Naturally in Nature

Heikki Vanhatalo was born in Siikainen, Finland, in 1995 – right into his career, one could say. Today, he runs the local family farm together with his brother Juho.

Heikki Vanhatalo Image: Miia Kulmala

The family dairy farm in Siikainen has a long tradition dating back to 1662. Today, the farm is already owned by the 13th generation of the family. Current owner Heikki has lived in the middle of nature since birth.

“When you live and work close to your roots and local history, you learn to respect everything around you. Especially nature. When work is largely done under the conditions of nature, one is even more sensitive to changes, which means that we all have to act more responsibly all the time so that the farm will see dozens of generations and can continue to evolve over time,” says the farmer.

No Reason to Complain about Two Things

Nature’s own cycle guides the life and work of the farm. Spring and summer are the busiest times, with working days stretching late into the evening.

“Even on busy days, taking a little break at the edge of a field or in the woods is refreshing. We always rest when we have the chance. Rainy days are perfect for that. Every year I realise more and more how great it is to work together with nature. Even when the weather is not that good. I’ve learned that I have no reason to complain about two things: the weather and age. Things I can’t control. Nature works the way it does, and we respect that.”

Forests play a big role in our society. The forest is an important part of Finnish
identity and our most important natural resource.

A Sustainable and Profitable Lifestyle

Although working on a farm is very much a way of life, nowadays it is also a real business. Sustainability and management skills need to be constantly honed. In addition to the actual farm work, there are plenty of administrative tasks, so steady nerves are a prerequisite for this job as well.

“I used to play floorball for a long time, but now I don’t have enough time. Skiing, jogging and walking in nature keep me in shape, but adequate rest and a healthy lifestyle strengthen my physical and mental wellbeing. Of course, it’s also important to take a break every now and then.”

The Vanhatalo dairy farm has been implementing sustainable solutions for centuries, and the current owners have no intention of breaking the cycle.
“Our father has told us hundreds of stories. To tell the stories to future generations, we have to take care of ourselves, our land and the economy.”

Nature Inspires Creativity

Nature has fed the minds of Finns for centuries. The forest is a source
of food, recreation and creative inspiration.

Cone Cow World Championships

Perhaps the most interesting event of the summer will take place in Merikarvia: the World Championships in making cone cows. This contest, to be held on 8 June at the Koivuniemen Herra tourism farm, is the second of its kind at the world championship level. The event is organised as part of the “Let’s do some good – and have some fun” campaign. The free event will be accompanied by an auction of cone cows to raise funds for UNICEF.

Finnish Expertise from the Field to the Table

A combine harvester collects grain crops in a field. Sampo-Rosenlew combine harvesters have been manufactured in Pori for over 60 years. Combine harvesters were first made for Finnish fields, but today they are sold to more than fifty countries.

The Importance of the

Finns are surrounded by forest. Two thirds of Finland is covered in forest, making it the most forested country in Europe. For thousands of years, Finns have lived in and from forests, utilising its natural resources, such as wood, berries, mushrooms and game. In Finland, everyone has the right to roam freely in the forest and pick mushrooms and berries.

Satakunta Chamber of Commerce magazine 2/2024 Lifestyle