The biggest visiting garden in Scandinavia is right here in Odder

Just outside Odder you can find Økologiens Have or in English, the Organic Garden, which is the biggest visiting garden in Scandinavia.

By Thorri Gunnarsson

I talked to one of two gardeners at the garden, Nanna, who said the garden is all about communicating nature.


“Our job is spreading the word about how to grow vegetables and take care of the soil without using any pesticides and how you can have more flowers which are insect friendly”.

Nanna´s job as a gardener is mainly working in the plant nursery and also doing tours around the garden for school groups. Besides Nanna there is another hired gardener whose name is Hanna. But that does´t mean that only two people work there as the garden has around 50 volunteers helping out, mostly elderly people from the local area.

In the Garden there are dozens of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers growing as well as a very small farm that has animals including Goats and Donkeys. The garden also has a café and a small shop where you can buy products made with the crops from the garden.

The garden is mainly funded through memberships where people pay money every year to become a part owner of the garden. Odder Municipality also supplies the garden with some money but not very much according to Nanna. As well as the membership, the garden also has it´s directors board which takes all of the bigger decisions regarding the future of the garden.

Nanna´s days at work vary. Some days Nanna has a tour to do, other days she is in the plant nursery, but it also depends on the season. The gardeners make all of the plants themselves so in the spring they make all of the seed and plant it into pots ready for the next season. In the summer it's a lot of customer talk and selling plants and in the fall it's preparing all of the plants they want to sell during the next season.
 

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Without being sure, Nanna estimated that the garden receives around 10.000 visitors every year, in the winter the majority of visitors are locals and school groups but in the summer period there are a lot of tourists from all around the world who come and see the area.Nanna´s favorite vegetables to grow are their perennial vegetables, which are vegetables that grow back instead of being resown every season. One of those is called a Stolthenriks-gåsefod which is a vegetables that acts really similar to spinach so Nanna uses that a lot instead of spinach in various dishes.