2022
   -
2024






 



Spring ‘23 – Summer ‘23

- common crane (grus grus)
- mute swan (cygnus olor)
- common chaffinch (fringilla coelebs)
- common wood dove (columba palumbus)
- robin (erithacus rubecula)

Autumn ‘22 – Spring ‘23

- great tit (parus major)
- eurasian jay (garrulus glandarius)
- house sparrow (passer domesticus)
- eurasian blue tit (parus caeruleus)
- great spotted woodpecker (dendrocopos major)
- willow tit
(poecile montanus)
eurasian blackbird (turdus merula)

- grey-headed woodpecker (picus canus)
-
eurasian tree sparrow (passer montanus)


*By late April the bird populations become so overwhelming our observation/recording practice desists, but this has also served as an inspiration for thematic residencies (TBA)










ways we support wildlife @ TUO TUO

-include plants that provide nutrition
(pollen, seeds, berries) so animals
may freely forage

-encourage the growth of native
trees and shrubs (also food)

-provide supplemental food (in winter)

-maintain 6 water features:
from large steel basins to
small clay bowls 

-keep areas of dense foliage,
thicket, stone piles, brush piles
to offer creatures cover
& hiding place

-build bird and bat houses

-leave dead trees
which provide shelter/
abundance of insects (food)




































FEBRUARY 24
we’ve begun planning for spring; deciding what areas need the most attention, which plants/ seeds to acquire, sowing schedules, and some site-specific experiments; our main focus this year is on perennial flowers – for pollinators, especially those plants which provide food (seeds) for birds, as well as others for our own consumption and medicinal/artful purposes and collaborations. we source our seeds via https://www.maatiainen.fi/siemen.htm 

winter compost has required some creativity, esp. considering our house capacity has been higher than seasons past, but we luckily prepared (unintentionally) with stores of dead leaves which has provided the necessary ratio of brown matter to offset the high volume of kitchen scraps. in short, the compost is composting ~ allbeit a bit sluggishly


~ while tending to the compost, we shared memories of our families’ compost heaps; Joni remembers loving to play in the piles of dead leaves as a child, Kaitlyn recalls the disgust they experienced smelling the compost pile located just outside their childhood bedroom window ~


JANUARY 24
the year started at minus -30°C and we awoke to frozen pipes in the kitchen, it was a constant rollercoaster this month with dramatic temperatures and steady snowfalls; we were at full capacity with three-five artists at a time in residence, it was perhaps our most labor intensive month on record, we ended the month in a place of exhaustion but also discernment – the winter, with all its required exertions and unpredictability, might not be not a condusive period for hosting ...



we’re grateful to our January guests for bringing such warmth to the space during this intensely cold period, especially the cosy dinners and the wonderful birding phenology that occurred during their stay:




DECEMBER 23
we decided to take this month off from recording, there is little additional time for anything else but rest – winter is raging.


NOVEMBER 23
winter is here. there has been snow on the ground since the first day of November, and it has been all-white ever since. the early arrival of winter has created a lot of pressure and it has required a significant amount of our attention as stewards – from an operational standpoint (i.e. financially because of the higher electric use required to keep indoor spaces warm); from a rewilding perspective (readying the winter bird feeders in time/ properly stocked for a long winter); and of course from a general maintenance standpoint (the list is too long to include here).

we experienced a mouse dilemma this month, perhaps due to the drastic change in temperature and conditions outside. freezing temperatures have a huge impact on everything, and in turn – our own capacities, we are meditating on the ideas of dormancy, malleability, stretchiness, change, and rest.


OCTOBER 23
around mid-month we began cleaning and preparing the bird feeders, and buying seeds for the winter birds.

we trimmed the thickets amongst the 2ha forest, surrounding forest edges and the old sports field; raked and collected leaves for the compost.

created forest-floor nurturing artworks on the old sports field which is now hosting approx. 100 sprucelings, baby pines, and a few alders and birch trees (between 40cm – 120cm). the artwork consists of scupltures made from decayed branches and logs from old felled trees or pieces from the trees which were cut decades before we arrived to TUO TUO; mimicking a forest floor, the sculptures will fall and scatter and over time their presence will help to support the new forest growth. we have also gleaned from observation that plants and trees respond to placement and removal of various objects and we look forward to seeing what might occur on the field already next year in rsponse to the artworks.


SEPTEMBER 23
the month was unseasonably warm, meadows reflowered; we picked boquets of fresh daisy, tansy and yarrow from the fields, all the plants seemed to retain their green.

we had our first big seed saving harvest, gathering from the native wildflower heaps we created last autumn and in early spring; we collected borage, poppies, flax, scabious, milk thistle, chammomile, and others.

it rained and rained and rained and rained; the amount of mushrooms was extreme, the chanterelles returned again and again and again – all throughout the foresty edges of TUO TUO; the suppilovahvero (yellow foot mushrooms) grew as big as heads of cauliflower.

the forest along the gravel road was clear cut; the forest to the left of the fork was cut; the forest across the lake where we usually pick yellow foot mushrooms was cut, and all were left in such dissarray they were almost impossible to enter. 


AUGUST 23
we took three weeks off in August, and although much continued outside (with and without us) we decided to take this month off from recording, next month we will rethink our approach to documentation for year 2 of the Kone grant period which supports our rewilding efforts


JULY 23

- started a ‘rewilding’ project in the front of the house to build soil / increase soil health on what was previously the parking lot used by the school (we refer to this area as “scorched earth”); we are gradually applying rich layers of green and brown matter, decaying logs, yard brush, etc. to create a forest-floor inspired terrain; this will be an ongoing experiment to observe, adjust and expand

- reduced fireweed and lupine

- native plants are blooming: flax, st. john’s wort, tansy, bell flowers, 

- numerous frogs and lizards of all sizes seen throughout the gardens

- after much research and photographic comparisons, the mystery holes in the field have been atrributed to badgers, but we have yet to spot them in action

- July 12, cloud berries spotted in the swamp (about half were ripe and reay to be picked!)

- red and black currants have arrived

- we planted sunflowers on the south-facing yard

- consistent tending to edges and wild zones beyond the gardens and before the forest, such as rock walls, creek beds, young forest, etc.


JUNE 23

- reduced balsam upon its arrival (we have learned well to nip this one in the bud, so to speak)

- reduced fireweed and lupine

- reduced alder and willow where needed to prevent overcrowding


- planted perennial transplants gifted from our neighbor Tuula :)

- native plants are blooming: white and purple clover, wild strawberry, daisy, yarrow, cow parsley, lady’s mantle, various thistles, mugwort and nettle are growing taller 

- spread compost across the garden beds and campus

- six babies counted in the swallows’ nest above the back door; our relationship with the swallows has been peaceful and they are calm with our presence (the cat is a different story but she is no threat)

- bird babies heard in various birdhouses behind the house (some reinforcements were also made to deter woodpeckers)

- mystery holes observed on the field behind the house; their presence continues to increase!

- we have noticed a significant decrease in mosquitos this year (inside the house/around the gardens) which we attribute to covering all rainwater containers, and only leaving small, cup-sized water containers for birds and pollinators

- consistent tending to edges and wild zones beyond the gardens and before the forest, such as rock walls, creek beds, young forest, etc.



MAY 23

- the greenhouse was finished; squash, beans, tomatoes, cucumber and chamomile were planted inside

- reduced dandelion, fireweed and lupine

- all cuttings of aggressive, biodiversity-threatening plants and couch grasses are done by hand; piles of green matter are left to decompose, or get added to the compost or layered onto garden beds

- the swallows have returned; nests have been built inside of the barn and above the back door to the house

- reinfornced forest paths in the “starter pack” forest behind the field, and edge zones on the south east sides of campus



APRIL 23

- sunshine for three weeks straight, very dry April, temperatures hitting almost 20ºC

- started garden seedlings: tomato cucumber, kale, pumpkin

- buds have formed on the lilac, cherry and apple trees in the yard – they’re looking healthier than ever before

- willows are blooming and dusty with pollen

- over-wintered bumblebees and bugs are waking up

- planted red and white clover in the areas where goatweed loves to grow; signs of other competition appearred, namely ground hops and creeping charlie 

- snow has melted faster than previous years, garden beds are emerging; pallette compost piles are still frozen

- birds, birds, birds (our migrating friends are returning in numbers)

- sewed covercrops on areas cleared from invasive species in autumn ‘22

- greenhouse from recycled materials is well on its way

- tended to forested areas, young trees and native berry shrubs

- planted varieties of native perenniel wildflowers: Echinops bannaticus, Verbascums, Gypsophila paniculata, Silybum marianum, Lavandula, Papaver somniferum 

- aurora borealis / revontulet



MARCH 23

- drew permaculture plans/ garden maps for the year

- began Sciaponics participatory research group led by Ilya Dolgov

- built and installed another 5 bird houses in the forest surrounding the house 

- gathered materials/ began planning for a new green house; kiitos Light Harvsting Complex for the windows <3

- coldest month of the year, March also saw some of the heaviest precipitation of the winter. snow depth ~ 70 cm

- aurora borealis / revontulet 




FEBRUARY 23

- saw aurora borealis or revontulet (a reference to Finnish mythology about the great fox in the sky) 

- the second half of feb saw the return of winter: a cold snap and more snow

- a storm had fell a dying tree (kelo) in the forest behind the sauna

- spotted some willow trees blossoming 

- snow depth ~ 40 cm (compared to ~110 cm in feb 22) 

- baby blue february skies are a welcomed sight ~ conditions waver between cold/crisp and thaw/icy

- unseasonably warm nights have been good for stargazing

- seed inventory/ strategizing  



JANUARY 23

- snow work ~

- maintained winter compost & bird feeders

- spotted plenty of animal tracks in the snowy forest: rabbit, fox, lynx, mink, squirrel... 

- a family of endangered willow tits (poecile montanus) has become a regular visitor on a feeder  

- made skii tracks in the forest 

- a new load of bone dry firewood from Timo

- keept the fireplaces clean 

- average temp -3C



DECEMBER 22

- maintained winter compost

- keept bird feeders and ground areas clean

- average temp - 4C



NOVEMBER 22

- extensive clearing of fireweed
fields located on SE side of the barn 

- used the fermented/rotten plants for compost and mulch

- composted and mulched heap by the sauna, composted and mulched Joss’s heap
 
- permaculture design/planning for the spring (tended to garden beds next to the sauna, created smaller sections with rocks as borders)

- seed research for native plants/ cover crops/ edible perennials

- design phase for mini-greenhouse planning/ list for acquiring recycled materials

- observational perimeter walk on 2ha



OCTOBER 22

- built heap along the outside border of the bird fence, built a snake heap on the NE side of the house and a semi-circle heap in from the barn

- raked fallen leaves to use as mulch for garden beds and heaps

- stored some fallen leaves in the barn for winter to be used as compost

- researched leaf mold*

*leaf mold is a soil amendment – essentially a soil conditioner that increases the water retention; leaf mold improves soil structure and provides a fantastic habitat for soil life: earthworms, beneficial bacteria, etc., it doesn't provide much in the way of nutrition, so we will still need to add compost or other organic fertilizers to increase fertility



SEPTEMBER 22

- removed the white picket fence in the inner yard to allow trees to grow/ encourage filling in and new growth (used materials to build a front gate to prevent cars from driving onto the 2ha; stored remainder in the barn)

- thinned pioneer trees (willow, aspen, alder, rowan, spruce) whose quick growth had filled the spaces where larger trees had previously been cut before our time: surrounding the house [this work revealed just how poorly treated/managed the 2ha has been]

- thinned trees were used for: construction of the bird fence by the spruce line, spruce were used as protective coverings on garden beds, branches/trunks used as heap/raised bed material, we made small tidy piles on the floor of stretches of forest around the house, placed more strategically so that walking among the trees is easier and new growth is still encouraged; also, firewood

- built a keyhole heap on the N side of the house

- added compost to fruit trees/ added protective fencing

- installed birdhouses (5) 


Thank you Kone Founation (Koneen Säätiö) for supporting the rewilding work & research of our programme facilitators.