About

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GledeGaard Mission and Vision

GledeGaard is an activity farm where food, animals and activity areas help achieve our mission and vision.

Our Mission:  contribute to The Happy Planet Index by reducing our ecological footprint and increase happiness through our services and permaculture methods.

Our Vision: create and demonstrate lifestyles where human happiness and well-being does not cost the Earth, our ultimate scarce and finite resource.


GledeGaard Philosophy

Often, the words ‘ethical’ and ‘humane’ arise in debates concerning humanity’s relationship to creatures outside its species. At GledeGaard we have a philosophy that we take to heart and implement in our functional design.

Our philosophy: revere the balance of Nature, create symbiotic relationships with creatures in our habitat and be stewards acting in reflection of our philosophy. 


Farm Animals: Cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, hedgehogs, ducks, honey bees, farm cat, farm dog, and farmers are the animals that we are looking to have on the property. Depending on property allowances, climate and vet care, we will be able to have most if not all of them.

Farm Services/Products: The farm will primarily provide services associated with venues, such as farm-stays, workshops, internships, and data collection. The homestead will maintain farming adequate to meet the needs of the people living or working on the farm. Later we are seeking to expand this to farm-to-table products, and should the local market and farm capacity allow, we will participate in local markets and CSAs.


GledeGaard’s Director – Tavonna

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Hi, I’m Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken. It’s a mouthful, Tavi for short.

I was born in Columbia, South Carolina (USA) and lived there until my family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. After high school, I enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

In the Air Force, my squadron was responsible for life-sustaining functions that encompassed Lodging, Food, Recreation, Fitness and Mortuary. We were also known as the Cradle to Grave Squadron. There I worked mostly at the base’s lodging facility.

My specialization was Bare-base set-up, which is creating a military base from the ground up within 24-36 hours, capable of sustaining hundreds of personnel and incoming aircraft.

Everything seemed perfect. But for several personal reasons, it also wasn’t. Despite having spent 8 years working toward the goal of attaining success within the military, I could not feel that that particular path was where I needed to be. I decided to search for another path.

I moved to Norway following romance, adventure, and that ‘something’ that was missing.  I worked in the energy sector on oil & gas, electric, and wind energy projects while studying archiving & document management. I purchased my first flat in Oslo, and I had my own cupcake company. Again, I had reached success.

GledeGaard was just an embryonic dream at that point. In 2015, life took a radical turn, and I was no longer motivated to continue the conventional life. I spent a long while trying to figure out what is all my  work and ‘success’  was for. I came to the simple answer not too long after. I wanted to be happy.

I spent many hours researching happiness and connecting with what I felt was my purpose and my hope for my life. All the things that I loved came together: animals, nature, family and helping people. I decided to devote the rest of my life to it. And subsequently, the concept design for GledeGaard began in 2015.

In 2016, I was well on my way. I finished a Permaculture Design Course to harmonize the Bare-Base training, the sciences and the management skills. My knowledge was then oriented toward  creating a farm capable of not only sustaining natural resources, but regenerating it.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Your story is very interesting and inspirational. I am newly unemployed, which is a good thing, as I hated my job. I will use what you’ve said and done here as a model for how to find my true place. Thank you, and I wish you all the best.

    1. Hello Carol,
      Thank you for your comment. It was a pleasant surprise to receive. I hope you find where you truly shine. Finding your place is a bit unnerving at times, or at least it was for me. If my story lends you any comfort, confidence or hope, then I am grateful to have been a part of something more than myself. Don’t give up.
      Thank you again for taking the time to share your comment with me.
      Take Care

  2. Thank you Tavi. What a wonderful, moving and inspirational story. I am so glad that you have found your true calling. I am sure that you will achieve even greater success as you touch and transform the lives of everyone and everything you touch.
    Continue to be a trailblazer and lead the way to better eco systems and sustainable and happy life for everyone!
    Thank you

  3. Congratulations on this amazing project, Tavonna, I am really impressed! It has been a pleasure to know you from Statoil, and now I admire your willpower, vision and all the work with the GledeGaard project and I wish you the best of luck with everything in future! I hope to visit you there some time, it would be great to meet you in such a fantastic environment 🙂

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