My name is Agata, and I am the founder of Meadow Lab. I am an artist, forager, vegetarian chef, fermentation and wild plants educator. I live  in a little village in the South of Sweden.

Idea of Meadow Lab is to invite you to:

  • experience old way of living which include foraging for edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms, natural techniques of preserving and preparing food.
  • connect more deeply with one’s immediate environment and, with their deep roots.
  • explore old knowledge that is valuable for modern human

Human existence have been dependent  of foraging and preserving food from the beginning of its existence. Fermentation is probably the oldest preservation technique and, is an important part of food heritage in cultures from all around the world.

Agata Bielska Annersten

 My story

I was born in a big industrial city (Lodz, Poland), but I was always called by forest and wild nature.

I studied visual arts (Master Diploma in painting and video art). For 8 years I was working as a freelance artist and as a teacher in art school, but I was missing something… And then it came time to reconnect with nature. I moved out of the home city and I started to live in a small cabin in the forest.

I have always liked to spend time surrounded by nature. But the plants that I met during the walks appeared to me as one big green wall. This wall consisted of leaves, stems, vines, branches, and trunks. It was hard to see similarities or differences. Not to mention identifying species.

Getting to know wild plants is like learning a new language. You have to start by learning the alphabet. It is good to start with the basics, most common species that grow in your closest surroundings. This is how my adventure with wild plants and botany began, by daily walks and observing and learning to see. Getting to know the first 10 plants was the most difficult, but the next 10 came faster and with ease.

Soon nature around me became a place where I go to find my food and medicines. Using wild plants has started to be my way to reconnect with nature superpowers.

Fermented food was something that was around me since I was a kid. I remember a sour and earthy smell of huge oak barrels filled with tangy sauerkraut and crispy cukes in the stuffy cellar of my family house. Bulbous glass fermenters filled with bubbling home-made wines and ciders. Sour milk and yogurt made by mother so thick as a jelly.

It was my great grandmother who knew about fermenting food, edible and medicinal plants, and mushrooms more than anyone in my family. She passed away when I was 7 years old. Soon after, my parents switched from making their own to buying sauerkraut and other fermented foods.

Later, in my twenties, my interest in the health benefits of fermented foods brought me back to the old wisdom of my great grandmother. This was the beginning of my on-going journey of relearning traditional techniques of fermenting food.

It was eye-opening for me to learn about countless microbes. Invisible to human eyes, but present in and on our bodies, and everywhere else and play a crucial role for all ecosystem. Collaborating with microbes is for me a large step in reconnecting to nature.

In 2015 love called me to move to South of Sweden. Here I live now in a beech forest cottage with my husband Micke, 3 dogs and a cat. In 2016, I started Meadow Lab to share my love for everything wild and microbial.