go here for blog postings in English.
On this web-site you have the opportunity to follow what happens when a couple – both active in the organic food sector – get inspired of permaculture and buy a piece of land to realise their dream. We decided to make our life more ecological and sustainable while trying to adapt the ideas and principles of permaculture to these northern conditions in Finland – 60 degrees north.
We started looking for a suitable place to realise our dream in 2013 and in June 2014 we finally bought a piece of land in Karjalohja – c. 90 km west from Helsinki – in June 4th 2014.
Marja was born in the town of Kuopio, the capital of the more talkative part of central Finland called Savo. She was addicted to farming already as a child when visiting her grandparents and ’taking care’ of their cows, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. She studied agriculture (B.Sc.) but after a few years of working with farming she ended up – after meeting Erkki – more focused on organic food. Later she did her masters degree in theoretical philosophy in Helsinki University. In 2013 Marja found a new direction in permaculture and took the PDC (permaculture design course) in July 2013 in Koli, Finland.
Erkki is a longtime organic activist, organic entrepreneur and in the last over 15 years organic food exporter. Erkki remembers having heard about permaculture already when studying agronomy (M.Sc.) in the Helsinki University in the 1980’s but then it didn’t seem to be relevant for Finnish conditions. He was advisor for biodynamic farming in the 1980’s, he ran an organic bakery from 1989 to 1995 and since the late 1990’s he has been mostly working with organic food export from Finland – while being an organic advocate in Finland. And Erkki is a keen amateur photographer as you might see on this site too.
Iso-orvokkiniitty – marked blue on the map – has a total area of 5,3 hectares consisting of 1,3 ha of clay field and 3 hectares of old forest and 1 ha of young mainly birch forest with building rights. The property faces mainly south-west. In the old forest there is a natural hazelnut grove and a trickle coming through the forest. Karjalohja village is about 2 km to the north. The property has fishing rights to the nearby lake Puujärvi where we can also keep our boat (although we don’t have a boat yet).
The property had no buildings or other infrastructure when bought. It is for us a natural building and permaculture project, with the aim of enabling a sustainable lifestyle and inspiring others. This website’s purpose is to tell about how our project evolves and to interact with others with similar dreams. Maybe others can learn from our successes and mistakes.
Most of the summer 2014 we spent living in a caravan on the property, observing and enjoying the place and preparing some raised beds (Hügelkutur) for growing vegetables, starting bee keeping, experimenting with mushroom cultivation, cleaning the forest and installing a solar panel fro the caravan. We also collected building stocks (wood) from a few old houses and started building a composting dry toilet. In July 2015 we rented a house in the Karjalohja village – just 1 km from the property – so now we are much closer. The caravan was therefore sold. Erkki’s son Jaakko is designing the house which will be a timber-framed straw-bale-clay house. Our condominium in Espoo was finally sold in September 2015 so hopefully we can start building in 2016. Please let us know if you would like to volunteer at the building site. The target is to be as energy self-sufficient as possible and off-grid based on solar and wind.
Our web-site is now mainly in Finnish. You can try to use Google Translator but I am afraid the Finnish language is so different that Google can not really handle it, so you can just get some idea what we are writing about. We will add English content with time and you can find it under the category ”In English”. The easiest way to follow our posts is either by subscribing to it (link at upper right) or by liking our Facebook page.
- edit: Erkki 29.12.2015
- edit: Erkki 22.12.2014
- Page written: Erkki 19.11.2014