Tuva and the Trees

Tuva EngebretsenOur edible landscape of fruit and nut trees in The Park is now growing and developing even further, thanks to European Voluntary Service (EVS) student Tuva Engebretsen (21).

Since arriving in October last year, Norwegian Tuva has immersed herself in learning all that she can about fruit and nut trees, from the prevention of pests and diseases to discovering which herbs and flowers make the best companion plants. During her time in the Park Garden she has learned to plant and to prune fruit trees, and has been involved in planting numerous apple, pear, plum, cherry and cobnut trees. Tuva’s project has been under the guidance and nurturance of Rona Ribiero, Park Garden focaliser, who’s initiative it was to expand the Park’s edible landscape resources.

Tuva3Tuva, a past student of biodynamic agriculture, is also preparing leaflets and signs providing information about the edible landscape, the biology of the trees and their companion plants, and she hopes to have time to teach people herself during the summer season.

Besides the practical skills that she has gained, Tuva points out that there is a lot more that she learnt during her time in the Findhorn Foundation: “It’s about the personal learning path; it’s not only what you do but also how you do it. It’s about connecting with people. I have changed in so many ways since I arrived. I have learnt to hold groups and meditations, gained skills in the garden, improved my English and become more secure and outgoing. This project with the trees is reflected in me – I am growing with the trees.”

My dream is to live in nature, in a forest, simple with animals, and to use the knowledge and skills from travelling.

Tuva2A surprising bonus of her time on EVS was meeting her partner, Mikkel Funnemark, another student on the Foundation’s EVS programme, who is involved with a project creating bee habitats in Park Garden. Tuva and Mikkel were among several hundred young people from across Europe who applied for four EVS places at the Findhorn Foundation. By coincidence they went to the same school back home in Norway, but only after arriving here did they discover that they had more in common than bees and trees!

After her EVS year Tuva hopes to continue creating edible landscapes and sharing the information she has collected in Scotland back home in Norway.

Thank you Tuva for growing with the trees and all of us. We wish you many more miraculous coincidences in your life!


All of the Findhorn Foundation’s EVS projects are created in collaboration with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), and are central to GEN’s vision of offering inspiring examples of how people and communities can live healthy, cooperative, genuinely happy and meaningful lifestyles… that help in the transition to a more sustainable future on Earth.

Tuva learned about the EVS project through the Norwegian organisation Change the World. As well as Tuva and Mikkel, our EVS students also include Barbara Lakatos from Hungary who is developing a chicken tractor in Cullerne Garden and Bulgarian Miho Mihov who is creating a demonstration garden of homegrown food in Cluny garden.

For more information about the European Voluntary Service please click here.

Silke Galla

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