The park and gardens
Widow Ekberg's allotment
Catharina Ekberg lived at the paper mill in the mid-nineteenth century. Catharina (1782-1855) came to the mill aged 46 to work as a maid, but instead married the same year to the paper worker Olof Ekberg, 23 years her junior. When they had been married for 10 years, Olof died of smallpox and Catharina became a widow.
Catharina had garden allotment number 29 on the slopes of Valdemarsberget but we don’t know exactly where. Today we grow plants that were common in Widow Ekberg’s day.
Up to fifty percent of the garden today is turnips, which were very common during the nineteenth century. Potatoes also began to be grown in fields during that period. Today we grow potatoes, peas, carrots, beans, spinach and dill.
Much of what is grown here is used in our restaurant and café.
The kitchen garden
To the right of Widow Ekberg’s allotment you’ll see the Kitchen Garden, where we grow rhubarb, currants, asparagus and other tasty things. These items are also used in our restaurant and café.
Gardens in conjunction with Down to earth
About the exhibition
The exhibition Down to earth—self suffiency then and now is based on life at Tumba Paper Mill around the turn of the last century, and how its inhabitants lived self-sufficently. You will also meet people living sustainably today. On view 18 May 2023 through 29 September 2024.
The exhibition, which is suited for both adults and families, takes place both inside the museum in the Oxhuset building and outside in our beautiful parks and gardens. There is a family-friendly outdoor lounge area where young visitors can play.
We have also created a school garden where we can grow food together with children from schools in Tumba. A wonderful and enriching experience for children to follow growth from seed to harvest.
The school garden
Did you know that there was a school garden at the paper mill even around the turn of the 20th century? It was established in 1868 as a way to teach children about garden work. Sugar snap peas, beans, spinach and carrots were grown.
The adults weren’t always keen on the children gardening here. They would have preferred the children to work on the family allotments.
In our school garden today, we farm together with around ninety students from a local school in Tumba. During summer 2023, we are growing squash, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, kale and other tasty vegetables. We have invested in a solar powered irrigation system. This provides a more sustainable way to water, saving up to 90 percent water compared to a hose.
The herb garden
Historically, women traditionally carried small bouquets of fragrant herbs with them to church, often in the hymnal. The combination of herbs varied locally and regionally. The selection grown here today is based on those herbs.
Behind the Oxhuset building you will find our beehives with honey bees. The honey produced by the bees is available for purchase in the museum shop. In the summer we will offer bee safaris, guided tours of the beehives (in Swedish).
Explore the surroundings
In the museum surroundings, you will find several buildings with different areas of use and character. Each house presents a part of the mill, the origin of banknote production and its history. You are welcome to visit the museum and its surroundings on your own and feel free to download one of our free audio guides.
Accessiblity in the exhibition
The gardens are located beside Oxhuset, the museum's main building, with entrance, shop and mill café. The gardens are accessible with prams but not with wheelchairs (uneven terrain).