Stefan Lundgren a man you only meet once in a life time and someone you would want to have a good connection with throughout the rest of your life. A man whom have thought himself not to care about priorities, opinion of others and norms – thus he walks his own path.
At the age of 25, Stefan studied and trained to become a chef because he always thought it was something he enjoyed. Also, because he could not imagine working with something he did not enjoy. Speaking of which, Stefan also enjoys the company of sled dogs and just in a couple of years he went from having one Husky to 18 of them. To combine his two interest he turned, after a lot of considerations, down an opportunity to work at a fancy restaurant in Stockholm. Instead he packed everything he had and moved up to Kiruna (up north in Sweden) were he decided to work as a mountain guide, sled dogs handler and as a chef.
“…do as much as you can, but don’t let things you do hold you back from anything.”
During his days in Kiruna he used to own a company where he accompanied the tourist out in the Swedish winter landscape. There he cooked some delicious food over the open fire for the tourist. His food contains a lot of love, natural flavors, local ingredients and a profound concept of always making sure the food is above expectations. Before he starts to cook, he always wonders why someone wants to and need to eat at this very place. “Is it because of the experience, to get your belly full, is it because you are cold or is it because the sweat flows?” The food will always be the main focus for Stefan because he things that food is the gate way of happines. Because of that concept we got so intrigued and invested that we have been collaborating ever since we met him at Fjällräven Polar couple of years ago.
Stefans interest in sustainability has long been a big part of his life. Unfortunately growing your own crops and be self-sustaining in Kiruna was not easy. Thus the project was literally put on h( c )old. Today he has put the dogs, Kiruna and long winters behind him and moved back to where everything started – at Söderhamn. There he bought a piece of land and assembled an old tent he bought directly from Fjällrävens founder Åke Nordin. After years of winter adventure this cozy place will now be the foundation of Stefans new beginning in life.
Meanwhile, he gathered materials to build for his future house, a project he believes will always be an on-going creative process. Today the house stands majestically with a great view over the lake, with further plans to install solar panels and a greenhouse on the south side of the house. To design and build a house with recycled natural materials is something Stefan has long dreamed of. In other words, a house with no plastic or chemicals in used. The paint and other materials that he used was only made by natural ingredients such as, egg oil tempera, linseed color, linseed oil and roslags mahogany. The initial idea was to build a bigger house, but Stefan did not feel like he needed more than 18 square meters. Because he already has the whole nature as a part of his home: “you don’t need as much as you think”, explains Stefan. He further explains that he have started to value the smallest things in life when living in a small house.
Of course, Stefan was not living alone by himself in his own little idyllic green land. In fact, he has two pigs and two geese as company where they follow Stefan wherever he goes. Mostly because they are used to get lettuce and tomatoes, from Stefan, as they wait patiently at his feet. A bit further away from his garden you can find a couple of hens and you can also see the lake where you can see the geese walks by. “The next animal I will get will be sheep’s and rabbits”, explains Stefan. Furthermore, Stefan explains that the rabbits do not affect the environment as much as the other animals and to breed rabbits for their meat will increase in the future. Stefan hopes someday to be self-sufficient by producing his own meat, egg and dairy with the help of his farm animals.
"Don’t bother with other people’s opinion and just do what you want to do...”
Stefan lives by a specific rule in life: “Be the change you want to see and do not be so hard on yourself. Do as much as you can, but don’t let the things you do hold you back from anything. You can always do more, but sometimes it can get too much, and you forget to focus on the small things in life. Don’t bother with other people’s opinion and just do what you want to do.”