Food & Drink
Småland - green in nature and on the table
In Småland green food is at the centre, and organic cultivations and KRAV-labelled restaurants are common. Our region is large and each part has their own specialties, but generally we all prefer locally grown organic produce.
Most restaurants and cafés take their inspiration from Småland’s nature: its forests, lakes, meadows and greenery. Some years ago, the urban cultivation project Östrabo Ekobacke was started in Växjö, a ‘city farm’ that is KRAV certified and supplies many of Växjö’s restaurants as well as private individuals with vegetables and root crops.
Ekobacken is an open place at which everyone is welcome to shop or just enjoy the environment. The cultivation is managed by the Macken Cooperative in partnership with the Municipality of Växjö. Study visits are also arranged and, time/resources permitting, outdoor cooking for groups. The season at Ekobacken ends with a harvest festival.
Sweden’s biggest food fair
Every year in September the food fair MAT, (Mat in Swedish meaning Food.) Sweden’s biggest fair for small-scale, locally produced food, is arranged in Växjö. More than a hundred food producers and culinary artists, primarily from Småland but also the rest of Sweden, attract some 50,000 visitors. The unique thing about the MAT event is the combination of forums and experiences together with several different participants. The aim is many different voices with the common denominator that they have some link to locally produced and sustainable meals.
Bondens egen Marknad (The farmer’s own market)
On a number of occasions in late summer and early autumn, Bondens egen Marknad comes to Växjö. Producers of locally grown and processed products from the county and its surroundings offer their own products – without any middlemen.
The farms are located within a distance of 250 km of the market, which guarantees that the products come from the region. Bondens egen Marknad reduces ‘the food miles’.
KRAV - a key player in the organic market in Sweden
The KRAV-label stands for sound and natural environments, solid care for animals, good health and social responsibility. Products with the label fulfil KRAV's requirements and are properly controlled at least once every year.
Below are some ideas on places to visit if you are interested in local producers and close-to-nature food experiences in Småland.
Sustainable food in Vimmerby
Lilla Sverigebyn in Vimmerby is a holiday village with a restaurant and café where they have chosen to work with plant-based produce only. Well-cooked food prepared with love means that vegan food can be enjoyed by everyone here. For example, you can buy vegan barbeque packages and the tasty (n)ice cream from Glasstrolleriet is made from rice milk and frozen fruit.
An open KRAV farm with a sustainable theme. You can eat at the farm’s Ekocafé and restaurant and buy from the farm shop, which includes local produce and organic food. Ingebo Hagar runs on solar energy and is built from ecological materials. It also has a battery-charging point – so now you can charge your car with solar power. The gardens are cultivated organically and bio-dynamically. The garden café primarily serves products from here.
Health and gourmet walk on Korrö
A health and culinary tour in Korrö’s beautiful nature reserve. A nature guide will take you to different stations with tastes of delicacies from the region – everything from home-made sausage to local cheese and juice. On the tour, the guide will talk about edible plants and nature’s beings. Website in Swedish, but you can find contact details there.
Västerslät Farm Shop
The Västerslät farm, north of Kalmar, is in full production with their own fields of rape and traditional grains aswell as lambs and pigs. The farm shop is large with a café and a range of local products, but most importantly their own meat cuts and charcuteries. The idea is that the animals should live as well as possible and that the customers should know where the food comes from.
Open Farm Shed Shop
Sounds confusing? It's very simple actually! The busy farmers Rita and Lennart in Ugglekull, on the countryside in the Åsnen's National Park area, open up their shed in the summer for passers-by to pop in and shop for daily fresh local produce. You'll find all kinds of vegetables and fruits, their own apple juice and sometimes honey or eggs. There is no staff of waiting. Just pick what you want and leave the money in the milk churn. Delicious self service!
Rudenstam's Farm Shop
In the apple valley, north of Jönköping, you will find this farm shop that is great for bying local raw ingredients and locally produced food. Fruit and vegetables from their own farms are served during the harvest season. Other ingredients are as locally produced as possible, most of them from the store's immediate vicinity. Rudenstam's specialty is apple juice. You can find this drink and many more in the farm shop.
Sjöborgen Brew House
Peter and Malin at Sjöborgen truly lives the country life to the fullest, living off what they produce at the farm. The idea is to take those hyper-local flavours and transform them into a great meal in their outdoor cooking restaurant, or into tasty non alcoholic beverages in their Brew House. For example, ever tried drinking fennel or raspberry leaves? Their "Pork and Potato-Tuesdays" are a big hit with the locals.
Tastes of Tjust
Sustainable, local, tasty out in the countryside. This food and culture tour is arranged every year in September in the region around Västervik. Farm shops, cafés, restaurants and farms, to name a few, take part.
We must of course not forget Sweden’s biggest harvest festival – a quick journey from Kalmar across the bridge will take you to Öland’s harvest festival at the end of September.
Local farms and food in Småland
Fresh ingredients and a sustainable way of farming is the start of a great food experience. Food is fantastic on a plate, hand crafted by a skilled chef, but isn't it even better once you have seen the actual place it comes from? Nature is always close by in Småland and local producers are plentiful. Come and visit!