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Of salty air and fertile soil

Of salty air and fertile soil

Of salty air and fertile soil 640 480 SKANDINAVISK


Of salty air and fertile soil

Birkemosegaard Køkken by Marie Hertz & Martin Kvederis. Photographs by Stine Christiansen

The farm we are a part of sits on the coastline of the narrow north-western tongue of Sjælland, locally known as the Odde, facing due north toward the Swedish port of Gøteborg and the Oslo fjord, via the shallow, choppy waters of the Kattegat. The farm, Birkemosegaard, has been managed by four generations of the same family, the Andersens, and there are a dozen people employed on the farm itself plus a handful more in the store and the restaurant which we manage.
Birkemosegaard has been an organic and biodynamic farm since the 1960’s, one managed on the principle of giving more back to the soil than which is taken. The farm prioritises the natural symbiosis between soil fertility, plant growth and livestock, and focuses on distributing our produce to people in the local area. Thus, the farm has long been the supplier of a diversity of vegetables, wheat, barley, rye, fruit and berries, together with a fertilizing population of over one hundred cattle, to some of the leading restaurants of the ‘New Nordic Cuisine’ movement, including established names Noma, Geranium, Amass and Relæ. So it seemed a natural place for us to open our own small restaurant directly on the land from which the earth reveals its most pure bounty.
We live as one with the seasons and weather patterns, adapting our daily routines and our menus to the harvest of the moment. The job demands an inherent understanding of what the soil is telling us, and our pleasure is derived from repaying that knowledge with food that respects and celebrates its origin.
Thus the dishes we create , inevitably, are based on all the ingredients growing around us, each prepared simply, individually and without frivolity, all the best to reveal every unique texture and taste, and to reduce, to an absolute minimum, the journey from soil to fork. In the summer we even bring the tables outdoors to sit directly on the earth from which we eat. It’s a way of being that too many people appear to have forgotten, but it’s one we can’t imagine living without.

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