23rd of May 2017 came and went. Why is that an important date anyway? Well, it's the one-year anniversary of our life in Finland. On the 23rd of May 2016 my Mum picked us up from the Tampere airport and brought us back to the house, which was completely jam-packed with moving boxes. We slept on my old bed, mum camped downstairs and on the 24rd we got to work.

My aim with this post is to remind ourselves of all the things we've accomplished. Back in Germany we had so many plans on what should be done, and when. Right away was very often the answer. Sometimes looking back it feels like we've accomplished so little, when comparing to those plans we made. It'll be a good excercise to take a look at everything to see how far we've come.

Our house before Christmas 2016

The House

We...

  • tore down all fixed cabinets and closets which held us back in making this place look like ours
  • completely had the bathroom redone
  • painted two rooms
  • decorated the guest room
  • started working on the guest room floor
  • and redecorated the guest room
  • redid half the kitchen (well, father-in-law Peter did most of that actually)
  • had the second fireplace fixed
  • improved the insulation of our windows
  • and of course furnished the house completely with our own furniture

 

Our PV system arriving in July 2016

Energy

There is now...

  • a 4,7 kWp photovoltaic system on our roof (currently closing on 2 mW production all-in-all)
  • a biogas digester waiting to be taken into operation
Herb garden in the making

Garden & Yard

Oh my goodness, where to even start! Well, let's see.

We...

  • created a permaculture design for the premises and started working on the closest zones
  • planted loads of food in season of 2016 to get us through the winter (thanks Mom for a LOT of help!)
  • started converting the old garden into a mulch garden
  • created several new raised beds and small garden pieces close to the house
  • been planting a lot of food to get us through the next winter
  • cut pretty much all our bushes and fruit trees for better harvest
  • started working on two herb gardens
  • got rid of so.much.stuff.and.trash from the premises!
  • got a beautiful set of second hand garden table and chairs and fixed them
  • set up a new solution for laundry air drying (plus got a great second hand washing machine)
  • planted dozens and dozens of trees from the garden into the young forest
  • planted dozens and dozens of new berry bushes and fruit trees, mostly from cuttings from our old bushes & trees
  • cleaned and reorganized the workshop (!)
  • hosted friends, neighbours and family for fun times several times

And that's just the highlights!

Sophie the cat Beyond Buckthorns

The Rest

Is that all? Not quite.

We also...

  • adopted a cat, Sophie
  • started this blog
  • started a business
  • last but not least, generally enjoyed our life and the first year in Finland. It wasn't always easy, but it's been worth it.

Here's to Year Nr. Two!

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About the Author

Lumia

Gardener, homemaker and finance whiz living beyond buckthorns since 2016.

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