About Beyond Buckthorns

Beyond Buckthorns is a homestead and sustainability research and education centre. In the past years, we have worked on several designs, upgraded the old log house and its three-hectare plot in accordance with sustainability principles, esp. the permaculture ethics and principles. 

Beyond Buckthorns is a EuPN certified PermaHub.

Nick and Lumia
Nick and Lumia

The beginnings

When we got the offer from Lumias mother to move to Lumias childhood home, a three-hectare premises in the countryside of Finland we jumped for joy. For us living in the countryside in a house with a big garden was a big dream - after years and years of city dwelling we had grown to realize we want to live in nature, with nature, and this was our chance!

After one and a half years of learning, planning and jumping for joy we packed our bags in Germany and moved into our new home in May 2016. 

Today, Beyond Buckthorns is a permaculture homestead and education centre. In the past years, we have worked on the old log house and its three-hectare plot in accordance with the principles of permaculture. Close to our hearts are e.g. fairness, producing your own food (especially different fruit trees, herbs and annual vegetables and conserving food), biogas, sustainable and ecological living and renovation of an old house and all kinds of experimentation!

Disclaimer: to fund Beyond Buckthorns we use some affiliate links on this site, which means we get paid a bit if you buy books, tools etc. using the some of links we share here. If you are planning on getting something we present here, feel free to use those and support us in that way!

Living in nature with nature from nature

Meet the inhabitants & designers


Hi, I'm Lumia! That's snow in Finnish if you were wondering. I'm a Finn and after over ten years abroad in Europe I returned to my home country, my 'hoods and especially to the nature I so sorely missed in the big cities of Central Europe.

I have a degree in Marketing and SME Management, but most of my work career abroad I worked in IT project management and controlling. Nof I have returned to my origins as an entrepreneur, helping small companies succeed in their marketing and business, but my other passion is really gardening! At Beyond Buckthorns I work on building a functional homestead and to help create a natural haven for people, plants and animals on our premises. I love to read, work for worthy causes through associations, spend time with our cat Miss Sophie, bathe in the sauna and think up new ways to live a magnificent life for as little money as possible.

I did my PDC in Lahti in 2018 with George Sobol, and lately I've been interested in training others in subjects like permaculture and sustainable lifestyle, too.


My name is Dominik, which for Finland is quite an uncommon name you might think. So, I’m originally from Germany and because my godmother’s friends were from Le Havre I got the Germanized version of the French name Dominique. Most people call me Nick.

What will you do with such a name? Being a brew master (Diploma from the Technical University Berlin) never fitted me very well, besides I can’t lift heavy stuff anymore. I've been into art and design since I was 10 years old. I got my first camera with 7. What else would I become other than an artist and (web)-designer and photographer

Since 2012 I've been involved in the development of DIY small scale biogas. Till mid 2019 I was also part of the Blueprint Network, an alliance of organizations and individuals collaborating on integrated design solutions for regenerative human settlements with homebase in Tamera. 

I grab whatever I can on the net about Permaculture and love to finally be able to work on my own permaculture project.

  • Founding the Finnish Permaculture Association 12/16
  • Article about Biogas at Elonkehä 3/17
  • PDC at Elontila in 8/18
  • In April 2019 I finished my Sociocracy training with Sociocracy for All's Sociocracy Leadership training. 
  • In November 2019 I went for a Teaching Permaculture Teachers (TPT) course to Bulgaria
  • Article about Biogas at Danish Permaculture Magazine 4/20
  • Fromt 2020 to 2022 I was the president of the Finnish Permaculture Association.
  • Since October 2021 I'm a Diploma holder - I finished my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design with the UK Permaculture Association.
  • Since June 2023 I'm a Diploma tutor with the UK Permaculture Association.
  • Since Januar 2024 I'm a EuPN assured teacher

Support our efforts

In 2022, we founded Vihreä Pourusmäki RY - an association for rural development.

Become a supporting member

Come visit!

All visits must either be part of the course or help us with some tasks.

Please contact us in advance - at least one week before.

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A selection of implemented permaculture designs

A shed at Beyond Buckthorns
A shed at Beyond Buckthorns
Introducing the Jean-Luc - the biogas digester at Beyond Buckthorns
Introducing the Jean-Luc - the biogas digester at Beyond Buckthorns
Water - element of live
Water - element of live
Weather station at Beyond Buckthorns
Weather station at Beyond Buckthorns
Integrated composting area - the poop palace
Integrated composting area - the poop palace
Food forest in Zone 1 at Beyond Buckthorns
Food forest in Zone 1 at Beyond Buckthorns
A Kontiki klin at Beyond Buckthorns Permaculture
A Kontiki klin at Beyond Buckthorns Permaculture
Eutopia borealis - aerial image
Eutopia borealis - aerial image
Our PV system
Our PV system

Our homestead

The whole site is 3h in total. It is designed using an overarching design holding together several designs in order to make it digestible. The map below shows the so far implemented designs. Over time more and more will be published.

Suunnitelmista rakentamiseen - Kon-tiki biohiiletin biohiilen valmistukseen

Heating with the sun - a solar air heater

From plans to build - a Kontiki kiln for charcoal making

Building the poop palace - an integrated composting area

Building a DIY weather station

Designing a food forest for Zone 1

Eutopia borealis

Introducing the Jean-Luc

Insulating a rintamamiestalo with hemp

The Biogas Shed

How We Chose Our Photovoltaic System

Design by Zones

We use zones as design process. It is so far the best process for an overarching land based design if the sub-designs are complicated. Usually we work our way outwards. Sometimes it doesn't work because some of the designs which for example are in zone 3 need a lot of planning and come with trees and bushes, which need years to grow. At Beyond Buckthorns we have all zones. Additionally to our standard zone 0 - the house - we have two additional zone 0, which are in use in specific niches in time and therefore are on a pattern level. The design is made in a way and flexible enough to hold pattern level zoning.