The fisher-farmer, his family and toil.
Skaftnes • Lofoten
The life of a fisherman’s wife was not easy in the old days. Fishing was a dangerous occupation for those who faced the sea, but the payoff could be substantial and worth the risk.
The women and children stayed home on the farm when the men ventured out to sea. A feeling of foreboding hung in the air as they longed for the safe return of father and husband. While he return safely, or will they never see him again?
In any case, life goes on. The crops and livestock on the farm have to be attended to. The toil of daily life wore out everyone. The life we live today is very different from the past. The country store had to stock nearly everything the villagers needed that they were unable to produce with their own hands. There was always plenty of work to do and obligations to fulfil.
The northern Norwegians have lived as fisher-farmers for a thousand years. The landscape was beautiful yet wild; it was a difficult environment to live in and provided meagre sustenance. Everyone living here must learn to adapt to the drastic changes the seasons bring throughout the year. The bipartite economy of fishing and agriculture was the life-blood of the north until very recently.
The first time we read of Skaftnes in written sources is 1613. In the 1800s Skaftnes was a tiny fishing village with only 7 – 8 boats. The first independent owner of the fishing village was Abraham Krantz Pedersen, from 1860-1870. Skaftnes’ economy in the years that followed was based on fishing and the buying and selling of fish. Magnus Hansen took control of the farm in 1950. He put a lot of effort into clearing the land of stone and investing in crop production. He also planted trees, perennials and alliums around the house. He was awarded the NY JORDS diploma for his efforts. He also planted trees, perennials and alliums around the house.
All the houses on the farm can be visited in the summer. You can go back to the old days by exploring the houses inside and out, and enjoy the positive energy that seems to grow from the soil. The farm is located in beautiful surroundings off the beaten path, but it is not difficult to get here.