It’s our four year anniversary here at BeyondBuckthorns! On the 23rd of May 2016 we arrived from Germany to start our new life in rural Finland; to create a Nordic Permaculture paradise and a life that makes a difference. I made a review post like this after year one but none since. High time, I thought.

So what has happened in these four years? The first year we just pushed through, trying to get ”everything” done, full of energy and enthusiasm! In year two it became obvious there would be no finish line in this project, no one moment where ”everything” is done, a moment after which you get to relax. It seems so clear now, but at that time it was a hard realization. Year two went by working as usual, but somehow tired of the never-endingness of it all. Winter of ’17-’18 was hard in many ways.

Slowly in year three I became to understand that one could relax in between and during, and to see this all as a process, not an endless to-do-list. I struggled with Permaculture, which was not very beneficial for our job at hand – but looking back, it was good because it enabled us to concentrate on separate projects rather than force each other to co-design and work on our own projects all the time. Lots of big and small projects got started and a few even got finished!

Year four started off warm and dry. Thank goodness for the excellent rainwater catchment system Nick had built! We got a great harvest, which was such a joy! It’s such a feeling to see the things you’ve built actually help with the work and relieve stress and worry. It’s worth gold, believe me. We had a beautiful summer and a mild winter. Year 2020 started off horribly, but here we are, doing our best every day. I am learning slowly, that that truly is enough. It is about how to creatively use & respond to change and to accept feedback.

Our roles have settled in Nick doing the bigger planning and projects and me taking care of the day-to-day. I still struggle with Permaculture and in making it my own, but I am again willing to find my way with it. Perhaps in year five? After a cold spring, warmth has finally arrived and planting season is full on. I enjoy the garden very much, and that’s where I am headed right now. Thanks for sharing our journey here!