At Øvre Kjekshus everything grows and sprouts for three months, and then we stare straight into a wall of nine months of consumption. In the summer months we are therefore very busy since everything we need for animal feed and winter vegetables must be planted, sown, fertilized, weeded, harvested and stored for a long winter.
Our animal are well taken care of and gives a lot back. We produce about 400 tons of milk, 20-25 tons of meat, 800 kg of wool and 25,000 eggs a year. Almost half of the milk is processed in Thorbjørnrud's cheese factory and most of the meat goes to the hotel restaurant. When it comes to what we pick up directly from the soil, we can mention that we harvest about 2 tons of Jerusalem artichoke, 0.5 tons of onions and 800 kg of beets a year, to give some kind of image of the scale of production.
About 6,000 working hours are spent on farm operations per year. The work is divided between the farmer and three wonderful assistants who work hard to keep this very down-to-earth, but complex, machinery running:
Salvatore is an enthusiastic and animal-loving Italian who speaks better Italian than Norwegian, and communicates equally well with sheep as he does with people. By education he is both cheese maker and agronomist. Salvatore has a great commitment to everything that grows and sprouts, and also takes part in the cheese making at Thorbjørnrud Cheese Factory.
Wojchech is our technician, originally from Poland and very fond of animals. He is hardworking and always looking for better solutions - which comes in handy on a constantly evolving farm!
Sylvester is a quiet guy with a lot to offer and great work ethic. He is an animal lover, has great working capacity and puts his honor in doing things really well.
It requires a lot of logistics and services for such an active farm as Øvre Kjekshus. Our operations are therefore naturally associated with countless local service providers such as veterinarian, feed supply, transport, agricultural contractor, sheep clipper and plumber, to name a few. We are delighted to be able to help keep employment up in our local community, and appreciate the local affiliation it gives us to be part of a larger network of good people who unite and create value in the Norwegian countryside.
But there are several that help us succeed in a production where sustainability, local resources, animal welfare, cultural landscapes and food are central to identity and culture. A big thank you to Nortura, Tine and Felleskjøpet for contributing expertise, service and distribution.