I recently shared a commercial showing the farms of Norway. Yes, it was marketing and therefor a little suspect, but it was a fairly accurate overall representation of the dairy farming in this country — and wasn’t the scenery divine?!
But how about a real-life view? A Norwegian photographer I follow, Bente Haarstad, recently posted about a specific small dairy farm in the middle of Norway. One of the buildings is from 1765! Her photographs are always amazing and show facets of her part of this huge country that I can’t experience. Her words offer an insight that I understand but can’t intuitively express — I haven’t lived it.
Visit her post. You’ll see an important aspect of Norway through her lens and words: history, yet also present day reality. (While you’re there, explore her other posts to see many other views of Norway!)
Endangered cows and a mountain dairy
October 7, 2014
Bente Haarstad Photography
In the old days, that is untill 1950 or so, the Norwegian farmers were dependent on their summer mountain farms. In a country with so little land suitable for farming, every farmer had to send the livestock to the woods or the mountains during summer. All the grass near home had to be harvested to winter feed. Then came fertilizers, pesticides and modern remedies. The small farmhouses in the mountains were not needed anymore. Some of them just vanished, some are made into holiday cabins, and a few are still used in the old way. Some weeks ago I went to visit a milkmaid who really loves the old traditions: animals eating healthy grass and herbs, and processing by hand the milk into cheese, butter and sour cream.