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Wild glamping with a taste of Inderøy

The longing for nature got to be too strong. That's why Ane quit her office job and started foraging wild edible plants for Michelin restaurants. In the forests of Inderøya Ane and her partner have created glamping and workshops to attract city dwellers into nature.

Text and photo: Silje Kolaas

- We'd love for people to be close to nature here and discover all the wonderful things we have around us. We have unique experiences here, lots of wildlife and an abundance of wild edible plants. We have so many exciting flavors all around us, says Ane Marit Willmann.

The couple of Villnis refer to themselves an 'enthusiastic duo' at the small farm of Venåsen in Inderøy. The Venåsen Farm has a long history that goes all the way back to the year of 1430.

We are Villnis: Ane Marit Willmann and Geir Arne Myren live close to nature at Venåsen in the county of Inderøy in Trøndelag. Here they gather wild edible plants for restaurants, offer glamping and foraging workshops. They will be putting in another glamping tent as they are expecting more visitors this summer season.

- Here at Venåsen we forage for wild edible plants for restaurants, distilleries and breweries. Here you can book a stay in our glamping tents and we have workshops and classes in foraging and cooking, Ane says. She started the company called Villnis in Norwegian, which loosely translates to 'a thicket of wild brush'. Ane previously had the company Vill Mat ('Wild Foods'). Ane has both worked as a media analyst and as a consultant at The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (Nibio). Plants and nature have always played a major role in her life, which is why she quit her office job and started foraging wild plants and sharing her knowledge. 

- I feel passionate about exciting flavors and food produced with thought and consideration for people, animals and nature, Ane says. She has a lot of knowledge about wild plants, and skills and experience in how they are used as food and drink in both modern and old times.

The glamping tent is nicely decorated with leather, pillows, candles and a comfortable bed. The wood stove burns nicely and the hosts have paid attention to the details. In the outdoor bathroom there is warm water in jugs for washing. You can hear woodpeckers and lots of other birds singing, you may want to watch the neighboring squirrels or go for walks in the forest.

The other half of the duo is Ane's partner Geir Arne Myren. He has been working as an industrial worker for 20 years before he went to school for nature management. Geir Arne is passionate about reuse and sustainable use of natural resources. In addition to working at Villnis he is also the caretaker at Sund Folkehøgskole, a nearby boarding school in the Nordic Folk High School tradition. 

Digital detox and natural light

- Venåsen is situated away from cities and artificial light. It gets very dark here at night and you can lay down on the reindeer skin and look up at the stars. Call it digital detox if you wish. There are a lot of people who spend the entire day in artificial light. It may be a good thing to get away and live closer to nature for a little while, Geir Arne says. 

Springtime is the season for seaweed harvesting. Did you know that there is a variety of seaweed that tastes like bacon? The seaweed is harvested in the ocean near Inderøy.  Here by the campfire Ane and Geir Ane host their workshops and classes in cooking and foraging skills. And the glamping tent is just nearby.

Fried egg and 'seaweed bacon.' The eggs are collected just a few meters away from the campfire and the 'bacon' is a type of red seaweed called dulse (Palmaria palmata). It is full of protein and flavor.

- Frying seaweeds in butter is something you can do with nearly all the species of seaweed. When we're at the beach at low tide it's a fun way of preparing seaweeds during a workshop, Ane says.

- We not only wish to convey a certain type of lifestyle, but also to live it. We want to bring old traditions into modern times, and utilize the resources on the farm and the nearby land. We'd like to be an example of a lifestyle and a business where sustainability and presence is at the center. For us that means not overusing and not using resources in ways they are not meant for, Ane says.

In addition to having the forest and the ocean nearby they also have a food and a herb garden and a greenhouse. 

Here Ane is trying a new kind of Camembert cheese from the Inderøya cheese farm Gangstad Gårdsysteri. The cheese is warmed on the fire. Villnis works closely with the local food producers at Inderøya. When you stay in one of the glamping tents you receive a food box with local gourmet foods from the Inderøy area.

Camembert served warm over the campfire with strawberries or olive bread from Gulburet. Tastes like heaven. 

- In the food box we for our guests there is a cheese with locally harvested caraway seeds from Gangstad Dairy Farm. We feel so fortunate that we can serve our guests such a wide selection of locally produced food. They get apple juice from Inderøy Mosteri, chocolate from Bjørka in Sparbu, bread from Gulburet and coffee from Øver-bakken Coffee Roasters, Ane says. 

 Trøndelag overnight stays with local food

People want an active and sustainable vacation in 2021

Virke Reiseliv's survey about people's vacation plans for 2021 shows that 6 in 10 people are planning their vacation for the summer. On their website Virke writes that more people than before are planning an active vacation. Hiking and other nature based experiences with family and friends seem to attract a lot of people.

23 percent replies to the survey that sustainability is more important to them now than before the pandemic, while only five percent replies that sustainability is less important to them than previously. 

– It's more important now for people to choose vacations that consider the environment and sustainability. This is a trend that has become more prevalent throughout the pandemic, says Astrid Bergmål in Virke Reiseliv in a press release.

Unique places to spend the night in Trøndelag

 

 

When staying at Villnis you'll come close to nature and experience the flavors of Inderøy. The couple is putting in another glamping tent and more exciting workshops in foraging and cooking with wild edibles will be happening this summer.

Looking for local food artisans? Here is an overview with road descriptions from where you are

Got great tips about the food region of Trøndelag? Please contact silje@oimat.no

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