PIF Hästekasen Farm Association – Sweden

PIC: 948304690 – OID E10020170
National Org# 802466-7506
Quality Label: 2021-1-SE02-ESC50-003127
Legal representative / contact person: Sebastian Naslund
Adress: Hastekasen, 451 96 Uddevalla, Sweden
+46721512244, info@ hastekasen.se
Account holder: Hästekasen Gård Förening
IBAN: SE635 000 000 0051801022429
Account holder: Hästekasen Gård Förening

Description of organization
We are an eco-collective organized in a non profit, non-governmental association located on a farm on the countryside on the west coast of Sweden. We do small scale, farming, forestry, animal keeping, natural building, teaching and experiments, and adventure and personal development. And our aim is to spread competence in the field of self-sustainability through an evolving learning centre. Since 2010 we are in the process to found a self sustainable eco-village, which have proven to be big, but interesting challenge. We are looking for new ways to re-settle the countryside. We experiment with new and traditional ways of farming and building, using natural material. Our activities include personal growth and also adventure activities related to nature.
Lately we have been working a lot with community building, leadership training and storytelling/adventure as a method. We have several hundred visitors each year, and an ever growing network.

Erasmus experience:
Starting 2014 and up to now, 130+ ESC/EVS Volunteers has lived with the host Hastekasen Farm Association. 16 ESC/EVS projects as coordinator.
About 300 Erasmus youth exchange participants.
HFA has participated in three KA2 projects.
Our members have taken part in over a 20 seminars/TC (including meetings with N/A)

What makes the host unique is that we live and work at the same place. We share household and volunteers rarely leave the place – because they like it here.

Youth work
We collaborate with a Waldorf school, where two members work.
We are in collaboration with the county administration offering marginalized kids summer activities.
We are part of the annual work and education fair visited by 2000 youth.
We offer adventure activities for 200 kids annually.
We incorporate up to 40 young adults in our activities annually.
We engage up to 100 youth in social media on a monthly basis.

Last approved grants:

General description of activities, read here

Partner description:

We have the same mission now as when we set out eight years ago, to empower ourselves and others in self sustainability, ultimately creating and eco-village. Solving challenges in small scale food production, shelter, warmth, water and sewer. Basically “ruralisation” with sustainable lifestyle in the context of the challenges that a globalized civilization poses. Specifically in the context of: energy issues, ecology issues, and an unsustainable economy based on fossil fuel and debt. In these challenging times we would like to show young people how they can become more independent.
What if transportation becomes more expensive? What if we no longer can rely on cheap goods produced in Asia, or food produced elsewhere?

One thing that is always present in all our projects is to highlight the difference between what we WANT and what we NEED. This is famously described by the scientist Maslow. The host has made a special crusade of making people understand how their basic needs are fulfilled. Clean air, clean water, food, shelter, warmth, and general health. If you have solid platform of these things, you can move on to shape your life from a position of strength. So we talk about pollution, about water sources and water transportation, about sewage, garbage and ecosystems, about how and where food is produced, what it contains. And we actually do all these things here: we have our own water system, grow food, support ecosystems, create new soil, we create biofuels, we even build houses of natural material. All these things most people take for granted and has been serviced them, these things we deconstruct and recreate.

We believe that, as Europe develops, there will be major challenges in the area of environment and food production. A big part of the solution must be local and also small scale, by active citizens. Thus the host and the project adress a societal need. We strive not only to promote participants employability in general, but specifically in our field of expertise, but we also hope to inspire entrepreneurs in the “green economy”. We are very extreme in a sense where we claim that anyone that so chooses should be able to partly solve their own basic needs: taking part in building houses and producing food. In times of crisis, these local, autonomous skills will make the whole society more resilient.

We have been very active with methods that promotes cultural understanding and community building, thanks to recruiting members that are trainers, workshop leaders and even exploring these subjects on an academic level.

Another thing that has affected the host lately is the growing understanding of the declining health of youth. Too much sitting down, too little movement, unhealthy eating habits, too much internet for entertainment, too much video games, online gamling, too much superficial social relations in the virtual world (there are even reports of youth having less sex nowadays, while unhealthy online porn is abundant). Drugs seems to be everywhere. A huge unhealthy escapism from taking part IRL. There are a growing number of sad and lonely people out there, even depressed and under stress and anxiety. Worried about their future place in society.

So we as a European community not only have the problem of getting the Neet´s involved. There is a growing alienation between people, even if we are virtually linked. There is polarisation growing even though we share so many similarities.
There is a growing physical and mental health problems. This is serious. This will impact society on a very basic level, not to mention how democracy is affected.

Hastekasen farm association is a small antidote to this.

Our method is non formal education, getting people active. Create something together. Feel pride in seeing a physical result. A feeling of belonging to a group while growing as a person.
Former participant quotes:
“I feel that I have grown a lot braver and vocal as a person, and I have leveled up my self confidence.”

Description of activities, read here

Staff (depending on season and project)
(Generally unpaid members, but on our short Team ESC, there are paid staff).
Maria Leek, mentor and handicraft work leader.
Patrycha Gas, Trainer, project design. PhD student “cultural understanding”
Sebastian Naslund, project manager, work leader, administration
Zsofia Varga, mentor, workshop leader
Agne Olausson, work leader
Simon Carsin, work leader
Olha Menko, mentor, workshop leader, administrator
Jacob Synot, junior workshop leader
Ulla Olausson, former nurse
Andreas Dyfvermark, workshop leader
Eszti Bakos, mentor, workshop leader, psychology master student

Other factors that create a supportive atmosphere:

  • We live and have activities in the same place.
  • The place is secluded.
  • All participants are in a new social environment, and can let go of old habits.
  • We share household work. We eat together.
  • The activities are very diverse, a mix of fun and challenging.
  • Thorough presentation of each persons life and activities.
  • Many circle stick rounds.
  • A feeling of physical and social safety.

LOGISTICS (see photos):
The life on the farm offers accommodation in simple structures (huts or big military tents).
Long ESC gets a single private room.
Short team ESC have to share room with beds.
Short events like youth exchange sleep in big military tents on mats in sleeping bags.
The toilets are dry-toilets and there are limited hot showers (there is always a cold shower). We sometimes go to the sea and swim on hot days.
But there are back-up systems if there is a need.

And again, we are an intentional community, meaning we pursue certain values, health being one of them… no smoking and very little meat. Ants and spider are guaranteed. Wintertime you may even see a mouse or a moose.

These choices are part of the experience and the non-formal learning and at the end of an activity everybody will understand why. Things like these will be discussed:
– What role can a dry toilet play in saving clean water, bringing back nutrition to the nature, creating new soil, saving energy, transport and money.
– How much and what kind of energy is used creating and transporting food.
– How much and what kind of energy is used to produce heating and hot water.
– How much energy, clean water and land is used to produce meat. What are the meat animals being fed. How are they treated. (Any one wiling to watch a slaughter on the farm, can eat some meat, if they help taking care of the meat and preparing it for cooking).

By sending volunteers to this project you also support ruralisation, the country side and the transition movement. Our lifestyle IS environmental work. The Hästekasen experience is disseminated through our vast network and during all our participations in seminars and conferences.

Hästekasen is a social and adventurous back to nature experience.

TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS (print this out – save it).

Send mail to (info@hastekasen.se) the day before you come. Send text message to +46 (0)721 51 22 44 BEFORE you start travelling. Send a message when you land. 
From Gothenburg Landvetter airport.
Groups will be picked up from airport. Others will have to take buses.
After Landvetter take FLYGBUSS to town GBG, central station. 100+ sek, Credit card. Swedish west coast travel
(There is also a local bus #612, probably blue, that is cheaper, if you intend to understand Sweden, then take this bus. You can probably buy a ticket/ travel card at the “pressbyran” (shop) inside the flight terminal just where you exit). Maybe change at Landvetter “city”/municipality and take a another bus to the central bus station in GBG.
At central bus station buy a TRAVEL CARD at ticket office (if you did not buy it at airport) – fill it with 200 sek. You will need it now and in the future.
Save all receipts! And boarding cards e t c!!
Take bus Towards Lysekil 841. Pay with Travel Card – Make sure you also show it when you leave the bus, otherwise it will loose money. Ask the busdriver when you arrive at BOKENÄS SKOLA:
Send text message to +46 (0)721 51 22 44 and say when you arrive at BOKENÄS SKOLA. Long before you come there!
Get of at Bokenäs skola (l.5 hours later). Walk 70 meter south, behind the yellow school and wait at the parking lot. If it is raining you can stay at the bus stop. It is 5 km to the farm
If you sent message early – then you will get pick up.
You are going to Hästekasen gård, in Eriksberg.
Arriving to the airport late in the evening is problematic. Leaving too early in the morning from the airport is problematic.