Sensory Academy is located on a tiny homestead in Arctic Norway, that used to be worked by Asle and his wife Sanni, who lived off of the land. Asle, by the way, may have been the only man in the world to lose one arm twice (?!)… But that’s another story for a cozy evening around the campfire, under the northern lights…

What really stands out as inspirational, was Asle’s stamina and perseverance… One armed, he would continue working as a lumberjack, pick and sell berries and fish on the fjord and in the mountain lakes all through the year, while Sannie cared for vegetables in the garden and the household. To make a living, they also rented out the small rooms to Finnish friends and relatives of Sanni, who came to fish in the Kvænangsfjord and do sauna sessions during their visits.

After the passing away, first of Sanni and later Asle, the homestead was left uninhabited for about 16 years, while Eilif (who enherited the land after his older brother Asle) continued as caretaker, maintaining buildings and cutting trees for firewood for as long as he had the health to do so. Eventually, with the passing of his wife, Reidun, and a deteriorating health of his own, he began to contemplate finding someone else to care for the house. He valued the house being the home of somebody, and as the saying goes in Norway, he preferred «lys i husan» (light in the houses) as he was an avid advocate for vibrant district communities and diversity…


«I will be forever grateful to Eilif who, after conducting a series of lovely, meaningful conversations with me over a summer, eventually offered me to «adopt» what had been the home of his brother Asle and his sister-in-law Sanni. I moved in with the intention of reviving the little homestead and making it the temporary Arctic «home of explorers and wanderers»…. while developing a nature-based platform for my vision Sensory Academy»

Louise, founder

The homestead today

Since 2020 we are happy to host guests who want to experience a simple, Nordic lifestyle in inspiring settings. More than anything, we consider our presence here a quiet «custodianship» of nature and time. Sensory Academy hosts our guests in smal, exclusive groups only, so as to give each visitor the space and time they need.

In exchange, each visitor contributes with commitment and creativity to our vision of sustainable regeneration, by presence as well as participation.

August 2020: the motorcycle explorers Henriette and Paw from Denmark, and Stian from Oslo, are enjoying dinner, campfire and conversation

Many guests have been (re)visiting us for the past years, to experience their own presence in this glorious nature, while leaving an imprint of their own, by injecting beautiful energy into this space.

August 2020: A & A from Denmark are cooking us a delicious meal from today’s fishing

The property

A treasure map would lead you to the diverse natural treasures of this property…

The «Sensory Garden»

Nearest to the main buildings, we’re gradually building a sensory garden with aromatic, colorful perennial wild herbs and vegetables. Taking a relaxed walk around the garden, while indulging in smells and tastes, is very calming and grounding.

The «Rock Land»

Just north-west of The Wood Shack, there is an area filled with rocks spread over the land is if thrown in anger by a giant, rocks old as time… Challenging ones balance and off-track skills while jumping from steppingstone to steppingstone, is something out of the concrete-city-ordinary. In the months of September and October you can pick ripe «tyttebær»and blueberries between the roocks, which are rich in nutrients and known to be used in folkloric herbal medicine to this day.

The «Fairytale Forrest»

East of the beautiful, red barn, a magical, secretive forrest path in between the rich pine trees, will eventually lead you to our secret hideaway «The Magic Meadow» less than half a kilometre away… Enjoy your «shinrin yoku» (forrest bath in Japanese), submersing yourself in the forrest sounds and calming energy, beneath the steep mountain walls.

«The Magic Meadow»

Deep inside the Fairytale Forrest, you’ll find the Magic Meadow, a secluded, enigmatic area, well protected from the Arctic winter winds, howling in from the fiord.

The «Blissful Boat House»

If you cross the public road below the old barn, and follow the tiny single trail to the shore of the fiord, you’ll encounter a pristine rock beach with gorgeous views over fiord and mountains. Tide and ebb are offering distinct experiences several times a day. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see tiny porpoises, or impressive white tailed sea eagle chasing seagull babies and fish…In case of rain you can seek the comfort of our tiny boat house hut, where you’ll also find rowboat and fishing equipment.

The «Adventure Trail»

If you’re up for a mountain trip, we advise you to take the ascending trail behind the house, up on the mountain. It’s a smooth access way to the alpine paradise above our farm, without the use of motorized vehicle. Along the way you’ll find charming way points and potential camp sites to enjoy.

«Juniper Junction»

Just above the main buildings, we’ve cleared a tiny space for you to enjoy. It’s the perfect spot, tucked in between juniper bushes, to enjoy a quiet moment with a scenic view over the fiord and mountains, while inhaling the aromatic juniper shrubs.

The «Love Lake»

Pekkajavri is our lovely heart shaped lake, only half an hour’s uphill hike from the farm. We find this scenic spot to be a gorgeous wild camp site in the wilderness, and encourage you to check it out as a romantic camping destination. Behind the lake, you’ll find a generous cloudberry field during the months of July and August, which even the mosquitoes can’t keep us away from…

Regen-project

While a neighbouring, conventionally run, meat cattlefarm overtook the vast majority of our field over the course of the first year, Sensory Academy was left with 1500m2 designated farmland. Not a huge area, agreed. Hardly even a field, if you think monoculturally, that is. But luckily we don’t think monoculture. We aim for diversification, not desertification. Though now formally caracterized by the municipal agricultural administration as «highly weakened farming conditions«, we’re convinced this tiny «field» will be plenty for us. The restricted agricultural space offers us opportunity for creative, regenerative horticultural exploration in the spirit of permaculture ideas. So while the whole ordeal turned out to be very energy devouring, it can also be acknowleged as an invitation to approach Sensory Academy with a spirit of hybrid innovation in the roam of experience co-creation.

October 2020: Melisa from Argentina is in the autumn garden with the house cat Spinn
Soil

Farmwise speaking, we’re mostly in the business of soil regeneration.

Waste recycling and compost

By 2020 we’re designing a circular system for the reuse of our organic trash through compost solutions. We already use the fermentation-based bokashi method for our household food leftovers. In the summer of 2022, we built a worm-based ( garden compost.

Food

Slowly, but steadily, we explore the infinite possibilities to transform what was mainly considered infertile land, weed and shrubbery into a food forrest.

Wild harvest

We already appreciate the diverse selection of wild herbs to care for and benefit from, for example fireweed (gjeitrams), mead (mjødurt), yarrow (ryllik), caraway (karve) and nettles (brennesle). And loads of wild berries, such as raspberries (bringebær), cowberries/lingonberries (tyttebær), blueberries (blåbær), crowberries (krekling) and cloudberries (multebær)…. In addition to herbs and berries, we have free access to sea weed, different pines and cones, for example juniper (einebær) and funghie such as chaga (chaga), chantarels (kantarell), stone mushroom (steinsopp) and so forth.

Wild nature

Sensory Academy still covers more than 370 acres of wild, raw wilderness, mostly rugged alpine landscape up to almost 800 metres above sea level, with gorgeous mountain lakes, fiord waters, pine forrest, aspen forrest… and a garden with our own private waterfall and stream. All, plenty suited for our vision as custodians of nature, which is already being challenged to the fullest by vast, multinational energy conglomerates’ push for more land, in order to expand industries for more economic growth. The way we see it, this land we roam must remain rewilded in order to increase biodiversity and living conditions. Not elsewhere, but everywhere. Right here.

Diversifying

So while we wish to achieve a certain level of resilience and self sufficiency in food supply by building a food forrest, we also choose to see this property as a wild place of ekstreme diversification potential. Which means: NOT trying to show off the perfect garden with perfectly cut grass lawn. But rather to let insects and birds thrive in the rotting wood we leave for them to benefit from. It means NOT plowing, but building soil improving hügelbeds for plants to grow on. It means NOT growing a large quantity of monocultural crops on the tiny field to produce the maximum amount of potatoes in the name of efficiency. But rather to grow a wide array of different plants, so that the diversity can become synergetic within this little patch of land, so far north, in such a challenging agricultural climate. It means NOT fishing for more than we can actually eat. But rather use as much of the fished as we possibly can, in order for nothing to go to waste. We hope to have «invisible underground help», from a rich symbiotic environment with the presence of mycorrhizal fungi.

Come here for the raw, physical, nature experience

So to sum it all up; If you prefer the wholesome, raw, real impact, you should definitely visit Sensory Acadmy for our «in situ experience»!