6. Methods and traditions

1. What is ESC
2. Erasmus/ESC – Who are we
3. Being a volunteer at Hästekasen
4. Long ESC
5. Team ESC
6. Methods and traditions

Are we self sustainable? Not really. Read more.

Tactical methods for efficiency is needed if one wants to live self-sustainable (which we TRY, but not fully succeed).
Being efficient is about respecting resources, being efficient is about not wasting each others time, being efficient is about employability, being efficient means more time for other things (fun projects and relaxation)

These are some methods used at Hästekasen:
Next step, Double check, Relay, “If it aint broke – don’t fix it”, “Gör om, gör rätt”, Second opinion, Bottle neck.”Förtöj för storm”, “En bonde går aldrig tomhänt”, Delay decisions – if they can be delayed, Good enough for now. Plant seeds and ideas and wait, Bottke neck, Meetings, Look for motivation…
Below are some methods that will help you get involved.

Tactical methods for efficient work (inspired by permaculture methods)

– Next step. When work is going on in a group, and you have nothing to do – think – What is the next step? – what can you start with to prepare so the whole job can be done faster.

– Double check, We are all amateurs here – most creations here have faults – small misstakes are being done all the time – we must try to minimize these – start double checking each other – independently measure, recheck, step back and look at the whole picture. What is happening. Observe – Think.

– Relay information. Being capable, having skills and knowledge is about learning. Learning is about receiving information.

Living together is about having similar habits, following certain traditions, having the same name for things, putting the things in the same place. This information has to be shared – PLEASE share this information with each other – don’t let the work leader carry all the burden and having to give the same information over and over to different people.

– If it aint broke – don’t fix it. Lots of things need repair and maintenance at Hästekasen. Lots of projects are going on. Lots of possibilities, ideas, new projects. Everything can be improved, BUT, please, we have a lot of things to do, so lets not spend time to fix things that works fairly well. It is about prioritizing.

– Gör om, gör rätt. We are all amateurs. It is also a human trait to look for the easy way to solve things. Sometimes the lazy way. Often things are done in a way that they break fast or does not work properly. When you realize that you are doing something that that is of lesser quality, or that will not work fully – stop – don’t hesitate, just start all over and do it again. Do it better, do it right.

– Second opinion. Even if it is your own project, ask for someones opinion about what you do – before you start. It can give you a new perspective and save a lot of time.

– Bottle neck. Avoid creating bottle necks in the work that breaks the flow. When other have to wait for you to finish – then you are the bottle-neck. Often we can not start step 3 until step 2 is done, and for step two we need a certain tool that we only have one of. Others may be waiting to use the same tool. The one using this tool in step 2 should work efficient so that a whole group does not have to wait for that person.

– Förtöj för storm. We are lots of people here. Many just pass by for a few weeks. Some (many) care less for things when they do not own them, when they will not have to take the consequences. Do not be one of those persons. Start caring about things. Don’t have the attitude: “Not my problem, someone else will fix this”. Understand that the things we build/repair will be used in a rough way by people that sometimes have no skill to use them or care less. Things have to be built very strong so they last a long time. Understand that you must imagine the worst case scenario and prepare for that. Now there is sun, warm and no rain, but there will come rain, frost and gale – prepare for that. Do not leave things in the wrong place. See that there is a consequence in everything you do.

– Finish what you started. It is about work ethics, its not the hours that count, it is what you achieve. A finished result. If we or you are just about to finish something, lets finish it, in spite you being cold, hungry, thirsty, tired, bored, rain has started, darkness has come – we finish the work, because that what they did in the old days, thats what high-achievers do, thats whats makes us successful – because we do no want to have to bring out all the tools again the next morning to finish a 45 minute job.
(A work is not finished until you have cleaned after yourself, replaced all tools and repaired what you broke).

– It is over when it is over. The whole group finishes the work, if your task is done, help the others to finish theirs. Or start preparing food and/or fire for the rest. Make them a cup of tea for the group.

– En bonde går aldrig tomhänt. There is always work to be done on a self-sustainable farm. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to act – find work yourself, be proactive, remember work that must be done, write a list, be a leader, don’t be mindless robot waiting for instructions.
When you walk from point A to B there is always something that has to be moved. You are fully integrated in the farm when you always are carrying something.

– Delay decisions – if they can be delayed. If you do not have to act now – wait – think more – get more information – more opinions. Take the decision later. It will be better the longer you wait. Sleep on it, tomorrow morning the problem may be gone by itself.

– Good enough for now. Do no become blocked in a project because you have not found the perfect solution. If a decision seems like a good start that can be improved/changed later, just do it.

– Plant seeds and ideas. Let all your ideas first become ripe before putting them into actions. Discuss them, draw, show others, share, observe – it takes time to find the full potential of an idea. Remember, some ideas are destined to die, let them.

– Meetings. Let´s talk about it. If you are confused – demand a meeting. We misunderstand each other all the time. The more we talk the less this will happen. We may have different opinions – its ok as long as we know about it and understand each others reasoning. At Hästekasen we aim for having three meetings a week: One social, one personal (sharing), one work meeting (planning a head).

– Be like a duck
There will be work situations where you are slow, where you are the bottle neck, where you will be told you are doing things wrong, where you will shown how to do it (again) and maybe be asked to focus more, observe better, remember better – it is called feedback. Some one has cared enough to study what you do and analyze it and remark on it. It may seem harsh but do not take it to personal/emotional. It is up to you to accept the feedback or discard it. If you do not like it, just let the statements roll of you like water on a duck.
There is a reason why you are not good at things – you have not tried it enough.

– Look for motivation. See the full picture, see that your work and contribution is part of something greater that many will benefit from. You are benefiting from others work, others will benefit from yours. Find small projects where you are 100% motivated and feel pride and joy at work – YOU will have to find and propose this work.

– Don´t hide in the kitchen. Cooking is not ESC work. Don´t find yourself avoiding work by hanging in the kitchen. When you start focusing on eating and interneting those are the first signs that the work here is not motivating you. Maybe you are in the wrong place.

Take care of the details.
Small things can have big consequences. Try to get the details right.

– If you are last…. then run.
Don´´ t let a group wait for you.


We try to keep the following traditions


Vippassana silent weekend
– A few days in silence and meditation/yoga

– Midwinter celebration (21st dec)

Seed day
– first sign of spring and we start planting inside.

Spring yoga
– some days with intense yoga


Easter fire

“Valborgsmässoafton” and 1st may (in Town)

Grazing sheep day – cut woll
– Move the sheep to other field

Boat launch day

Sea weed day
– we collect seaweed for the fields


Open workweek
– We have an open house for visitors and do “social work”

Hay day – “slåtter”


Start of freediving season

Honey harvest mid-summer

Freediving week

Yoga week

Hide and seek and camp in the forrest

Shepheard weekend

Hayharvest #2

Harvest – vegetables


Sea weed day
– we collect seaweed for the fields

Honey harvest

Boat up

Plow & manure & hay (cover)

Vipassana fall – silent days

No-electricity week – We explore living without electricity



– celebrate the turn of the season.

Ice dive