Esittely Euroopan ekokyläluettelossa .European Eco-Villages Directory/1998
HISTORY: The first solely for ecologically sustainability grounded community in Finland started with ten people June 1997 in central part of Finland, Aehtaeri We are not professional farmers but older people (40- 60) wanting ta live in countryside outside of 8-hours workday. Also younger people searching a life outside of consumption.
The place is marvelous with clean lakes and old forest around it, cattle and garden, an abandoned old peoples home with two wooden houses, cowshed, 6 separate apartments, sauna and chapel. The main building is typical of 1950's: basement for activities, first floor for kitchen, dining room and large rooms, second floor for residence.
There are 40 rooms and place enough for 35 people.
We have 10 hectares of 1and, 700 meters of strand.
Our aim: We aim to explore and promote ecological lifestyle, our use involve animal, human or environmental exploitation for self-sufficiency. We recycle most waste and are building composting toilets, using sun for heating and warm water. We are developing our site as a living exhibition of
sustainable land use and living practices. Organic growing, animal care and estate management are important use of permaculture techniques. We like to be an educational center from which ecological and alternative lifestyle concepts could be brought to a wider audience. We are planing to set up a Permaculture Foundation with the object of buying the estate and educating the public in matters concerning the environment and conservation, ecologically sound food production and
energy use and sustainable living.
DAILY LIFE: We have furnished the rooms simple.
We eat together and have communal kitchen.
The food is basic Finnish food, we eat what is growing in this climate, but also meat of the animals killed without a slaughterhouse: potatoes, carrots, all kinds of onions, herbs, tomato, rutabagas, beetroots, freshwater fish, chicken. Two of us share the daily responsibility of looking after the animals. We have sheep, chickens, goats, cats and dogs. We have a place for two horses, two cows and two pigs.
Workshops have included organic and biodynamic gardening, alternative heating systems, drytoilets, tantra and tao sexuality.
VISITORS: People normally visit for 2 to 3 days the first time. Working visitors are welcome. You
pay 150 FMK tor board and lodging and work tor I four hours in our house, garden or cowshed. You can also work with us in nearby forest coppicing, felling and clearing tor firewood, pick berries and mushrooms. Or make cheese and yoghurt, home made bread.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS: We do not income share, but each pays 1500 FMK a month for
room and board. We discourage full time work as the maintenance.
A number of people still work part-time outside teaching, writing, building consulting, many have
pension and some are taking unemployment fees. Some people earn the living consulting of Eco-Russian-projects
No capital required to join. The age range at the moment 1/2 to 66.
In addition to the communal kitchen there is a sitting room, library, televison room, landry, two saunas. Individuals have their own room or they live as a couple.
SURROUNDINGS: Ähtäri is a popular tourist resort in the heart of Finland. There is the Wild1ife
Park, where one can meet the natural inhabitants of the northern forests. It is the home of some 300 wild animals of different ages representing about 60 species. (elk, bear, lynx etc). The native Nordic animals all live in natural environments along a three-kilometer walk.
Chapel: meditation 7.- 7.20, 21 -21.20 Smokesauna: Tuesday and Saturday. Milker time: 8-9, 19-20
Eating times: 12,17 (breakfast, tee brake and nightbit everyone takes from the kitchen) Saturday: cleaning and baking day