While nature has been asleep we have been busy at the farm making improvements to the cottages. This is the reason why the cottages have not been available for rent for most of the winter season.
In Villa Grönborg we have rearranged the furniture a bit, and made the living room even more cosy by changing the sofas and arm chairs. My kind sister gave me a classic brown leather Chesterfield sofa set, that sits beautifully in the cottage setting. Also, we have added book shelves to both the living room and the upstairs landing. I have filled these bookshelves with books for my guests to enjoy, and indeed you are more than welcome to take home any book you desire with the principle that what comes around goes around - just pay it forward with a random act of kindness to a stranger!
At Stensund we made major modernisations to the sewage system. We used to have a really old sewage system, where the grey water and balckwater followed the same pipes, which was un-ecological to say the least. So this winter we redid the water pipes in both the old farmhouse and Kavaljersflygeln, and separated the grey water from the blackwater sewage. In the picture to the right the new system is visible hidden under the snow.
Now, the sewage from the toilets go into sealed tanks that are emptied regularly, while all the grey water from showers, sinks and washing machines go into a water purifier that cleans the water from harmful chemicals and fertilisers such as phosphates that are bad for the nature.
In areas close to the sea it is even more important than inlands to be careful what nutrients leak out into the environment, as it is almost always the nutrient phosphorus that causes eutrophication. Overfeeding often leads to a lack of oxygen in the water, which when severe leads to the number of plant and animal species in the water decreasing.
We actually have quite clean water next to us, but because the seabed consists mostly of clay the sea water is always murky. The poisonous algae that invades the Baltic Sea in July doesn't reach us, as we are so far along the inlet. We might not have a horizon to look at, but in my mind the absence of algae blooms in the sea is a great advantage of being tucked away in the inner archipelago.