Standing outside of a gårdsbutik/farm shop called Äggboden, where a variety of woven goods for sale are displayed. This shop is located along Sandövägen in Vallda, Halland country, along the west coast of Sweden. At fifty percent summer sale discount this basket, I thought, would be nice for a bushel of apples that are just coming becoming ripe for the season.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2018
One thing I love doing during summers in Sweden is to drive along the west coast of Sweden and visit small farms and flea markets along the way. Halland county is about a 2 hour drive south of the city of Gothenburg. We counted about four flea markets situated around the area of Lerkil and Smarholmen that we found by driving around some.
The region is full of small farms and private markets of whatever those who live there can think up to entertain tourists and temporary guests. One that has stuck in my memory was a place where they had combined an outdoor café, a barnyard flea market with a small farm animal zoo. On our comments about a particularly cute shaggy little pony, the managing lady said, “We love to have visitors over to give our animals something to look at.”
In today’s drive, a serendipitous find of a small beach that made for a good bathing spot at Smarholmen came when we were looking at a garage flea market cum Antiques shop, at a house located at the corner of the beach. In entrepreneurial spirit, the owner had also set up a small seaside café that served ice-cream and waffles to visitors.
Apart from flea markets and good bathing beaches, Halland is also well-known for its small farm produce, from single farmed cheeses to tomatoes and potatoes grown in limited quantities. It was the search for a lunch eatery in Vallda that led us to Äggboden, a tiny farm boutique across Vallda Pizzeria located along Sandövägen.
Entering the shop, all produce were beautifully stored and neatly displayed for the picking. The payment system is based on communal trust. To the left of the shop entrance is a table with a notebook. Customers are to write down what they take out of the boutique in the notebook, and pay either by cash or by swish.
Grocery shopping is usually dampened after a meal, in particular, if that meal happened to have been a kebab pizza. So our farm shopping turned to nought even as inviting as the produce looked sitting in their wooden crates on display. Still, Äggboden is on our map of future farm shops to revisit, next time, perhaps before lunch.
The cash counter, by the fresh laid eggs.