Visiting a summer mountain farm

While visiting Rondane I left the national park and went to the valley of Grimsdalen, a protected area located between two national parks, the before mentioned Rondane, and Dovre National Park. I had heard it was one of Norways most beautiful valleys with an old culture for summer mountain farms, and I was not disappointed. There were old cottages, and suddenly I saw a lot of them, high up on the hills. That was Tollevshaugen, were 11 farmers from Dovre still have they old summer barns and cottages.

There are so little fertile soil for crops in Norway that for centuries the farmers had to take their cattle to the mountains to graze during summer, because they needed everything growing close to the farm to feed their animals during winter. This tradition lasted until they got fertilizers and modern farming. So by around 1950 all of them were shut down, and a lot of them decayed and vanished. But some places they were able to keep these small, old houses, and even the old traditions have survived some places. That is keeping animals for grazing in the mountains during summer, and producing cheese and sour milk products the old way.

Bergseng Seter is one of the 11 summer mountain farms at Tollevshaugen. The farmers of Bergseng live here all summer, and they rent five of the small houses for hikers or other visitors. They are all very old, the oldest from 1793, and small. But cozy, and the view towards the mountains of Rondane and the valley is overwhelming. Next time I hope to stay the night up there. Here is a link to more photos.

109 thoughts on “Visiting a summer mountain farm

    1. That is so very true, Gunta. But some, myself included, really enjoy to be close to unspoilt nature sometimes, even if it means living a very simple way with very little influence from the modern world.

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      1. Oh I agree about enjoying unspoilt nature, but I think having no other choice might be a harder life than most of us are willing to endure. But it’s nice to dream about or visit. I love that you share your times with us through your beautiful photos.

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    1. Thanks, Drakenoir. I can’t stop thinking about a lady with a glas of wine sitting waiting while you cook, as you wrote about. It made a vivid impression, but don’t think it fits in this place..😉

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      1. Why not, I think such a wonderful place just are the right place – too – for the chief de cuisine to prepare some reindeer meat or elk, cowberries and some exciting accessories – and in that case the lady with the red wine is needed no doubt…😉

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  1. I love great sky, —– and nice milk cans ! Nice shots.
    Though I’ve been puzzling what those twisted wood for, especially
    the white one on the wall, in 5th photo — do you know ? ? ?

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    1. The white thing is a twisted, old root. It may be there so that you can hold tight while you open the door in a storm. Or for other purposes I don’t know. We norwegians like old, twisted wood, Yoshizen.

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      1. M m m ? Norwegian storm could blow a person away ? = such strong ?

        And, a twisted old wood / root, is a symbol of say, the resilience / longevity kind ?
        (and act like a lucky charm to protect the person ? ) How interesting. I like that.

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      2. I have never seen or heard any philosophy about old, twisted wood, Yoshizen, I am just used to seeing objects like this everywere around people who are close to nature in how they live or how they spend their free time.

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  2. What spectacular countryside, Bente.

    I’d love to stay in one of those cottages. Just magical. The whole thought of staying in an old dwelling that reflects times from the past and a lifestyle that stayed in balance with nature appeals to me greatly.

    My Father still has a cottage (or ‘shack’ as we call it in Australia), that he built from secondhand materials around an old stone fireplace used by gold miners up in the mountains. Too far for me to travel to now. But it has dense bush around it & near the river.

    I like the idea of mountains & open countryside where you can see for miles far better.

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    1. They have cattle grazing there, and there are still some mountain farms that produce diery products. There were actually a modern mountain farm not far away, and I think they only milk the animals there, so these ones only were for display. Probably.

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    1. It used to be very hard work. Today nobody in Norway have to survive from a place like this, but I think it is important to keep history alive by keeping the buildings and some of the traditions. Thanks a lot for your comment, lensScaper.

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  3. Because of mega corporations so many places have become the same so that it can be difficult to know what city, state or country you are in. Thank you for sharing something unique and refreshing.

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    1. Me too I like to see something unique and refreshing if I travel, and when visiting blogs. Something different from every other place. It is so important we keep some of our historu and roots. Thanks for your comment, Elaine.

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  4. I visited Norway this past June (on a cruise) and was so pleased to see a summer farm on one of our excursions. We anchored at Geiranger then took a bus up the Eagle’s Bend road. What incredible scenery, from the fjord to the snow-capped mountains. It was so interesting to learn about the summer farm, where many farmers share the duties and live in such cozy cottages. They made the most delicious cheeses from the goat milk, especially the sweet brown cheese. Unfortunately, it was the start of the summer season, so we could taste the cheese, but they didn’t have enough yet to sell, so I couldn’t bring any back with me. I’m still catching up on my blog. Although I have a few photos of Norway up in different posts, I have many more yet to share, including the summer farm.

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    1. I am glad you had at a chance to taste the summer farm cheese, and I am quite surprised you liked the brown, sweet one, because some foreigners don’t, and if it is made of pure goat milk it has a strong taste. But I love it of coarse, especially the hand made ones from farms. Thanks a lot for your comment, and I will look for your photos.

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      1. I think everyone in our group loved the brown sweet cheese. We then went to another farm where we were served pancakes with that cheese as filling—wonderful. Thank you, too, for checking out and liking the posts on my blog. Many more photos of Norway coming up in the next few months, including stave churches, which I find fascinating. I really liked Norway a lot.

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  5. Re-creation takes on a whole, new meaning, doesn’t it? We had small dwellings like this when we took cattle into the foothills to graze. Very rustic… and worth every blister.

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