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News from the Woods

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LETTER OF GRATITUDE
APRIL 2022

Dear friends of Mundekulla,
 

How are you? It has been one month now, since I started in my new role at Mundekulla as general manager – and I have been thinking so much about you! It has been an exciting year for all of us. A lot has happened in the world, a lot has happened in Sweden, and a lot has happened here in little Mundekulla!

Many of you have been with us for a long time – some even the full 25+ years! I feel so much gratefulness for all of you. Not only did we get to make many beautiful memories together (and you also long before I even set foot in Mundekulla), thanks to all of you Mundekulla is still here – your fantastic support during covid, your sharing, your warm messages.

It truly warms my heart every day and I cannot thank you enough. If anything – that’s what I love to share here with you right now: the biggest thank you, you can imagine – from me personally and also from the full Mundekulla team – we are all incredibly grateful and happy to be here – and we know it is thanks to all of you.

Now, with a transition in new ownership – I imagine many of you wonder: what will happen to this magic place that is so dear to our hearts? So hereby, I love to tell you a bit about what we are busy with. I hope you will love it, just as much as we do.

Firstly, we have started with the full new team. Most faces you know already! Alfonso will run the kitchen, Sandra will run the volunteer project and new events. Pernilla is running the reception and Elin is running the gardens. Then we have Victor – our new vaktmästare and all-round hero, supported by Björn, Martine and Gunnel. And of course, Martin and Galina – who bring new energy, knowledge and tons of excitement. And me of course – Stephanie – binding all of this together.

Our dream is to continue Mundekulla as a place where we truly learn, truly be and truly connect – deeply – with ourselves and the world. A place where we can be ourselves and where we can be part of something bigger than ourselves. Because isn’t that what makes life meaningful? To truly and deeply be part of the world? Whether through mindfulness meditation or your dancing feet on the floor. Through studying sustainable solutions or forgetting time in a creative project. Through a conversation with someone that gives you new perspective or through reconnecting with the stillness of the forest and rediscover the voice within that comes from silence.

I hope to hereby give you the knowing that we’re still here! And we hope with all our heart that you will love to join us in these new baby steps!

We’re very much looking forward to discover the good things we can create together.

Warmest greetings and I hope to see you this summer.

With love,

Stephanie

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MEET MUNDEKULLA'S NEW OWNERS!
DECEMBER 2022

We have happy news! After 25 years of fantastic work, music, community and love, Peter and Anne 'pass on the stick' to Martin and Galina. Two wonderful people who will continue Mundekulla with the vision of sustainability, biodiversity, personal development and well-being. And the team? Comes along!

Peter Elmberg and Martin Studer have jointly announced that Mundekulla Kurs Retreat Konferens AB is being sold to Bluerain Partners Group AG, as of January 1, 2023. Bluerain Partners Group is a family business established in Switzerland, owned by Martin and Galina Studer-Maloshenko, and will continue to work with the team that already contributed to the Mundekulla Kurs Retreat Conference Center under Peter's leadership.

Read all about it and watch the video here

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MUNDEKULLA'S MUSIC IS NOW ON SPOTIFY!
OCTOBER 2022

From Mundekulla's beginnings, music has been an important element of courses, events and concerts. Some of these songs are now available on Spotify and more will be added later. We have also created movements for selected songs, called "Mundekulladanser". The dances have been partly arranged for choir by Anders Nyberg and he writes the following introductory text in the choir booklet:"These songs have grown at the retreat center Mundekulla in the brightest Småland. Peter Elmberg and Anne Solveig have together manifested a place that sings, or perhaps it is rather the songs that have created a room where people long to come and come back. A place where we can practice in peace. A place where we can rehearse in peace and quiet, until the simple and obvious sit without us thinking about it. Where the word and the action become one and the dance is threaded in community and joy".

Listen to Mundekulla's music
Order the choir booklet

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PETER IN PODCAST ABOUT HIS MUSICAL
JULY 2022

In contrast to the Emigrants, 'The Ecopreneur' Peter Elmberg together with Anne Solveig wrote the musical Hemstannarna (The ones who stayed) - the story of Maria & Karl Elof who remained in their homeland instead of emigrating. In the podcast "Echo of the Emigrants", Peter tells about the activities at Mundekulla retreat center where he searched for his roots and about playing Karl Oskar as a young adult. A conversation about the New Builder spirit, creativity, learning from the past and being true to oneself.

The interview is part of a podcast series about Vilhelm Moberg's Emigrant Epic, and the imprint the books have left in culture, debate - and in people's hearts. By Amanda Heijbel. Other participants in the podcast include Jan Troell (director of the original movie The Emigrants), Lisa Carlehed (acting as Kristina in the latest The Emigrant movie), Jens Liljestrand (author of the book about Moberg called "The Man from the Forest". Listen to the podcast here

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Foto: Henrik Garlov/Kungliga Hovstaterna

PETER ELMBERG & STEPHANIE VERSTIFT ARE INVITED TO SWEDISH DINNER BY THE PALACE
APRIL 29, 2022

Since 2014, the King and Queen have annually invited around 100 entrepreneurs to their traditional Swedish dinner at Stockholm Palace, and at this year's dinner two people from Mundekulla are represented, with the following justification:

"Peter Elmberg is one of the founders of the Mundekulla course and retreat center in Emmaboda municipality. Since their inception 25 years ago, they have had a strong environmental and sustainability philosophy which includes, among other things, thinking seven generations in everything they do. Pioneering work in recycling and energy-smart solutions made Mundekulla Retreat Center the winner of a circular economy award presented by Energy Office Southeast 2019. During the pandemic, they have been hit very hard and have been caught between regulations and support systems. This has rather made them creative and they started early with live streaming events and have managed to keep the engagement around Mundekulla going. With the help of crowdfunding, they also printed their own vegetarian cookbook, containing recipes by the head chef Stephanie Pascalle Verstift. The cookbook "Mundekulla Cooks" was named "Sweden's best vegetarian cookbook 2020" by the organization the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards! It also won in the category "Best Hotel Cookbook Sweden". In 2021 the book was awarded, by the same organization, as the world's best vegetarian cookbook.

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NOMINATION FOR RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARDS
2022

The Right Livelihood Awards aims to accelerate urgent and long-term social change by recognizing the actions of courageous visionaries working for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world for all.

 

The prize has been awarded since 1980, of which Peter Elmberg and Mundekulla Retreatcenter were nominated in 2022, along with about 70 other people and organizations.

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MUNDEKULLA COOKS LAUNCHED IN SWEDISH!
MARCH 15, 2022

After a wonderful adventure and with the help of everyone's fantastic support, the book "Mundekulla Cooks" was published in English in 2020. The first edition was sold out, but the book was also published in Dutch in 2021. Now it is available in Swedish! It is published by Bazar publishing house and the Swedish version is called "Mundekullas Gröna Kök".

You can order the book here.
Read all about Mundekulla's kitchen here.
More information about the book and the inspiration behind it can be found at www.mundekullacooks.com

WINNER BEST HOTEL COOKBOOK IN THE WORLD
WINNER BEST VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK SWEDEN
In the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2021

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PEACE CONCERT FROM MUNDEKULLA
JANUARY 16, 2022

The other day, the Swedish Public Radio announced that our Peace Concert, consisting of 12 peace prayers set to music from different traditions, will be played as a radio service on World Religion Day, on January 16, 2022. The concert was recorded in Mundekulla in 2019 and is now being rebroadcasted.

The image of the wagon wheel has become a symbol of this concert and the wagon wheel is placed as a window on the hayloft in Mundekulla. Each spoke is a symbol of resp. tradition and in the middle all roads meet and there is consensus and understanding, while at the edge of each spoke the conflicts arise as we seem to be very far apart. In the times we live in now, it is especially important to stay close to the middle and seek understanding and reconciliation rather than separation and division. The goal is for the 12 songs to be released on spotify shortly, as well as many other wonderful Mundekulla songs. Read more and listen afterwards here.

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SUSTAINABILITY AWARD
29 OCTOBER 2019

Pioneering work in recycling and energy-smart solutions made Mundekulla Retreatcenter the winner of a circular economy prize awarded by Energikontor sydost Think seven generations ahead! That thought has guided Peter Elmberg during the development of the Mundekulla Retreat Center since 1998. Another reason for the success is the network-based business model that has developed over the years. "It's about daring to dream big, but starting on a small scale, says Peter Elmberg, owner of Mundekulla and continues, break down your dream, your big idea into smaller pieces and see what you can do now."Read more>>

"Mundekulla Retreatcenter has shown that it is possible to build a successful business while keeping energy and climate issues central. Mundekulla is built with recycled and environmentally friendly materials, has solar panels on the roof and the restaurant uses local and seasonal ingredients for its mostly vegan menu ." 

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PETER RECEIVES KALMAR LANDSTING'S CULTURE SCHOLARSHIP
2016

 

"Peter Elmberg receives the Kalmar county council's cultural scholarship which he will use to write the sequel called "Hitkommarna", based on the meeting with today's immigrants/refugees who are in Sweden. The scholarship makes it possible to complete the script and music, to work with the director and ensemble." Hitkommarna" is the second part of the musical project Nybyggarland where the first part "Hemstannarna" was performed 30 times in the region."

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"ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD OF THE YEAR"
2014

In connection with World Environment Day, the Center Party, Emmaboda awards an environmental award to a company that works for initiatives that promote the environment. "This year's award winner is the Mundekulla Retreat Center, where Berndt, Peter and Anne Elmberg have made major environmental contributions over the course of 15 years. They started in 1988 with the manor building, which was carefully restored with ecological and sustainable products. Since then, the construction has continued with large parts of recycled materials as well as ecological insulation and sawn timber from the own farm. The entire facility is built and operated based on an ecological profile, including a solar cell facility of 120 square meters that generates approx. 17,000 kwh/year. At courses, organic, locally grown food is served. Ponds are dug in the area to purify the water. The goal is to live, build, live, develop and operate in accordance with nature. We wish you continued success with your work for the development of a sustainable society and also for your work as valuable rural entrepreneurs."  
 

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MUNDEKULLA WINS SOLAR CELL PLANT
26 JUNE 2013

300 private individuals, condominium associations, hostels, campsites, course centers etc participated in Sweden's forum for solar enthusiasts (EgenSolel.se) where the prize was a small solar installation. The winner was Mundekulla Retreatcenter, which has built up an extensive course and conference business with a clear environmental profile. The course yard covers 1,500 square meters, built entirely of wood and has been continuously expanded with environmentally friendly and reused materials from primarily local suppliers and our own forest. The jury's justification states, among other things:"With its geographical location, shadow-free roof surfaces and large number of visitors, the Mundekulla Retreat Center has all the conditions to benefit greatly from its own solar cell plant and at the same time spread information about how easy it is to produce your own solar energy. In addition, the Mundekulla Retreat Center under the management of Anne and Peter Elmberg has shown a very strong commitment to the environment for many years, which makes them very worthy winners.”Read more>>

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MUNDEKULLA IS NOMINATED FOR THE "LEVA AWARD"
6 NOVEMBER 2009

On November 6, Mundekulla Retreatcenter was nominated for the "Leva Award" at Berns in the "Conscious Choice" category.


All companies can do something to become more environmentally friendly and it is inspiring that Mundekulla goes all the way in its vision of holistic thinking with sustainable and ecological operations at all levels."

 

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BERNDT ELMBERG GETS THE "BUILDING STONE" PRIZE
11 MAY 2009

Berndt Elmberg is awarded the "Building Stone" for restoration and new construction with an ecological perspective in Mundekulla. The prize is awarded annually by the Swedish Association of Construction Engineers (SBR) to an individual or group that has made an exemplary contribution to construction in the Nordic region.

"The civil engineer Berndt Elmberg is rewarded for his work with the restoration of the abandoned Mundekulla farm in Småland. Together with his son Peter and his wife, Berndt has equipped it into a popular course and retreat farm with several thousand visitors every year. Berndt bought the farm ten years ago and has worked hard to keep the original details but still create a modern standard of living with an ecological perspective. He has put in a tremendous amount of work and has also become an authority in the renovation of abandoned farms. We want to reward him for that," says Gunnar Edebrand, head of the SBR."  Read more>>

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MUNDEKULLA FESTIVAL IS AWARDED "SWEDEN'S MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FESTIVAL" PRICE
2008

The Mundekulla Festival is named Sweden's most environmentally friendly festival with the following justification:

"For an environmental concern that pervades the festival - both information and festival construction as well as food and waste management."

 

The prize will be handed out during the 2009 festival by the Miljökollektivet FOT, which every year rewards the best environmentally adapted festival in Sweden with the Gold FOT. FOT works for ecological sustainability in general and in the entertainment industry in particular.

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NOMINATIONS FOR "LANTIS OF THE YEAR"
2008

The newspaper Land appoints 100 "Lantis" every year, who put a small place on the map and who, with their efforts, made the countryside interesting and exciting. Mundekulla was represented in both 40th and 72nd place with the following justifications:"Berndt Elmberg, with his annual conference in Emmaboda, has created one of the country's most important meeting places for rural development" and "Peter and Anne Elmberg at Mundekulla Kurs- och Retreatgård have developed a popular and growing meeting place, where there used to be a dilapidated house".
(In first place came Nanne Bergstrand, Öland, who took Kalmar FF to victory in the football allsvenskan in 2008.)

 

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PETER APPOINTED KARL-OSKAR OF THE YEAR
2006

Emmaboda municipality annually appoints "Karl Oskar and Kristina of the Year", of which Peter Elmberg was awarded this year's Karl Oskar with the following justification:"Peter runs the Mundekulla Course and Retreat Farm with his wife Anne. Every year close to 1,000 people visit the farm to take part in the wide range of activities. They have embraced the need for people to stop and gather strength to cope with the stress and demands of everyday life. For the 8th year in a row, a music festival with song and music is organized. The festival is for the whole family and is completely drug-free. Peter is frequently hired as a lecturer or conversation leader in various parts of the country. He addresses difficult issues such as crises , bullying, being a fellow human being and much more. Peter organized a charity gala in Emmaboda Folkets Hus for the victims of the tsunami and with storm Gudrun in mind. At short notice he engaged many talented artists, led the gala himself and performed and collected over SEK 40,000 . The world needs more people like Peter!"

The picture is from the construction of the mud and straw house "Sanctuary".

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"PROFILE OF THE MONTH"
2002

Anne Solveig and Peter Elmberg were named "Profile of the Month" by Kvinnor Kan based on the following justification:
"Anne and Peter are a good example of an obvious collaboration between man and woman. They are good role models with a will and belief that there is a strength and a flourishing life in the sparsely populated area. Through their music, way of life and their involvement in Mundekulla, they have inspired multitudes of people."

In 2005, Anne Solveig was also named "Female Role Model of the Year" by the association Livshuset, for her commitment to women.
 

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PETER IS AWARDED THE "IM PRIZE"
2001

The IM prize (Individuell Människohjälp) in Britta Holmström's memory was awarded to Peter Elmberg and Nalin Pekgul. The justification for Peter was:

 

"Through his music and his generous and selfless way of life, Peter Elmberg has been able to spread light, hope, confidence and faith in the future. He has managed to make something creative out of the grief after the tragic death of his brother Niklas in the fall of 1991. With his honest and straightforward approach and his commitment has captivated young people as well as adults and contributed to strengthening public opinion for peace, freedom and understanding between people - against violence, oppression and racism. He is a well-known joy-spreader and a good role model in today's society."

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MUNDEKULLA GETS "COUNTRYSIDE AWARD" AND "EMMABODA MUNICIPALITY ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD"
2001and 2000

 

Peter and Berndt Elmberg were awarded the 2001 "Landsbygdspris" which is awarded annually by the magazine Land. They received the award for the restoration of the house in Mundekulla and the gathering place that Mundekulla has become, from being a run down abandoned house for 12 years.
 

In 2000, Berndt Elmberg was awarded the Emmaboda municipality's environmental award for the restoration of the manor building in Mundekulla.

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