SUSIMAA – the Farm: Susimaa is a piece of land owned by our ever growing family, currently consisting of us humans, our wolfdogs, dog, cat, chickens, quails, rabbits, goats and sheep. It sits in the middle of the woods, with no neighbors, but forest dwellers and lots of trees.
The couple behind Susimaa: We are Kauni & Vállju Susisydän. Both of us were raised conventionally and come from the city, where we’ve studied and led modern lives with former 24/7 jobs. From one day to another we moved to Finland, where we’ve found our roots over the years. Finland is our home. Lapland is where we’ve settled down to dig our roots deeper and deeper on our own land. It is where the meaning of our life became clear to us, where we’ve started our family and where our family line begins. We live a simple, hard and full-filling life with nature as our guide, we generate our own limited electricity in a cottage in the woods. We grow our own food, bake our own bread, make our own jam and juices, gather food from the woods, collect our own quails eggs. Step by step we learn getting more and more self-sufficient, as independent from outer sources as possible. Our work is our life here on our farm, 24/7 done by only us, there are no employees and there won’t be. Everything we do is from scratch back to nature. We’ve learned most out of hardship and we keep on learning and self-reflecting with our greatest (and only) teacher, always on our side.
We are doers, who hardly ever sit still, so there are always changes happening, inside and outside. Always new visions to realize, to put into action. Our life is constant change, in which we find our stillness.
Our concept of living: Our life is with nature. We came here to be with nature and animals. We are here to learn from nature, to change when change is needed, like the seasons change, to be with animals, learn from their social interaction with each other, we are here to use natures gifts to us – to gather the herbals on our land and use them for medicine and food. To grow our own food. We do not need to convince anyone about our way of life. We know this is the right way to live our life. Respectful, silent and working for survival, as independent as possible from outer sources. We do not waste our breath, our human energy, communicating with people, that try to manipulate us, and think they can tell us what we need, what we lack, what we do wrong. Our life is right, our life is honest, nothing needs to be added. We have everything we need in front of our eyes. We do not need anything else. We are where we are supposed to be. The right place. The circle closes. A new generational line begins. No one is better than the other, bank account, life insurance doesn’t give anyone more security than we have here, in the heart of the woods. We are all the same, the difference is only that a lot of people have separated from nature, while we are here to be part of nature again, to honor and remember the ancient way of life, traditions, the root of everything. We do not need shoulds and must. We do not need, and we do not must anything but LIVE and trust in the circle of life, in the gift that nature, that God give us and that we honor here on our land every day, every second. We have the courage to follow our hearts and this is how we live our lives. It is the way of living. It is the right path. We are here to share with the ones, who have an open heart, the will to change, the will to be part of nature again. To change when change is needed, to be part of something so much bigger. The invisible threads that make this life worth living. Knowing there is so much more to life than what we think. Our life is with nature.
Our philosophy of living with (wolf)dogs: Our animals are our companions, we share life, we share everything that goes beyond, we communicate with them on a level that most will never even nowhere near enough understand, it comes natural it is natural and it goes beyond word. The most important always goes without words. Our animals follow us, they trust us like we trust them, we do not need to train them to behave, to be obedient, to follow dumb rules. They are allowed to live how God intended them to live. Natural! They follow us without that we ever told them to follow us, they trust us without us ever telling them to trust us, they obey when it is right to obey, they respect us like we respect them. We learn from them! It’s not the other way round. They are our greatest teacher. It all comes natural.
Our (wolf)dogs: Our (wolf)dogs are our No. 1 priority. Every day is suited to them. We live and act as closely with them as humans can live with animals. We are part of their groups, of their dynamics, of their plays, of their moods and interaction. We keep the number of our animals as small as that we can have strong individual relationships to them and to make sure that we can give them as much land as possible. A big part of our land is fenced for them already and we are building new fences every summer. For us there is nothing more beautiful than seeing them running and playing – with every more piece of land that we give to them the joy grows. Most of our dogs have some % of wolf inside (low content), besides Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, White or German Shepherd, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Samoyde, Elkhound. All of them come from Finnish breeders – either as puppies or adopted as young dogs from former Finnish homes, except for one, that was born at our land as single puppy. The nature of a dog with % wolf means that one cannot exactly know what the exact background is meaning what kinds of breeds are represented in which exact percentage unless you do an Embark test, which we have no interest in, as we are not breeders! We know the family trees of all of them and the round about percentage of the breeds inside of them. All our dogs are working dogs. Some pull a sled, some watch the land, some protect, all of them are what they are.