Produce, produce, produce…fresh produce! There are tons of it here in Denmark. It might not always be the most exotic, but I guarantee that you’ll end up eating things here that a/ you never tasted before (ramps, lovage, all sorts of chanterelles..) and b/ you’ve tasted before but never truly appreciated (um, Danish strawberries anyone?).
The seasons are changing so summer’s been on the way out and fall quickly comes in its place (which can only mean that Danish apples are soon on the way – see this post from last year on apple picking here), but the nice thing about the rather mild but rainy climate here is that there seems to always be something in season. Especially now that more and more growers are branching out beyond just the apples (as good as they are) and potatoes thing here (ditto).
This summer we tried out a place that had been on our list for a long time – the Fuglebjerggaard Farm. If that doozy of a name sounds familiar, it might be because you caught the video of the picking excursion earlier on but here are the photos to prove it!
The farm is owned by Camilla Plum, kind of a Danish Donna Hay, who led the way in organic cooking here in Scandinavia way before it was an actual thing – you’ll find her books in any cooking section of a book store. On the farm, you’ll probably see Camilla herself. Doing the hard work by the way – this isn’t a show farm, it’s a working farm so while there is a sweet bucolic ambience, this place isn’t just for magazine spreads. Need a bathroom? Grab an outhouse.
There’s a kind of farmy-bohemia thing going on here as well – a little cafe serves up freshly baked cakes of the day that look like the neighbor brought them over, and the mismatched chipped china and antique silverware reminds me of the random collection of things at my grandfather’s garden plot in Poland.
And while it’s a farm, it’s not an industrial farm either. This isn’t the kind of place where there are hundreds of hectares of one plant – there’s a plot of strawberries here, interspersed with currant there, while chickens mill about. A plot of wildflowers meets a plot of wild onions and cabbages and carrots are just down the way. The smaller plots probably mean a whole lot more individualized work for the owners, but everything grows together.
The Fuglebjerggaard Farm, is about an hour from Copenhagen, and is open for visitors on the weekends. You can check up on the schedule of what’s available for self-picking on the website. A shop that looks like the inside of an Indian tuk-tuk offers heirloom seeds, healing herbs and other kitchen doodads and south asian trinkets, as well as a room full of Christmas ornaments in the back. Lots of families had children in tow, and our toddler fit right in – so if all week forest school isn’t an option for you, this is the type of outing that’s a close second. As it turns out, it’s pretty much the picture perfect farm you never knew you were missing out on. Oh, and don’t forget a slice of cake on your way out!
Ps- a few notes: one, Denmark is supposed to be home to more pigs than people (about three to five times more depending on your source), yet this is the only time any one of us have ever seen an actual pig. Two, green strawberries are a huge thing in Danish cooking right now – they seem to be at every “new nordic” restaurant we go to – apparently it’s driving up the price of unripened strawberries tremendously. And three, those flowers and roses smell every bit as beautiful as you would expect them to.