This is Teeriniemi Farm, inside the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. Teeriniemi translates to “Black Grouse Cape” and refers to the location of the farm. The farm has been here since 1892 when it was first purchased for the family by Tobias Vierelä. Four generations later, we are here, in a very different world. The farm is not the primary income for us, “a consuming but meaningful hobby” might be the right definition.
The environment here is very magical, midnight sun in June and July and no sun at all in the mid winter, though the northern lights are good compensation at the darkest time of year.
The growing conditions here are extreme, and produce crops with very distinctive qualities not achievable elsewhere. We aim to make the most of this by producing crops which capture the purity and sweetness of the incredible summer, our asparagus suits this and we have a passion for uniqueness. Hops and rhubarb are about to be listed as products in some form or another, we also have other irons in the fire.
Home grown is also very important, every year we try to beat our biggest pumpkin record. We will enter the world tomato competition the minute we have an entry! Picking wild berries and mushroom is an important part of the lifestyle.
Firewood is another major annual effort: we have wood fueled heating. The fire wood is largely a side product of cutting timber for constructions, or making “kerppu” (dried birch branches) for animals. What comes to wood, nothing goes to waste. In most other fields of life sustainability is still an objective somewhere on the horizon, but not forgotten.
Biggest annual harvesting efforts serve feeding our beloved animals. The animals are pets, but they also have their tasks. Sheep are responsible for natural grazing landscape and related valuable flora and fauna. Well, we don´t have a lack of wool either. Chicken produce eggs for our own needs. Cockerels tell us when to get up. Horses have their pulling duties and dogs guard everyone else. While the mighty livestock guard dogs are sleeping, rabbits are guarding : in case of emergency they drum their alarm.
Our philosophy includes that every animal gets to do things natural to the species as much as possible. That includes us, Homo sapiens arcticus, subspecies growacucurbitapepogigantus.
Anthony and Päivi Picken