Bertejaure Farm is placed in the center of Vindelfjallen Nature reserve and with a foaming river – the Vindelalven – close by. The mountains and the arctic climate has always been the fundament for growing and living in this area. People of the Mountains have constantly been challenged by the different shades of nature and always managed this struggle with courage, creativity and an ability to survive. Some of the survivors were active here, at the farm.
Our ancestor –”Grouse Joseph” – was only a young teenager when encountering the year of the great famine in 1868. His survival in the winter of 1869 was based on lemmings and voles – for food. In 1870 he learnt how to ski across the mountains to Mo i Rana in Norway to get help with supplies. Later on Joseph met a merchant, L A Meyer, and the two became friends. This was the beginning of more than forty years of trading. Joseph opened a small shop, organized caravans of horses for the exchange of goods with Norway, built up his farm with houses, barns and cattle, harvested hay and crops and went fishing in Lake Bertejaure to feed his household.
My Grandfather Engelbert was called ”the Blacksmith”. He was a much sought for helper in technical problems or problems with fierce bears threatening reindeer or sheep. He faced a trial endangering his legal right to use private properties for fishing and took it to the High Court and won. Because of this we still have our farmland close to the mountains. Engelbert became a widower; his children moved out and went to other places and farming decayed. His house was ruined by fire and he got a small cabin for his old age near to the Vindelalven where he lived with one of his sons.
My father, George, was born in times of economic despair and was declared the owner of the farm at the age of three. He learnt all about farming, but industrialism had found its way into Sweden. He tried being a miner, professional skier, factory worker, night watch, worked in a mental hospital, worked as a sports journalist, performed as a Fauquier and worked in the forest cutting timber. After handling logs for many years his left shoulder was damaged and he moved home to his native village again. He built up and managed a cabin-village; tourism had come to replace farming in the mountains. He built many cabins and small huts and saw his future in these projects. He also constructed the tractor-road known as ”the Georges Road” connecting our village with the mountain lake.
My name is Urban, and I became a drama-teacher and worked ten years in Umeå. When my parents wanted to retire I thought that a life tending tourists could be worth trying. I moved back to the village together with Marita Norin, the artist designing the Swedish ten-krona coin. We chose ”art and lodging” as our theme. We re-built an old barn with eight corners into a modern house for meetings and courses. We named the house “the Threshing barn of Love” after a poem from Khalil Gibran. We were successful more than ten years, but then Marita got an incurable disease and the company halted. She died in 2021.
Our farm today
One year I wrote a letter on the website of the Storytellers of Sweden and got in contact with Christina Öster, guide and storyteller from Vermland. We started exchanging letters and soon liked our conversation so much we became a couple. Christina moved here in 2019 and together we are running this business concept:
Forestry and agriculture including foodcrafts, Café, lodging and fishing tourism. Cultural events and guided tours with a speciality – Storytelling.
We have two apartments, open all year round, on the forest edge that are suitable for people travelling two and two, or for the small family. We also have a house nearby for a larger family or for travelers with a dog. Guests can use our nice sauna on the premises. In summertime we also offer small rustic cabins for an easy vacation away from electricity.
This is the place where my ancestors used to catch fish for their self-supportive household. Today the waters carry rowing boats with fishermen, and women, celebrating their vacation. The area is away from cars and roads and close to mountains and wildlife. My camp is suitable for small groups or families engaging in a sustainable fishing. There is a limit of ten guests per day, using my five boats and living in up to five different cabins. You are very seldom feeling crowded at lake Bertejaure.
Christina has a small factory called ”Fjällfrö” (Mountainseed). She produces two different blends of cereals for your healthy porridge breakfast – the Vindelalv porridge and the Bertejaure porridge. Bags with her mix are sold at local markets and from ten resellers around Sweden. One of our specialties is the Angelica Archangelica, a native plant used for medicine and food. We grow it and use the dried leaves and seeds as spice in the Bertejaure porridge. Growing rhubarb and potatoes is possible in this arctic climate and we are clearing the former farm ground from trees and bushes to restart cultivation of more vegetables.
Kafé Vindelälvan (Café of the Vindel River Fairy)
The Logo of our café is a design made by Marita Norin in 2001 during a project for female entrepreneurs in Sorsele Municipality. It celebrates female entrepreneurship and is also the symbol of the free-flowing river – Vindelalven. Our café is open on weekends and during the tourist seasons. We are developing our own pastries and bread from local ingredients and inspiration from books, media and friends. Our café is the place for cultural events, meal tourism and co-working.
By car: Follow the Road 363 from Umeå or the E45 via Östersund to Sorsele. Then turn left and use the road 363 to Ammarnäs. It is a scenic route following the Vindelalven River. On arrival in Ammarnäs you turn left by the Bus Stop and directly to the right. This is the road called Nolsivägen and you follow it for 2 km to reach our place.
Travellers by train: There are trains to Östersund or Umeå and from either of these cities you continue by bus via Sorsele to Ammarnäs. We can arrange for your transfer if you let us know your estimated time of arrival. The Bus Stop is only 2 km from our place.
In summertime there is a tourist friendly transport via the Inland Railroad via Östersund to Sorsele. There is a bus once or twice a day from Sorsele to Ammarnäs. Welcome to Lapland!