What life was like on a Finnish farm a hundred years ago? Visit Korteniemi Heritage Farm to find out!
Korteniemi Heritage Farm is a former forest ranger’s estate. What makes Korteniemi quite unique is that it’s the only forest ranger estate in Southern Finland which has remained almost unchanged for over a hundred years. The grounds and the buildings on the estate are almost the same as they were in 1910s.
Story of Korteniemi
History of Korteniemi can be traced back to 1880s. After Finnish government bought the forest lands, the district forest surveyors needed a place to stay during their inspection trips. The secluded farm in Korteniemi was a perfect for this purpose.
In the late 1800s the main house got an extra room. Also, the additional buildings, including the sauna, shed, stable, livestock barn and the woodshed were built around the same time period between 1880-1900. The government took part in construction expenses and monitored the quality of the buildings, but other than that, there were no instructions or blueprints. Houses were built mainly just by following traditional construction methods. Because of this the buildings have a real cultural value.
Who were the Forest Rangers ?
So why forest rangers were needed? The main duties of the forest rangers were to monitor and to protect the crown-owned forests. Their job was to prevent forest fires and illegal logging, assist foresters, and sometimes arrange hunts of the large carnivore. Forest rangers usually lived on the secluded farms with their families. They took care of the farm and the livestock, while taking care of their forest ranger duties.
At first forest rangers worked part time, but as they got more tasks, it slowly became a full time job. And often sons took over their father’s job. At the Korteniemi farm, the men from the Lönngren family held the forest ranger’s position for over a hundred years.
Korteniemi Heritage Farm
Nowadays, buildings on the Korteniemi farm are protected and maintained by Metsähallitus, the same goverment organization which manages Finnish national parks. Metsähallitus has restored the farm buildings and created a unique destination.
At the farm old Finnish crops are farmed in both the estates gardens and fields by traditional methods. Rye is cut with scythes, dried on racks and threshed with flails in the drying barn. Farm is also home to indigenous Finnish farm animals like horses, cows, sheep, chickens and of course a rooster.
Korteniemi can be visited during summer, and like Finnish national park, there is no entry fee. Korteniemi is located in Liesjärvi National Park, so if you want an authentic forest ranger experience, why not taking a hiking trip on one of the trails in the national park.
Address to the farm is Korteniementie 270, Tammela, Finland.