Marjo Marthin's Profile

Marjo Marthin's picture

My Gender


A Little about Me

My and my husband are a happily married couple that have downshifted to a life more in coherence to our values. Now living in the countryside up North in Sweden. Here creating the first Swedish educational center on eco building with clay.

Additional Photos

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Building Styles I have Experience in

Adobe/Mud Bricks
Reclaimed Materials
Local Materials (ie Sustainable Wood)
masoning food cellar and a stable with light LECA bricks

My Building Qualifications

interest, self studies and experience.

My Occupation

my husband and I work from home

Building Styles I'm Interested in

Adobe/Mud Bricks
Reclaimed Materials
Local Materials (ie Sustainable Wood)

My Eating Habits

Gluten Free
Hi! We build a lot with clay and wood. Mostly work outdoors. Depending on Your skills /preferences we agree, divide and share tasks in the best way for everyone! We are committed to make the best we can for mutual benefit and exchange. If You share your skills, engagement and time here - we contribute with what we can. We are in the process turning this old little farm into an educational center for natural building techniques, use of recycled stuff and especially including clay in buildings. We have only lived here since april-10 and already offered 5 courses, around 15 workshops and only the summer of 2012 more than 40 guided tours of our different buildings with different techniques. People from all over Sweden have visited and participated at courses. The summer of 2012 was our first summer as hosts for WWOOF-ers & work-away-ers. We were happy to receive many requests. After mail-communication for a while with every one, we agreed with more than 20 persons to come and stay with us. Some visited us for a short period, only a couple of weeks, others up to 5 months of stay. Some from Sweden others from Mexico, HongKong and different parts of Europe! We want to welcome YOU who are self motivated, ready to be a hard worker interested in learning and training different methods of building with wood and clay. We would love to have You here for a longer period. The spring and summer of 2013 we also plan for several workshops and courses in different subjects concerning sustainability, recycling, ecobuilding and of course building with clay. If You and we agree that YOU are to come here of course You also attend all workshops and courses that we arrange during that period : ) One of the things to be done in spring 2013 is to continue and complete the construction of our pretty little chapel built in intertwained "basked-weaving" with rods of small trees and covered with several layers of clay mixture - a technique that is known to has been used by the Vikings some 1000 years ago : ) As soon as the termerature allows we will continue the work there, for example painting with egg-oil-tempera, putting up the beautiful wooden shingles on the roof and finishing the outer surface of clay... But more construction work is to be done. Already in late march and early april we need to put some barracks in place and make complementary construction work on them, possibly also build some more sleeping-lofts : ) So - You who are handy with TIMBER and carpenting - we need Your help already then! Of course working together with us here also includes helping out with all sorts of things that come with the daily life on a little farm, like some fencing, daily maintenance and care of animals, etc.... About us and our animals: ”We” are a happily married couple. My husbands name is Lars-Erik, but almost noone knows that. Since he was eight years old he is called ”Lärkan” which is Swedish for ”the Lark” (=the singing bird). My name is Marjo. We are an active couple that have changed our lifestyle into a more sustainable one. Our two sons are grown up and only visit once in a while. We found this little cottage in the middle of the forest. A lot had, and still has to be done here. Square meter by sqaure meter we take care, restore, build new buildings and cultivate... Our little flock of sheep is needed together with the ponies for clearing undergrowth and thereby ”regaining the land”. Their manuer is also needed for mixing with clay, straw and sand to build new buildings and plastering wooden ones that already were here. The sheep are of an old fashioned, sweet small breed that is the most threatened with extinction in Sweden - important to save, we think! One of the ponies is mine for riding, the other one, a sweet Shetland pony is helping out pulling us on a picnic or other loads on a little cariage! I train my horses with Natural Horsemanship, although I am not well educated in that.. but what I know I use. Also I do operant conditioning with the horses and the dogs, i.e. "clicker training". Fun both for me and for them. Although in the summer the ponies mostly have "vaccation" because I am too busy building and leading other projects around the farm. We have two cats and three very kind family dogs; one Rough Collie, one Shetland Sheepdog and one Chihuahua. All three look the same! In addition to theese "family dogs" we also have a cattle-guardian dog. He is still growing and might even develop into the weigh of 70 kg! He lives with the sheep day and night and will keep them and our other small animals more safe. He is more and more growing up to shoulder the task to bark when he sees some intruders and thus protect the other animals on the farm. If needed he will take fight....There are a lot of wolfs, lynxs, foxes and bears around our place. Exiting and interesting wildlife and ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT TO HUMANS but dangerous for our small animals. About relaxation and getting to know Swedish traditions: Of course we will try to show You some and tell You as much as You want! Most likely we will work together long days, maybe at times even more than 8 hours a day 5 days week. Some extra intensive weeks maybe 6 days a week. But we usually sit for about one hour or at times much longer for every breakfast and lunch speaking and relaxing together. Dinner even longer at times... In the evenings we at times watch a film together. We listen to music a lot and at times we play the guitar and sing together too... Of course there will be opportunities to make trips to interesting places around here! On Sundays, and at times other weekdays we usually let wwoof-ers & work-away-ers use our car to have a trip and do some sight seeing. (You will pay the petrol yourself) There is always a lot that has to be done but every task is lot more enjoyable in companionship! We would love to get new companions, new friends - are YOU one of them?!? Others that participate: In addition to WWOOf-ers/workaway-ers/Poosh-ers there might be others sharing our companionship and work some hours a day 5 days a week. Due to a cooperation we have with the unemployment bureau and some socialworkers we at times have have people joining us a few hours a day. In the spring of 2013 there might also be groups of Swedish youngsters here some periods, we are in the process of planning cooperation with a school (similar to College). If that turns out as we hope, it will be youngsters interested in sustainability and eco-friendly methods working together with You and us for some periods. IF we get in contact with somebody with experience of raising at lest the ”sceleton” of a roundhouse structure with a reciprocal roof we might try to raise that sceleton alredy april 12-21 when we expecting to have around 20 persons here for sightly more than a week. That round timber structure we do not plan to turn into a regular house, it will remain a mostly open piazza/manege/veranda for outdoor lectures and meals in the center of our little course area. More fun projects is being planned; inspired by Mayapedal in Guatemala. We hope to get going with constructions of human powered machines here already this spring! During spring we also plan to make some experiments with hemp and clay. I, Marjo, have this winter taken the initiative to start a Transition Group here in our little village. Several meetings are held in our house so far. The group is already growing and we are planning several activities and educations in related topics, also a permaculture design course hopefully starting this summer... As You can read - it happens a lot here out in the forest up north in Sweden : ) About cultivating and food here on our farm: Since we are mostly occupied with building theese first few years here, we do not cultivate loads but of course some. We cultivate together with a dear friend, Monika, that i also here a lot. All that we cultivate of course is organically grown, but what we buy is not always. We make salads, tea and some main dishes from herbs and weed from the garden. We also dry herbs and spices for the rest of the year. But we do not sell any, all is for our own use and guests that we always hope to have lots of! Of course we eat together with You. It would be nice also to prepare meals together, maybe at times also to take turns in cooking? I Marjo eat vegetarian, but also fish and eggs. I have some food intolerances, for example no tolerance to gluten, and most diary products so if You have a special diet it is not a problem - we are familiar to several allergies. My husband likes to have chicken once in a while in addition to the mostly vegetarian food. If we can afford it we once or twice a week we have a glass of wine or two. We do not smoke. Accomodation: You will be provided simple accomodain: for example beds in a little guesthouse. It is small, only about 13 m2 with no convieniences. Two small rooms, You will share that little house with oone or two others. There is also another room available situated inside the barn, for one or two persons. With Your help we might build more sleeping lofts (on top of at least one of the barracks) in the beginning of the season ! After that more persons can come along ; ) Shower, washing machine and toilet, is in another house. PLEASE consider this: No wireless radiation: One thing though, that unfortunately is a non-negotiable condition is that You will have to have your cellphone turned off all the time on our piece of land. WHY? Because I, Marjo, am hypersensitive to wireless radiation. But of course You can stroll a little bit away to check your sms-es and make your calls! By the same reason You will not be provided with wireless internet - only wire-bound! I get many symptoms, problems and difficulties from wireless radiation, that is one of the reasons we searched for a long time and in several regions to find a place with this good radio shadow. We found it, and here I thrive! In a special area there is a computer arranged with Skype and internet for all guests and volounteers. Work to be done: In march the man with the digging machine and the plummer will work a few days to dig and prepare the ground... then some baracks will be put in place. Late 2012 we bought a kitchen-wagon and a small lecture-hall and lunch-room : ) Why? - Because we plan for many courses, lectures and fun activities of course! Those barracks must be ready to function at the latest in mid april because then it all startes = lectures on sustainability, etc. We also if possible would like to build some sleeping lofts on top of those baracks (as mentioned). The tiny chapel built 2012 in a method that is known to have been used by the Vikings is to be completed. If You want to read more about that specific project: look into the blog: In addition to this we have to continue with several projects, also some fencing and smaller projects plus of course daily care of house, garden, cultivation and animals. The house for the hen/chicken; built in straw and clay has to be mended since the hen found parts of the walls very tasty this winter : ( Of course in the summer also the hens house has to be cleaned out, as well as the byre for horses and the one for sheep. There is a lot to do, but no worries : ) In joyful companionship a lot will be accomplished! We are looking foreward to getting to know new friends who would like to share their thoughts, experience and skills with us. We would like to get help from late march and up til mid october or maybe later. There is one short period in juy that we need to be alone as a family. We sould love to have one or a few companions stying for a LONG time, maybe the whole period? Maybe You do not have the time to stay as long? - Communicate with us anyhow and propose Your idéa of period spent here. Maybe we can agree on shorter periods too... let´s discuss that! The most important for us is that You do not just look for any farm in Sweden, but that You choose THIS place for what we can offer and that You think You can contribute to all the constructive things we are busy with. If our lifestyle and activities sounds appealing to You: please contact us! We would love and appreciate the helping hands of handymen or handywomen. And of course we will do what we can to make your stay as rewarding as possible. We are looking foreward to getting to know new friends who would like to share thoughts, experience and skills with us.