Friday 30 March 2012

Vegetable Garden: Something for the Weekend

"Remember sowing a seed in a small container, placing it in classroom window sill and running in each morning in eager anticipation of change and growth? For many of us city folks and many of our children that was our first encounter with a vegetable garden. The first time we realized where vegetables come from, the conditions under which they thrive and perhaps also a true appreciation and understanding for the time, effort and care that goes into planting, nurturing and harvesting what may end up on our plates. Ok, maybe not exactly the stuff we grew in the classrooms, but you know.....

Taking this a step further, Aarstiderne will be offering all children - and the young at heart - a chance to plant their very first, very own, organic vegetable garden, which can then be transported right back home and onto a windowsill. So come on up to Krogerup on April 1 for this and many other fun Easter Market activities."

Isabella Mousavizdeh Smith

Monday 26 March 2012

Aarstiderne welcomes HRH The Prince of Wales

“Soil is primeval, and a living organism – we must treasure it. At Highgrove, I have always practised the art of feeding the soil rather than the plant.” HRH The Prince of Wales 

The passion to produce healthy organic food, to transform the harvests of organic farming into delicious seasonal meals that is at the heart of Aarstiderne's values is shared around the world. One of the first to raise the profile of organic farming in the UK was HRH Prince Charles, heir apparent to the British throne.

The story began in the 1980s when the Prince moved to the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, England, and sought to make his vision for a 'virtuous circle' a reality. The 'virtuous circle' would begin with a farm producing the highest quality crops by working in harmony with nature and the environment, using the best ingredients and added value through expert production. In those early days and before organic produce was as widely available as it is today, the Prince commissioned research to test whether such methods, organic farming, could be profitably sustained. Indeed, it was thought that they could and by feeding profits back into charity, the 'virtuous circle' was made.

Home Farm therefore rejected intensive farming methods and instead prized sustainable production with natural ingredients and traditional skills and received full organic status in 1996. 

By 1999 public demand for organic food was peaking and it was then that, here in Denmark, Aarstiderne delivered its first boxes of organic produce to Danish households. (Home Farm began a similar smaller scale box scheme a year later).


With this shared passion and the common desire to organically cultivate the soil and feast on the bounties of its harvest, it seems only fitting that during this week's royal visit to Denmark, HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting the Aarstiderne farm at Barritskov in Jutland

To find out more, please visit the British Embassy's website or follow the royal visit via the Aarstiderne Twitter link above or the Embassy's Twitter feed.

Aarstiderne warmly welcomes
 Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Denmark

(Katherine Ball)

Sunday 25 March 2012

Daily bread

Bread is the king of baked goods here in Scandinavia and it hits you like a cultural tidal wave when you arrive in Denmark: there is a bakery on nearly every street, a packet of yeast in every supermarket shopping basket and a recipe for bread in every Scandinavian cookery book.

And the bread comes in an array of flavours, textures and loaves: multigrain, wholemeal, muesli, spelt, rye.... To the uninitiated, it can seem daunting but it needn't be and what better way to discover these breads than to learn the art of bread making at home?

Amongst Aarstiderne's recipes are clear and simple instructions for baking some of the classic loaves and a few of the more exotic varieties too. Below, I have translated a batch of three of them to share with you: rye bread (straight from Charlie's bakery at Krogerup), durum wheat bread with pumpkinseeds and slow rise spelt bread. Enjoy.

Let us know how you get on - we'd love to hear from you...

Charlie's rye bread

For 2 loaves, you will need:
800g rye flour
1 portion (from your last baking) sourdough starter*
4 tsp sea salt
600 g cracked rye seeds
1,3 dl water
1 tbsp honey
10 g yeast

* If this is the first time you've baked rye bread, you're unlikely to have a portion of a sourdough starter from 'your last baking'. Here is Aarstiderne's recipe for a sourdough starter:
Mix 1½ dl yoghurt with 100g rye flour and a pinch of salt and leave it in a warm place for 1-2 days. It should start to smell sour and bubble slightly. This is the starter.

To make the bread:
Stir the yeast into the water in a large bowl. Add the sourdough starter and the other ingredients. The consistency should be like solid, thick porridge. Set aside a lump of this mixture to be the starter for the next time you bake and pour the rest of the dough into two large bread tins. Cover the tins with a clean cloth and leave the dough to rise for 4-6 hours. Bake at 160 ºC for 2 hours.

Durum wheat bread with pumpkinseeds

For 2 loaves, you will need:

100 g pumpkin seeds
400 g sifted spelt flour
20 g salt
1 l water
500 g durum wheat
10 g yeast

Stir the yeast into the water. Add the durum flour and stir well. Stir in the salt and half of the sifted spelt flour. Add the pumpkinseeds and then the rest of the flour. Leave the dough to rise, covered in the fridge overnight. The following day, take the dough out of the fridge a couple of hours before baking. Place a baking sheet or stone in the oven and set it to 250 degrees. Dust your hands and a work surface well with flour and turn the dough out onto the dusted surface. Divide it into 2 equal loves with a knife (do not knock the dough back). Place the loaves onto the pre-heated baking sheet or stone and bake them for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Then lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until they sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Place the loaves on a rack to cool slightly before slicing.

Slow rise spelt bread

For 2 loaves, you will need:

500 g unsifted spelt flour
2 tbsp salt
500 g flour (hvedemel)
8 dl water
2 tbsp honey
10 g yeast

Dissolve the yeast in the water and stir in the spelt flour, honey and salt. Mix in the hvedemel to make a batter - it shouldn't be solid but rather the consistency of porridge. Pour the batter into 2 greased bread tins. Each should be half full leaving space for the dough to rise. Place the tins in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Remove the tins from the fridge and bake at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes. Take the loaves out of the tins and tap them on the bottom - they should sound hollow. Let the bread cool slightly before slicing.

Tip - you can add different nuts or seeds to the dough. Spices and herbs also taste good in this bread.

And if the home baking doesn't appeal (or there isn't time), Aarstiderne can bring a selection of everyday breads from Høyers Bakery to your door for 98 DKK.

Everyday breadbox

1 x loaf seeded rye bread ca. 500 g
1 x loaf wheat sourdough ca. 500 g
1 x Country style baguette ca. 400 g
6 x seeded rolls ca. 55 g

All breads are part-baked and come with instructions for the baking to be finished by you at home. They are best stored in the fridge and can be kept this way (before finishing) for up to 14 days. After they have been baked, wheat breads can be kept for 1-2 days or rye bread for 4-5 days, at room temperature.

(Katherine Ball)

Friday 23 March 2012

Prosecco: Something for the Weekend

How lucky we are this year compared to last that the end of March finds us enjoying warm sunshine with lots more on the way. I am planning to drag the barbecue from its hibernation tomorrow and fire up the coals once again. An early supper, a celebration of summer in the late afternoon. The welcome thought of long warm days is tantalizingly close now and with it the promise of lazy lunches in the sun accompanied by fresh salads and BBQ favourites. 
What better than a cold crisp glass of Prosecco from Villa Teresa, to toast the start of summertime on Sunday? Il Biologico-wines from Villa Teresa are produced by the Tonon family in the Veneto region, the best area for the Prosecco grape, just north of Venice. All Villa Teresa wines are characterized by being well-made, well rounded and very easy to drink. Perfect as an apéritif or easy accompaniment to that Friday night sushi. Of course, this weekend our household will be popping a bottle or two outside in the garden alongside the beautifully cooked organic steaks and freshest roast vegetable salads. I can't wait.  

Prosecco from Villa Teresa boxes are available to order now online from
6 bottles.
450 kr

Comment by Berlingske Tidende wine tests in Summer 2005: "Subtle nose with hints of apples and a hint of grapefruit. Lovely clean sparkling wine from northern Italy. Super as an apéritif".

Grapes: Prosseco
Year: 2004
Alcohol: 11% vol
Blow Sweetness: 12 g / l
SO2: Fri: 25 mg / l Total: 83 mg / l EU max. 210 mg / l
Culture: Organic
Certification: AIAB


Wednesday 21 March 2012


High sun and a huge pile of dung, dung from the cowshed! Its lovely dung to be ploughed into the ground so that in the following year the earth is replenished with lovely fresh nutrients for its millions of living beings. Without them, there is no fertility.

And the dirt is not just muck. In biodynamic farming dung is particularly loved and is treated with a mixture of herbal medicines. Just like in homeopathy, we use dandelion, yarrow, nettle, valerian, camomile and oak bark. All these are well-known herbs used not just in alternative medicine but in schnapps manufacture, tanning and much more. The herbs undergo a lengthy process and when they are added to the dung, it resembles mould. No wonder for the herbs are decomposed. We very gently make a hole in the dung and then pour in a little of the herb preparation.

This treatment encourages the dung compost and all the great nutrients that will be supplied to the land by the converted fertilizer.

Krogerup Breeding Farm is on the way to becoming accredited as a biodynamic agricultural farm, this is called the Demeter authentication. The use of the herbal preparation to encourage the dung compost is a pre-requisite of the accreditation.

In the coming weeks we will be throwing ourselves into the Spring work. We have to spread the dung, plough, till and seed. We'll cultivate a big vegetable garden and a large area where we will have some historical varieties too and much more. It all requires dung.

As was once said, 'It's shit that puts the cake on the table'!

[Translated by Katherine Ball from an original post in the Aarstiderne Farmer Blog by Per Kølster]

Monday 19 March 2012

A very delicious; Spring Brunch at the farm



Roasted vegetables with a brunch sausage

Smoked salmon with fresh pesto

Granola topped fresh natural yoghurt

Apple and blackcurrant juice

Cinnamon bun...... yummy yum yum!

(Photographs by SMcW)

Thursday 15 March 2012

Spring brunch at the farm

Aarstiderne's spring brunch - Sunday 18 March 2012

Join us for Aarstiderne's spring brunch at Krogerup!

This Sunday, start your day in the beautiful surroundings of the Aarstiderne farm at Krogerup in Humlebæk and enjoy a spring outing with family and friends. The kitchen will be alive with the wonderful flavours of the season and will be offering delicious biodynamic yoghurt, freshly baked bread with cheeses and jams, spicy brunch sausages, fresh vegetables and much more.

It won't be too early in the day to taste the farm's own brew, PerKølster, or, if you prefer, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or a warm cup of coffee instead (its an optional extra, so its up to you!).

You will also be able to buy breakfast breads, delicious waffles or breakfast porridge served with a crunchy topping.

As ever, the farm shop will be open so you can buy lots of wonderful organic produce to take home. Treat yourself and your family to a delicious organic spring brunch at the farm this Sunday. See you there!

Sunday 18 March 2012 - 10 am til 2 pm

135 Kr (coffee from 25 Kr)

Krogerupvej 3, Humlebæk


Wednesday 14 March 2012

Sustainable Food Production

The definition of sustainability is not straightforward.

If we look at the extreme, fruits and vegetables would be stored in a pit instead of a refrigerator and meat eaten fresh, salted or smoked. Goods would be delivered via alternative energy transport in their organic unpackaged state. Ultimately one would eat only food produced in close proximity to oneself and done so without the use of fossil energy. 
Not too many generations ago we were a lot closer to this level of sustainability than we are today. I clearly remember my grandmother's pantry with all sorts of pickled product from the seasons, jams, jellies and juices. She even candied cherries for cherry sauce in preparation for Christmas rice à l'impératrice. In the garden, she had two pits, one for fruits and one for root vegetables and cabbage. The rest of the garden's harvest waited quietly in her freezer where she hid the blanched peas, beans and other goodies.

Today we are unfortunately far in the opposite direction. A basic global calculation in food production shows that 10 Kcal are used to produce a single edible Kcal. Which makes not just environmental bad sense but is also a serious consideration for business productivity.

If we at Aarstiderne could determine the future of global food production, then our goal is to see energy efficiency once again firmly in the opposite direction and sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
And while we know very well that we have far to go, Aarstiderne aim to face the right direction and to constantly evolve our own sustainability. We neutralize our emissions, have a "no fly policy" and focus strategically on the many wonderful local products that we find.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Food Rules

"Food Rules" by Michael Pollan - RSA/Nominet Trust competition from Marija Jacimovic on Vimeo.

"Our friend and "go to" guy on food resource, Michael Pollan has created this great little video that says it all!

In the developing countries it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to create 1 calorie of food energy - so it doesn't take long to figure out that industrialised food production is not the way to go. This will, of course, all come to a natural end once we find the correct market price for production in a world with limited fossil fuel energy resources.

There is lots of food in the world - we just need to seriously adjust our resource consumption.

A cow "drinks" 250 l of diesel oil while occupying 1 hectare of land. In comparison one could produce 60 tons of carrots on that same one hectare. 

What do all these - and many more - statistics show.......well, just wait and see. There is a wonderful much greener future ahead of us."

Taken from


Saturday 3 March 2012

Connections and Conversations

Aarstiderne - the business

'Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.'
Mary Kay Ash, American entrepreneur 

A farmer, a chef, and the story of the bumble bee they said couldn’t possibly fly…..

That is how it all started at Aarstiderne. Thomas Hartung, a young farmer with an organic family farm joined forces with a young chef, Søren Ejlersen, ready to move beyond the gourmet kitchens to which he had grown accustomed, and together they based a dream, a vision and a business on what can essentially be boiled down to "connections and conversations". 

The foundation of Aarstiderne is a multi-layered one, so in a series of articles we will bring you the story behind, the vision for and the dream of “Aarstiderne". Here is a brief introduction.

A passion for organic farming and a dream of supplying organic goods to a large - and growing - part of the population make up the main ingredients of this story. At the core was and continues to be the conviction that Denmark was ready for a different kind of business, one that was internet based, one that would bring organic products straight from the fields to the urban doorsteps of families and last but not least, one that was deliberately inclusive of everyone involved.

Creating connections between farmers, hand picked to deliver the finest quality produce, and customers frustrated with the quality of supermarket fruits and vegetables, in search of a better yet affordable alternative, continues to be at the heart of this unique company. 
A strong online presence through blogs, pictures, recipes and instruction videos as well as a deliberate familiarity with the farmers, the chefs and everyone else behind Aarstiderne are instrumental in creating the kind of connections across the board that in turn allow for the creation of a strong foundation for the company.

And from the forged connections come the conversations. The opportunity to send word back to the producer, the chance to take a cooking lesson with one of the chefs, the fun of sending your child to a cooking class are but a few of the many and varied ways in which Aarstiderne ensures that all their relationships remain open and inclusive - creating and maintaining a group of growers, sellers, cooks and eaters who all enjoy being part of a strong and vibrant community dedicated to bringing a healthy life style based on sustainable, organic farming to kitchen tables across the country.
[Isabella Mousavizadeh Smith]
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