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The Bothy

Sheds like these were used as temporary lodgings when harvesting hay on meadows far from the farm.

Subsistence farming is the practice of self-sufficiency in which the farmers focuses on producing enough food for personal consumption and for the livestock, and material for clothes, tools and other goods. There is a direct and immediate relationship between production and consumption.

The harvest of hay was necessary for keeping the farm animals healthy over the long winter. On a northern farm the animals were kept indoors for up to eight months a year so collecting sufficient amount of feed during the summer was of utmost importance.

At least three persons were involved in this work - two foragers and one person, often a woman, collecting the hay with a rake. The meadows could be situated far from the farm so it was quite common to have a shed erected both for lodging and for storing the hay.

The shed at Skansen has an inscription saying "I was here harvesting on July 16 1830." It stood originally in a village in the Mora parish in Dalarna.