Jordgubbsdalens kungar. Bärodling i Finnerödja under 1900-talet
The Kings of the Strawberry Valley. Berry cultivation in Finnerödja during the 1900s.
The commercial strawberry cultivation in the Finnerödja area lasted for 70 years, starting in the 1920ies. The craftsmanship was passed on from generation to generation. In the 1960ies, the small-scale business represented 60 percent of Sweden’s market for strawberries. During this time, large investments were spent on development and promotion of the cultivation and with support from the College of Agriculture and Household Societies, coaching sessions as well as tests were conducted covering species, breeding, fertilizing, transportation, crop-spraying. There is limited documentation about the local strawberry farmers from this time. One of the main points with this thesis is to record the professional craftmanship and cultural heritage created by these farmers, as its history would otherwise be lost. Through qualitative interviews with local farmers and their descendants, I have tried to grasp what life as a strawberry farmer looked like in 1917 and how it evolved until the cultivation era ceased in the area. Through a study of the development of Sweden’s rural agriculture and the development of commercial strawberry cultivations in Finnerödja area, the thesis will answer the below questions; - Why did the strawberry cultivation grow to be so signification in Finnerödja? - Why did the cultivation cease to exist? Based on the result of the study, interviews and literature, a time line has been created, with the aim to explain how changes in Sweden effected the strawberry cultivation in the area. The most essential factors contributing to the success of the strawberry cultivation; environment with superb conditions, the creation of the Finnerödja Strawberry Cultivation Union strengthened local farmers, tests on farms strengthened local cultivation, distribution through railway, the use of efficient instruments and work methods The most essential factors contributing to the end of the strawberry cultivation era; the influence of State decisions: a new Agricultural Policy introduced favoring large-scale production, tariffs promoting export goods, the railway stop in Finnerödja closed. New owner of Finnerödja Bär AB focusing solely on large-scale production, the fourth generation of farmers unwilling to take over, and lack of crop rotation.
Uppsats för avläggande av filosofie kandidatexamen i Kulturvård, Trädgårdens och landskapsvårdens hantverk, 15 hp, 2016