Updated: Aug 30, 2020
We FINALLY traverse the last kilometer, shaking with our car over the bumpy road. The road just changed from new asphalt to a grindy-sand surface. On the left we pass some horses that look at us in a curious but otherwise undisturbed way. A brown one, a white one and a black one waving with their manes. On the right a renovated wooden windmill with an information board next to it. We shake on. The atmospheres changes when we drive into an untamed dense forest with another two farms hidden between the fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The names of the farms carved out into wooden plaques and shown proudly at their shamble garden gates.
‘This is it’ says Jonas. On the left we see the entrance lane to our land. As we try to take the turn with Monster I notice a neighbouring flowerpatch showing itself off next to the road.. Purple flowers happily wave us welcome. A neighbour growing a flower patch makes me hopeful. Next to the concrete house are a dozen small buildings spread across the yard: sheds, a sauna and a greenhouse. I spot a small old man in the distance wearing shorts and working in his vegetable garden.
Then I concentrate on what I can percieve in front of me, the knot in my belly wrings itself abit tighter. In front of us the old wooden shed that we know from the pictures shows itself, nested inbetween flowering bushes on both sides…”We are here!” I peep in exitement. Carefully we drive Monster a little bit on the ‘driveway’: just a bit of stoney soil with high grasses in between. From this point of view we don’t see any other farm in the immediate vicinity, no prying eyes, just forest, and…quietness. I breath out reliefed and get out of the car with enthusiasm.
The closest neighbours.
What we see in front of us is a small wilderness, an abundance of blooming herbs, surrounded by overgrown and deterioted stone walls. What gets our immediate attention is all the life that zooms around us. Gigantic dragonflies twirl around us as if they welcome us: they are certainly not shy beings. In the following minutes we meet with the small flies, musquitos and several big flies that furiously bang on the car. All of them fly away while we try to find a path between the different sorts of plants and herbs that cover the ground in abundance. There hasn’t been anyone here recently, since there is no path the speak of.
I admire the sacred light that shines on the overgrowth. Freshness waves in the warm summer breeze. Directly in front of us stands this massive old oak, the keeper of the land, who grants us a green roof with its branches. On the island it is a custom to plant a tree close to the farmstead with every birth. Maybe this tree also symbolizes someones starting life.
The Wooden Little House
In the back I see a small wooden house and walk up to it while waving my arms. The unknown insects are a bit overwhelming. A strong smell of flowers covers the land. The house stands in a dark corner, every moment of the day it stands in the shade of the surrounding trees. It reminds me of the garden shed in which we currently live in: same dimensions but with an extra story. No windows to the south and a low door. Musquitos found their perfect hiding place in the humid planks making up the overhang of the terrace. Planks that need replacement. The lower part of the house looks like it consists out of beams of an old building and on top of that the new roof was constructed at some point. I make a walk around and notice some insect holes here and there, and some greenish pieces of wood. But with some restoration and some more light it can definitely win back some charme. This building will be renovated first. We plan on using this one as our sleep and living quarters during our first winter here, until we can start building our own house. How we see this coming to life I will tell you in an other post. In front of the house is a beautiful orange lilly that is really showing itself off to everyone that notices.
The little house in between the green forest
Jonas starts a new stone collection in the front porch.
Wauw, what a spectacle.
The Shed with an Old Sauna
They told us the old shed at the entrance was in a very bad condition. I push open the low wooden doors with care. An atmospheric and dusty space reveals itself. The old wooden beams and planks keep the mossy asbestos roof up. Some recent repairs catch the eye. In the middle I notice a strip of open air between the plates. Deteriorated. Old fishnets are draped over some beams and the previous owner left us with a wooden lounge corner with a sturdy picnic table in the middle. Someone put some windows in the old walls, with a view on the open meadow. The lower part of the shed simply rests on … calcerous stones. The part where the wood touches the stones has had some tough years. Jonas discovers two lovely bird nests in the shed. Furthermore there is an old cooking furnace, a rusted military helmet and some gardening tools. Adjacent to this room there is a dark and small storage, when looking at all the attributes present we think it might have been a sauna in the past.
The old shed with the oak.
Inside the shed the previous owners left us a sitting corner
There are two ‘gardenchambers’ on the land. The left part is an enclosed space with the small wooden house, the old oak, fruit trees, maples and hazels. At the other side there is a big open space of half a hectare, with a wavy border between grassland and forest. Spruces, pines and hazels offer protection from the wind. At the streetside there are the remnants of an old boulderwall. In the middle an green island with some bushes and a small tree. It is a lively place: I see spiders, dragonflies, beetles, butterflies, humblebees…On one square meter there is so much plant diversity that I lost count. I’m dizzy of the smells and the many colours of flowers and unknown plants. It is a bit creepy to walk in the tall grasses, since you don’t see where you put your foot down. We have to look for a scyth in the very near future. This is where the vegetable garden, flower garden and greenhouse will come in the future. My hearth skips a beat with that thought. We find the remnants of an old fence. Probably this space was used as grassland in the past.
I had suspected to find a poor soil, but when we used the drill to do our first soil reconassiance this didn’t seem that bad. It looks like our land is like a small fertile island in the area. The plants and trees are also a bit different compared to those of our neighbours. We drilled up some loamy sand with a crumbly texture. I could just roll a small ball from it. The deeper , the lighter the soil became, more calceruous. With some small stones in the mix. Up to a depth of 60cm. From there on it became difficult to drill due to the larger stones.
Looks like a view from another time and age.
Digging in the soil.
The tree in the middle of the field
A colorful inhabitant
The Magic Forest
The largest part of the land consists out of forest. But what an atmosphere! Everywhere I look, I discover an interresting bush/tree combination, enclaves with century old trees and young upstart bushes. Besides the oak at the entrance there are many other majestic examples. A part of the land is planted with hazels, probably for chopping purposes. My gratitudes goes out to all the people before us that shaped this place! The hazels are gigantic, the branches are covered with blue-ish moss and the trunks have a white colour to them. Further on I discover some old birches, that glint against the dark forest background. As I make my way through the tall grasses I make one photo after another. A very old spruce towering high above me. A maple in all its glory. There is a lot of dead wood that we could collect from the forest. Good for our future compostheap! In the back next to another oak I find an old campfire. The land realy makes up for its name ‘Tamme’, meaning oak. I’m not really sure where exactly our land ends and turn around after making one last picture.
Drone footage from in between the trees and above the field.
Relicts of the Past
We did have to search a while for our well. Hidden between all the plants and trees we finally found it: a very rusted handpump connected to a tube in the ground. Old to the bone. We will have to find out if the well is still working properly. If a well isn’t used frequently it gets clogged with organic material. We did hear some water somewhere in the deep when testing out if it still worked…
Several meters from the pump we find a mysterious object. We have no idea what it is, but it does look like something meant for war. It has this strange shape with two sharp tips on both sides. And we found an old military helmet in the shed. What transpired here in the past?
Inbetween a gigantic anthill we find some old rusted remains. Cookingfurnace, old kettles, bottles. It looks like that the old owners ‘cleaned’ out the old buildings a long time ago. We wisely keep our distance from the ant colony.
A well hidden waterpump
The mysterious object.
Thanks for reading!
The next blog will go more in-depth about the atmosphere of the island, how we experienced exploring our surroundings, our impressions and the best discoveries up to now.