Croft and manor
Björsbo translates to “bear’s dwelling”. Hundreds of years ago both bears and wolves were roaming the western parts of Småland. Nowadays though, it is mostly roe deer, foxes, hare and moose leaving tracks in the woods and being glimpsed through the trees when the fog lifts at dawn.
People have inhabited the area ever since the earliest records of the place, but most likely earlier as well. Originally Björsbo was a croft belonging to the large estate Åshuvud, a few kilometres stroll from the campsite. Around the former estate a beautiful little hamlet with several small farms and houses has emerged. Take the old trodden dirt road to the hamlet Ekholmen and you will understand why. The location is stunning, in height with the old oaks and the walking paths around the small lake in the valley below are breathtaking.
In Björsbo, just like other small crofts around the estate you leased a small piece of land to feed your family, and in exchange you performed day labour at Åshuvud. The whole family contributed to sowing, harvesting and autumn labour. In addition to these tasks, one also had to tend one’s own crops and livestock. A croft often changed leaseholders. The meadows around the old dwellings at Björsbo were used for cultivating and harvesting fodder for one’s own animals. Surely there were turnips among various other necessary crops being cultivated. Furthermore, potato crops were recently introduced to Swedish agriculture. Today, on the same site there are nicely located pitches for your motor home, caravan or tent.
Hunting and fishing were important to gather enough food for a poor croft family in Småland at this time. It was always close at hand here with the small woodland lakes around the corner. You can still get perch and pike on the hook in one of the lakes. Fishing permits are available at reception. Just like now, the woodland was full of berries during the late summer. The berries from the forest were a vital source of vitamins during the long and dark winter at the croft. It would still take some time before one had access to various exotic and vitamin-rich fruits such as oranges. Nowadays, you can easily take a bike ride to Karin’s Lanthandel in Kulltorp to resupply. You can find everything you need there – bread, fruit, vegetables, pasta, meat, ice cream, etc. Basic pharmacy products are sold there as well. Take the opportunity to have a cup of coffee in the café-corner and if you are lucky, some locals might show up and sit down for a chat.