Ruth Osborne

Niklas Karlsson

Already, when looking at the online advert, I saw how the field would be distributed from west to east on the south slope of Erikslund. It was easy to understand how the experience of the 2000 m2 would look like from the road when you took that turn towards the farm. The 7 plots, the greenhouses, the gates and the collection of red houses in the distance. It was here that the continuation of the experiment in 2000m2 at Stiftelsen Rosendals Trädgård would take place.

I didn't even bring a shovel to the showing like I had on so many other properties when my wife and I were looking for a farm. The spade I used to sneak with me, and carefully, without destroying any crops that might grow in the fields, get an idea of ​​the soil. It didn't matter what the earth was like. This is where I'm supposed to be.

The spade arrived a little later and I then understood more about how the total 6 hectares of land we hadacquired. The area that I have chosen for these 2000 m2 is, despite it just measuring 67x30 meters, very variable. I was helped with the soil samples by Wijnand Koker, agricultural advisor. He thoroughly went through the various measurements such as total carbon, available nitrogen, PH content and micronutrients etc. In the test, he writes a note under the "hummus" % letting me know it would be my "livsuppgift" (life task).

My life tasks are :

  • Take care of my family and myself
  • Increase the soil hummus content.

A high humus content holds water and nutrients and has the ability to make nutrients available to the plants that we eat through the microorganisms that live within it. If the humus content had been 3% (now it is 2.3%), there would have been a total of 1 ton of living creatures on these 2000 m2 - bacteria, fungi, worms, earthworms, weevils and many more.

Increasing the humus content in the field will also result in the crops become more resistant to extreme weather. Here we find both opportunities and good reasons for improvements.

How do you go about increasing the hummus content? The strongest card in the deck is the grazing land. It is here that perennial legumes, herbs and grasses act as the engine of this system, being the hay itself before it is harvested and turned into hay or silage. The hay is eaten by cows and sheep in the winter before they are allowed to graze again in the spring. From their manure I make compost, which I then put on the vegetables. These vegetables require the most nutrition.

According to the calculations based on this model, for 2000m2, we have a total of 624 kg (or the equivalent of 0.1 cow) of annual manure production to use. In combination with the grazing lands ability to increase the soil content and provide food, and ruminant animals that provide compost that also builds the soil content, it is actually only the aspect of time which is yet to fully kick in yet.

The crop rotation that I have at Erikslund is 7 years. So it takes 7 years before the same crop or plant species begins its journey in the same place again. At the time of writing, it has been 1 year since we moved to Erikslund. I look forward with excitement to taking new samples in the coming years and following the development of the hummus content.

Studio 2000 is fundamentally a living experiment.

A desire to actually prove in practice that it is possible to live within the planetary boundaries and create a restaurant experience that has additional levels of experience than the sensual ones. To distribute the Earth's resources in solidarity with all the Earths citizens and practice a form of cultivation where you only harvest the abundance of what the Earth gives without reducing the soil content - this idea sounds like a life task.

So join us on our journey towards the empathetic meal.

2000 m2 den 12/6/2022