Sustainable bonfire celebration – Biochar Valborg – light the fire in an eco-friendly way

Celebrate the spring! Eco-friendly, of course!

In Sweden we celebrate Walpurgis Eve (Valborgmässoafton in Swedish) with a bonfire. This tradition to welcome and say goodbye to winter is common in many countries.

Valborg is the perfect time to get out of your house after a cold winter, meet up with others and at the same time burn garden waste. Many come together and lit up large bonfires. When you fire the waste, you get a cozy fire to gather around, and you get rid of your lumber. However, with a big burning fire you produce carbon dioxide and you miss the chance to upcycle the garden waste.

Is it possible to light the fire outdoors in an eco-friendly way?

It actually is and at Ödevata we have found a way to do it. We would love you to join us to celebrate Biokol Valborg 2024.

In 2024 there will be celebrations you can join in Bergslagen, at Rambohöjden in Hällefors, a location between Örebro and Ludvika, and on the West Coast on the beautiful island of Tjörn (Moas Blomstergård). The farmstead Vånevik gård outside Oskarshamn by the Baltic Sea coast will also join with a bonfire. At Ödevata we will invite students to enjoy the fire and have a pizza baked in our outdoor oven. There will be more locations so keep your eyes open on the map.

Read more about our sustainable upcycled tradition

It is the fourth year in a row and is already a tradition on our farm resort. We want to renew the Valborg celebration keeping the essence of the tradition, which is about being with family and friends. The bonfire is not just for fun, the added value is the production of biochar. In terms of biochar, we suddenly see all waste as a resource. We use a Kon-tiki for our bon fires.

A Walpurgis bonfire event and a unique learning opportunity. Ways for you to join the party!

This year there are several places where you can join a Biokol Valborg, and there is also activity packages in Ödevata – here you can join the biokol production and enjoy our beautiful nature by taking a small boat, a kajak or even an canoe and enjoy a floating sauna on our lake. And in addition you can learn a lot about biokol and our nature, and you get to know all people who have come to celebrate biokol Valborg.

You can chose from these packages: One day package or Staying the night

We also invite you to participate with us, in your backyard, or as a spectator!

Lighting a small fire in your backyard with family and friends feels more vibrant and far easier to arrange than the old traditional feast.

  • Participate by arranging your own bonfire at home or at your student dorm. If you have access to a Kon-tiki then you just need to collect the twigs and branches and start the fire. There are several of other kilns that you can use. If you have a sustainability department at your University perhaps they have a kiln you can borrow.
  • To learn more you participate in one of our online zoom meetings prior to Valborg and then you do trials at home. To learn more contact join the Valborg group.
  • You can also record a short video. Then you will appear on the Ödevata YouTube biochar video list.
  • You can register if you want to participate online and have digital support.
  • Follow us online! In a link that we will send out, you can also find a link to the event’s YouTube live broadcast. Join the Valborg group of up-dated information.

To facilitate your participation, Magnus has produced Kon-Tikis during the year. We have some in stock that you can buy or order from us. Every year we also lend our Kon-tikis to people, associations, golf clubs and companies who want to start to make biochar. We are also happy to share our knowledge.

Do you want to be part of the event and stream!

Mike from Digitalhandyman is prepared to help you to be part of the event. For more information on streaming with Ödevata contact Mike Li (

Past celebrations

International students joining us for Biochar festivities in 2022.

“2022 was the first year Ödevata had a group of international students participating in the event,” says Malin, who hosted the event at Ödevata, and was thrilled!

“We celebrated Biokol Valborg with friends, staff and we also had 15 international students studying sustainability who became part of our bonfire workshop. A thousand thousand thanks to Iwona Slojka, Cross Baltica, who booked them for us. Now they know more about the biochar and can spread the ideas of celebrating with and producing biochar”

Malin continues – “It was so much fun to listen in and hang out with the students. It was such as nice feeling with they said that they would take the ideas back home and they wanted to show their friends and family that sustainability can be fun. The whole event was a great success because of the eagerness of the students to listen and be inspired. In addition, it was a great way to answer questions and discuss possible solutions to save the world through biochar.. Finally, the students had fun making pancakes, mingling with the other guests.”

Let’s extend the network! Spring comes with bonfires around the world, let´s go international

Sustainability promoters

We are interested to work with sustainability promoters in different fields.

  1. Organizations that manage the cultural heritage, youth participation, environment and sustainability around Sweden and Europe. In most countries around the world springtime and early summer is the time of clearing out and making bonfires. Let´s make them more sustainable!
  2. Gardening and Planting- has a huge group of followers all over the world as it give us a more sustainable everyday life. With biochar you get a solid soil improver you can make yourself.
-Valencia region in Spain celebrates “las Fallas” every year in March that origins from a carpenter’s tradition. At the arrival of spring, people used to burn pieces of wood.
-Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton) is not only celebrated in the whole of Scandinavia but as well in some other European countries. 
-St John’s Eve, on 23rd of June, is traditionally a celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist. One of the main components of this celebration is a bonfire. It is celebrated in countries such as Estonia, France, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal. In Sweden we celebrate Midsummer. 
I have been to Fallas and Walpurgis night. Impressive events that I will never forget. However, not very eco-friendly – Eva Oscarsson

A bit about us – The Ödevata way!

At Ödevata Countryside hotel we ask ourselves daily how we can contribute to a more sustainable way of living, consumption, socializing, running associations and companies. Magnus and I are passionate about change and would love to find out more what you are doing in this respect? 

We want to inspire and be inspired. Our goal is to create and live our own eco-friendly lifestyle and to run a sustainable outdoor resort. 

It is important to learn from others and at the same time show the way. In all our projects we have had guests and volunteers from all over the world helping us to achieve our common goal to be a small part of the solution. 

The support from our partners, guests and volunteers has been a driving force and motivates us to push forward and Biokol Valborg is an important big step. 

We work tirelessly so that one day we can become the most sustainable tourist facility in Sweden, a place promoting climate positive actions. Ödevata should contribute to a stable climate, not sabotage it. We are Magnus and Malin Axelsson, two ordinary countryside and small town Swedes with a great vision.

A bit about the Kon-Tiki – Biochar Kiln

A challenge to create sustainable bonfire celebrations is how to make more biochar kilns. We make our own Kon-Tikis. However, you can use a manure spreader, an older model in iron. But it is not always easy to get one and we do not know if you would have these in your country at all.

We are hoping to create some instructional material how we produce our Kon-tikis. Keep you eyes open on our you tube channel. Please also see our shop for our outdoor kitchens and small-scale production of Kon-Tikis (in Swedish).

You can also check the Ithaka institute led by Hans-Peter Schmidt. He has devoted his life to biochar research. Together with his biochar institute, the Institute researched and developed a special barrel for farmers and foresters to easily produce large amounts of biochar on their own. They named this design Kon-Tiki. They have shared their Kon-Tiki drawings and you can find it on their website.

The Ödevata song

The Ödevata song – “Old Mcdonald had a farm” – text by Eva Oscarsson
Ödevata had a dream, heja heja på
In that dream they saved the world, heja heja på
With a Kon-Tiki here and a Kon-Tiki there,
Here a spark, there a flame, everywhere Malin´s voice.
Ödevata had a dream, heja heja på

Ödevata had a vision, heja heja så
And in that vision they changed their ways, heja heja så
With Aquaponic here and a Kont-Tiki there,
Here a plant, there biochar, everywhere Magnus welds

Ödevata had many guests, heja heja få
And with the guest they changed the world, heja heja få
With an insight here and inspiration here,
Here a dream, there a team, everywhere a dream-team
Ödevata had many friends, heja heja så