Welcome to Karise Permatopia

Do you want to come and work with us at our farm/ecovillage in Karise, Denmark?

Every season at Permatopia, we welcome people from around the world who stay with us for a time and
volunteer at our farm. No previous experience is required; all you need is two hands and the desire to
work and learn at the farm.

We welcome individuals to consider extended stays of a few months or more, as it allows for a deeper
immersion into our village life, understanding of our functioning, and an extensive learning experience in
the realm of regenerative agriculture.


See more plus contact info here.


What is Karise Permatopia?

Permatopia, located approximately an hour from Copenhagen, was established in 2018 with the vision of creating a tangible model for a more sustainable and communal way of life. Our focus revolves around local food production, decentralized energy generation, and fostering a low-impact culture that prioritizes mutual care and environmental stewardship.

Comprising 90 energy-efficient houses and spanning 30 hectares of land, Permatopia features communal structures, a windmill, a heat pump-based heating system, and a willow sewage treatment facility. The diverse community consists of around 90 children and 141 adults from various age groups and backgrounds, who come together for communal dinners five days a week in the main hall.

Permatopia boasts 7 hectares of certified organic agriculture dedicated to producing a diverse range of vegetables and fruits, primarily for internal consumption with surplus items sold to local restaurants. Our agricultural practices include a vegetable field, market garden, greenhouses, permaculture gardens, and a fruit and berry orchard. The community also tends to chickens, ducks, bees, and a small number of goats and sheep.

Our commitment to regenerative agriculture and permaculture guides our cultivation across all land areas, emphasizing biodiversity and soil care. Various composting initiatives, such as vermicomposting, hot-composting, and bioreactor composting, are underway. We actively create compost extracts for soil and seed inoculation.

Utilizing resources from our small oak forest and managing common areas with a focus on biodiversity, Permatopia emphasizes a harmonious relationship with the environment. Daily responsibilities are undertaken voluntarily by community members, with support from our full-time farmer, Anders, and invaluable contributions from volunteers.



  • According to Local Plan 200-22, Faxe Municipality.
  • The total area in Permatopia is 29.2 hectares; 4.7 hectares are residential areas with housing, road structures, and parking spaces. The remaining 24.5 hectares are rural areas, of which approximately 12 hectares are a former forest reserve (15 years without changes, and since 2017, we have the right to thin and use the forest).
  • Approximately 1.5 hectares are filled with the communal courtyard and associated garden and utility buildings, community house, etc., and around 11 hectares are used for agricultural and supply operations.
  • Approximately 1.8 hectares are used for willow purification plant and wind turbine, approximately 1.2 hectares are a new orchard with beekeeping and a mobile chicken coop.
  • In an area in the middle of the site, there is a larger marl quarry. Of the remaining approximately 8 hectares, around 0.5 hectares are used for 2 greenhouses and Vangen (permanent plant beds), and approximately 3.0 hectares are used for vegetable cultivation.
  • Approximately 4-5 hectares are planted with various crops that fix nitrogen in the soil. Harvesting is done three times a year for compost, and then the soil is reclaimed for vegetables.
  • We cultivate between 80 and 100 different crops in rotation, such as cabbage, root vegetables, berries, beans, greenhouse crops, and experiment with old and bitter-tasting varieties.
  • We strive to practice permaculture, especially in permanent experimental beds, but incorporate some principles into traditionally organically cultivated areas, including fixed tracks and areas where the soil is not tread.
  • We are eco-certified and sell our products internally at www.permatopiabutikken.dk with the red Ø-label.
  • We receive approximately 20,000 DKK per hectare in support per year and have a part-time employed farmer for 30 hours per week since 2017.
  • We started establishing the orchard in 2015, and there are now over 300 trees and a large number of fruit bushes, and perennial vegetables. We maintain poultry, some ducks, and a small flock of sheep in the forest. In 2023, we are approved as a training site for adults pursuing horticultural education.


Housing associations include KP-Ejer, KP-Andel (housing cooperative), and KP-Almen, each with a board overseeing administration and specific housing type matters.In the Cooperative Housing Association, the shared mortgage constitutes 43% of the property’s value, and the share is 57%. The green areas around the residences in the urban zone are owned by KP-GRUND, the communal landowner association.Karise Permatopia Andelsselskab with limited liability – KP-a.m.b.a., our collective production company, requires a 25,000 DKK contribution from each resident upon moving in. KP-AMBA operates the communal farm, utilities, and agriculture. Residents are only liable for the initial capital, returned upon departure. KP-AMBA carries a debt of approximately 26 million DKK, repaid through long-term bank loans (25 years). In addition to covering consumption fees (as part of rent and housing sale prices), residents contribute to collective expenses, currently ranging from 400 to 675 DKK per month (per half of adults in the household). Associated with KP-AMBA are several small mandatory associations: KP-Pil, KP-Vand, KP-Vind.


Water and wastewater: We purchase water from Karise waterworks, with all wastewater processed in a reed bed treatment facility. The reed bed, one of Denmark’s largest, is cut annually, and the resulting chips are used on the fields. Only Swan-labeled products are used in the kitchen and bathroom to preserve the reed bed treatment facility.

Heating and hot water: Residences are heated using geothermal energy, with underfloor heating on the ground floor and in rooms.

Electricity for communal facilities: Generated by our recycling wind turbine, a 46m high structure with a capacity of 225 kW, producing 320 MWh annually. The electricity is used tax-free on the agricultural land where it is generated, for communal laundry, cooking, supply pumps, and electric vehicle charging. Excess electricity is supplied to the ANDEL electricity grid. Private electricity in homes is subject to individual choice of electricity supplier at regular rates due to electricity regulations.

Internet: Contracted with Novomatrix, providing all houses with fixed cable internet. Flow TV and Wifi can be obtained from the local antenna association: Hårlev Elvernet.


Through KP Amba, Permatopia’s residents collectively owe approximately 26 million DKK borrowed from Merkur over 25 years. The amount was used to purchase the land and farm, conduct archaeological surveys, establish utility systems, initiate agricultural operations, acquire machinery, fences, renovate the communal farm, etc. The commune is renovated according to sustainable principles and serves as Permatopia’s dining hall and concert-cultural center.

We operate an online store for agricultural products, Permatopia Shop, with product pick-up in the root cellar, and a buying group, Permabixen, physically located in the main house. Approximately one-third of the agricultural production is sold to restaurants in Copenhagen. Tours and lectures also contribute to income.

Awards and Grants

Permatopia has received several awards and grants, including the EUWES Sustainable Energy Award, Urbamondes Co-housing Award, Realdanias Underværker, KABs bæredygtighedspris, Dansk Turistråd 2022, and grants for energy consultancy and pre-project for the renovation of the main house.


Organizing Work and Decision Processes

All Permatopia residents contribute approximately 100 working hours annually. Many contribute more. There are over 34 active work teams, grouped into 5 areas: Agriculture, Supply & Economics, Common Areas & Forest, Common Farm, and Social Sustainability, each with 4-10 teams. Each area receives a portion of the total hours, with agriculture as the top scorer. Residents sign up to take responsibility for specific tasks in the teams they join, and the most important tasks are prioritized each January.

Each team selects 1-2 representatives for an area coordination forum, coordinating and making collective decisions for the responsibility area. Similarly, each area selects 1-2 representatives who participate in more fundamental decisions with 5 representatives from the KP-Amba board in a forum called the Main Circle, which meets approximately every 2-3 months.

In addition to these decision-making forums, we have 6-8 collective meetings each year, where everyone is invited to discuss development activities, clarifications, and new initiatives, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. Larger financial and legally binding decisions in KP Amba are made at general meetings in an ordinary association structure with statutes and elected boards. Extensive preparation and resident involvement are employed in all major decisions, and meetings are facilitated according to sociocratic principles.

Households and Housing Economy

  • 90 households: 23 owner-occupied houses, 23 cooperative housing units, 44 public housing units owned by SYDBO and managed by KAB.
  • 5 types of housing: – see more on the website www.permatopia.dk – under the ‘Boligerne’ tab.

Residents as of January 1, 2023

The first 10 households moved into cluster 1 on December 5, 2017, the next 12 on April 1, 2018, 44 during the summer, and the last 12-14 moved in September 2018 when clusters 7 and 8 were completed.

There has been turnover in 27 homes, including 5 internal relocations. 75% of those who moved in 2018 still live in Permatopia.
There are 3 ownership forms: rental, cooperative, and ownership homes. Rental homes are allocated with a focus on the recommended composition of residents.

Housing Materials

  • The houses are built with a lightweight wood construction, insulated with cellulose insulation, and wooden battens in the outer walls.
  • OSB wood panels and inner gypsum boards, spackled and painted with non-toxic putty and natural paint.
  • The bathroom is a concrete cabin. The floor is solid beech, with solid knot-free oak in cluster 2.
  • The houses are fitted with a separation toilet and additional piping, as well as rainwater collection from the roofs in central tanks, from which the water is returned to each unit for use in toilets and washing machines.
  • The loft is 14 m2 and can be expanded to 20 m2 over the kitchen.
  • In most houses (and in all rental units), AUBO has supplied the kitchen.
  • Externally, the houses are clad with linseed oil-painted spruce cladding. There is a design manual showing how residents (regardless of ownership) can get approved building permits for adding a winter garden, entrance hall with/without balcony, shed on their own plot, expanding the loft, possibly establishing an extra room, and terrace. Bike sheds can be established on north gables facing the road.