Our Mission: contribute to The Happy Planet Index by reducing our ecological footprint and increase happiness through our services and unconventional farming methods.
Our Vision: create and demonstrate lifestyles where human happiness & well-being does not cost the Earth, our ultimately scarce and finite resource.
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, pigs, chickens, rabbits, quail, honey bees, 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/WWOOFing, and data collection. The homestead will maintain farming adequate for the property’s resources and 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
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 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 (PDC) 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.