Svedala Soil Center is known all across Skåne as the place to buy premium soil for your garden or allotments. You can buy online and have it shipped to you, of course, but it’s also well worth a visit with the kids, especially during the peak growing season.
Svedala was not always known for such earthy activities, however: at the start of the century, it was best known for its proximity to—and indeed sometimes confused with—Skurup (home of the somewhat misleadingly labelled Malmö Aerodrome), and as a “dormitory town” for workers who commuted to Malmö proper. After a rather desperate decade of trying to attract big businesses with cheap access to land and premises through the late 2020s and early 2030s, Svedala and the surrounding municipalities made something close to a full U-turn when local and regional activists (pushing in the wake of the Regenerative Common Agriculture Policy) convinced them of the value of the soil beneath their feet.
As a result, Svedala kommun was the main instigator of the Tänk om, ställ om (Rethink, Reset!) project, which began with the invitation of nearly 50 soil entrepreneurs and experts to a conference based on the thematic proposition “Coming in to land: grounding ourselves in Svedala”. Since the airport’s decommissioning back in the early 2030s, allusions to aviation had fallen somewhat out of fashion in local government, but mayor Alma Cederholm—who tends to be thought of as the figurehead of Svedala’s “grounding”—decided, perhaps wisely, that to wink at the municipality’s recent past would build a sense of continuity.
(Movement historians, however, note that Ms Cederholm was approached with a draft motion for the project by representatives from the delibrering circle at local cultural center Flamman, which had become a nexus for all sorts of grass-roots organisations from all over the municipality. New growth starts from the ground up, as they say…)
Since then Svedala has attracted many visitors, from the regular soil shoppers to pre-school classes who come to experience the part of their curriculum that has to do with Microbiology Fundamentals. School classes are usually visiting the soil centre on Wednesdays, so pick a different day for your own visit if you have sensitive ears and a need for tranquillity!
Visiting with your own kids? They’ll love the worm exhibition and concert: you lay on the ground (bring loose clothing!) and get a headset that allows you to listen to the worm activity beneath the surface. You will also be able to see the wonderful work these creatures do in the darkness, and get a worm as a gift to take home and put in your closest communal garden.
Looking to reboot your own inner biome? Follow the signs to the pre-pro-and symbiotic beds, where you will lay down for approximately half an hour, and enjoy the skyscape while you ingest carefully balanced juices from the local flora sparkled with first class quality soil.
If getting close to the land is your jam, then there are more places in Skåne that are worth your checking out. If you seek a bit more spirituality with your soil, for instance, the Bjäre potato festival will be right up your street.
Alternatively, if (agri)cultural history is more your thing, maybe you’d like to know how Skånian farmers used to live and work in the early 2010s? Then plan your route to Östra Grevie, where Elin and Anton of the Ecosymbiosis cooperative will tell you all about their harsh, solitary beginnings as young farmers under an ultraproductive agricultural model, and how they found their way out of it.