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help exchange   Host 56125
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Near Jyväskylä
All Year: No
Area (ha):
Persons: 1
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 56125
Country: Finland

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Last Updated: August 5, 2017


I have a small farm in a beautiful location right next to a lake in Central Finland. When I was a child, we had dairy cows, then beef cattle. When the animals had to go, we continued growing oats and barley for many years. When my dad died, I rented out most of the fields but kept three hectares to myself so I could still be a farmer of some sort. I planted Phacelia, which is a good nectar plant, and got some honey bees. Then I went to a beekeeping school and got my beekeeper’s diploma. Currently I have about ten beehives.

Accordingly, you’ll have to feel more or less comfortable with thousands of bees buzzing around your head if you decide this is your thing. But not to worry, I will provide you with a full bee suit and gloves. If you want to learn beekeeping, I can teach you.

The work depends very much on weather. There are no fixed working hours or days off. When something needs to get done with the bees, it gets done, be it weekend or midnight. On the average, you’ll be working six hours a day, I guess. But as I’m not a workaholic myself, there are days off and free moments in between different jobs for you to enjoy whatever you enjoy doing:

There’s the lake 200 meters away. You could go for a swim or catch some fish. The rowboat is freely at your disposal and I can lend you my kayak so you can go exploring. There’s also a tiny smoke sauna by the lake but it needs a little bit of fixing and some new paint - unless you close your eyes and just enjoy the relaxing warmth of the sauna between dips in the lake. If you prefer exploring on dry land, I have a bike that you can use, or you could simply take a walk in the woods. Blueberries start to ripen at the end of July, followed by raspberries, then lingonberries in September. There are mushrooms, too… For rainy days (or lazy moments in the garden, mosquitos permitting) I have lots of books in English (some in Spanish) if you enjoy reading.

The nearest supermarket is 15 km away. There are some daily buses but I can take you along when I go shopping myself. Or you can take the bike. Jyväskylä is the biggest town nearby (50 km) and the one you’ll probably be arriving at. I can pick you up from there.

Back to work: Besides different beekeeping and household chores, I possibly need your help with clearing up some brush, hauling and cutting firewood, hoeing, planting and weeding the vegetable garden, restoring a meadow, putting up a fence for sheep, feeding chicken, fixing old buildings and leaking roofs, carpentry… Everything is falling apart. If you are mechanically inclined, I’ve got some old machines as well, some going, some not. Not all this needs to be done at once, and not by one person, though! It’s an ongoing process. Due to my recent leg injury, work has piled up, and the house is not as neat as it used to be.

As to meals - I’m awful in the kitchen. If you enjoy cooking yourself or can do with simple meals, that’s a big bonus. Every now and then we could enjoy a barbecue or simply fry some sausages on a campfire out in the yard. If you follow a special diet - like vegan - then the kitchen is yours. You cook, I eat. I’m omnivorous.

At the moment I can accommodate only one person: your room will be either upstairs or in “aitta” (= granary and multipurpose storage building) next to the house. Bathroom and shower are in the house, and you’ll have to share them with us. Don’t expect anything too fancy. The house was built in 1933 and hasn’t seen any renovations or facelifting since the 1970s. Unlimited use of WiFi in the house if you bring your own laptop.

In short: room and board in exchange for about 4 to 6 hours of work per day, about two days off per week but not necessarily at weekend, irregular hours. Terrible bees. One cat. One 90-year-old mom. I would prefer a minimum stay of four weeks but it’s all right to bail out earlier if things are not going well.

Looking forward to your visit and sharing some good times with you!

Languages: English, Swedish, German, some Spanish, “Bonjour” in French.

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