UPDATE: OUR NEW PLEDGE GOAL IS SEK 1.000.000 AND WHEN WE REACH IT ALL BACKERS GET A FREE COOKBOOK.
ABOUT US: We are Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen from Stedsans. Until recently we where living in Copenhagen, running a magical restaurant on a rooptop, but we gave it up and sold everything to follow a dream of creating something that would touch our guests (and our own) lifes even more.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: Stedsans in the Woods - a lab for the lifestyle of the future
In summer 2017 we are realising a dream of combining wild nature and forest farming with beautiful, luxurious meals made on the best and freshest ingredients possible, and a comfortable place to rest after the meal.
Here we will have our playground and lab for the lifestyle of the future. A future where we enjoy fresh ingredients from our own fields while we increase biodiversity, build up topsoil and minimize the use of water and fossil fuel. We want to show that it is very doable to live a life that is good for the individual as well as our surroundings.
Furthermore we want our guests to return home with inspiration and motivation to bring greater respect for nature into their everyday lives.
NEW: A special gift for all backers if we reach our new pledge goal!
We reached our first pledge goal in just 12 days, and now we are ready to set a new one: 1.000.000 SEK. With the extra money we will build a super cool into-the-wild spa on the lake. If we reach our new pledge goal we send you a copy of “Clean Simple Local” - Mette’s cookbook with 100+ of our favourite homecooking meals. No matter what your pledge is you will receive this extra award (detail price is SEK 150).
About the book When we reach the new goal we send out an e-book copy of Mette’s book Clean Simple Local. The book is called Sundt & Simpelt in Danish and has been a great succes. Many have asked us about an English copy of the book - and now we finally have a possibility of making it: Because so many people so generously have supported our project.
About the spa
Our into-the-wild-spa is planned to be placed on the lake, on movable pontoons in order to protect the wildlife on the bottom of the lake underneath. The drawings are not finalized yet, but some of the features we dream of are:
- a sauna running on sawdust
- a sun-heated tub with water from the lake
- home-cooked all-natural scrubs and oils
- a yoga platform overlooking the lake
- an aquaponic system for growing medicinal herbs
(Do you want to help us build this spa? We are planning on doing a work weekend in April or May in collaboration with sustainable woodworking company WildWood. Sign up to our newsletter for staff and volunteers if you would like to know more: stedsans.org/join).
Southern Sweden is a very remote place, not least when you are at the end of the winding gravel road leading to Bohult, the location of the farm and restaurant, far away from street lights and trafic noise. But it's still close to big cities with airports and train stations (2,5 hours from Copenhagen and 45 minutes from Halmstad, to give a few examples). This is the new Stedsans location, in an old forest in Halland at the shore of Lake Halla. Our new restaurant will be a long plank table for 30 guests in a glass house placed in the forest by the lake, under the treetops and stars. As close to nature as it gets.
Food metres instead of food miles
As a guest you can follow the process in our semi-outdoor kitchen where we cook over fire. We love beautifully plated, creative food served at a well set table. But the flow of good energy in all processes before plating are equally important. The life in the soil, the right varietes of seeds and crops, a good atmosphere in the kitchen, the relationships, vitality, hospitality, the passion for good taste and for food that makes people feel amazingly healthy, happy and vibrant. (If it is of interest to you to learn more about how we work with raising the energy level in all aspects of a restaurant meal, you can watch Mette's TedX-talk about the subject here).
Most ingredients come directly from the forest or our small scale permaculture farm and are often picked or harvested minutes before they end on the plate. Living fish come directly from local lakes. We love working in the area between top luxury and simple living.
New standards for sustainability
In an environment with only natural ingredients there is no waste. All leftover food feeds animals on the farm or becomes soil, and all water goes directly to the vegetables. With a very high level of self suffiency transportation, packaging and food waste is at a minimum. We call the glass house 'the 3rd room'. It isn't indoor and it isn't outdoor. It is an 800 m² greenhouse placed in the forest by the lake. The forest floor is our floor. It is heated with sunshine and the hot air from the oven. There will be no use of fossil fuel. It will be our home, restaurant and nursery. We can even expand the seasons and grow food most of the year in a Nordic climate while we build up topsoil.
The fields will be watered with filtered water from the showers, the kitchen and from rainwater. The chickens and other animals clean the fields from wild plants and insects while they fertilize the soil. The end result is food made with a minimum of packaging, transportation, fossil fuels etc.
Our friends from Københavns Møbelsnedkeri help with building of the cabins on pillars amongst the trees and hopefully a few on fleets in the water. On a lower budget you sleep in our hammock dorm, so you don't have to be loaded with money to secure a seat at our table. The interior is chosen in order for our guests to get everything needed for feeding the soul, nothing more and nothing less.
We can combine top luxury and sustainability – easily!
We have worked with the combination of luxury and sustainability in the hospitality business for many years. These are some of the thousands of kind words food writers from the entire globe wrote about our former restaurant, Stedsans ØsterGRO in Copenhagen (closed down in October 2016):
Vogue: “It’s the food—the glorious, colorful, unabashedly pretty, balanced, bright, and still decadent food—that is the real reason people deem stalking the website for a ticket worthwhile.”
White Guide Denmark: “Honest, tasty food in season, where you can taste the sustainability. A very good meal.”
Playboy: "If you can snag a table, you’ll be rewarded with carrots topped with brown butter hollandaise, perfect wine pairings and Instagram bragging rights."
Ignant: ”An adventure from the very beginning”
New York Magazine: ”Magical”
Can we do all that by ourselves?
Hell no! We need money (this is where our kickstarter backers come into the picture), and lots of help. This project is too big and important to be done by us alone.
We have worked with food and sustainability for quite a few years and have build up an amazing network of friends and good people around us who are helping with this project.
The list of friends and supporters grow all the time, here are some of them:
Carpenters doing everything from skate boards to million dollar kitchens.
JJW Architects Architects specialized in sustainability.
Biodynamic farmers supplying the best restaurants in Copenhagen.
Science Journalists and philosopher.
Preston Drake Hillyard
Documentarist, photographer and film producer
Gardener, chef and green activist.
And many more...
Looking for sponsoring companies with shared valuesWe have introduced two award opportunities called 'Sponsor' and 'Big Sponsor' specially aimed at companies and individuals who want to be part of the project. We hope to see local as well as international businesses who share our values on our sponsor wall.
Want to help in other ways than backing our campaign?
If you want to be a part of the project, please don't hesitate to let us know. We are looking for partners, volunteers and helpers within areas like farming, building, science, food, wine, fishing, art, design and much more. The more we are with the intention of doing things a little better, the merrier! Write us an email, if you want to get in touch. Our contact info is in the bio.
Risks and challenges
We will open Stedsans in the Woods no matter what happens, but whether or not it will be ready in it's full form in 2017 depends on how much financial support and other kinds of help we get. We have bought the forest, and moved in. We know great farmers who can supply us with amazing produce until our own farm is up and running. We have been running restaurants together for over 10 years, so we know what we are doing. Most of the planning is done, and we are basically ready to start cooking. We still need to do some paperwork before we have all permissions ready, but we have a very good dialogue with the municipality, and lots of local support.
We know there will be challenges, especially since the project is quite ambitious, but we do have lots of plan B and C's. There may be changes to specific plans, but the overall dream is achievable some way or the other: Creating a very special space discovering new ways to live and eat.
The large glass house is our biggest challenge, as it includes some elements of trial-and-error. However, if we do not manage to have the glasshouse ready to host the restaurant by summer 2017, we have a beautiful old barn, we can use instead.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (43 days)