WAYS TO INCREASE GLC'S SUSTAINABILITY AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Sahala's own natural resources and the neighborhood offer numerous ways to develop both sectors.
- We already produce various black health berries on the farm with 130 bushes and some buckhorn (tyrni) too. There is a friend who has several hectares of various dark berries 50 km away with a sales price of €3 with self-picking. This potential also makes commercial seed-herb-berry-smoothie production possible. In most years, we can also pick about 8 different kinds of natural and super-healthy berries in our or nearby forests.
- On our fields, we currently farm healthy oats and oil hemp (hempseed). Farming rye and other cereals is no problem, and the same goes for rips or raps for oil.
- We have a good population of small deer in the forest to hunt freely for meat. There is also a field and forest rabbit population that tolerates a lot of hunting.
- There are a lot of fish in the lakes that can be fished year-round with various methods.
- We have good soil for gardening or keeping a greenhouse with plentiful yields, including potatoes and carrots.
- Keeping hens for eggs in movable cages on the fields from May to October is easy, and maybe in the winter too.
- Some have suggested that we keep 2-4 cows to produce our own A-2 milk (and yogurt from that). This, too, is easy to organize and sell the surplus.
- Our organic fields, field sides, and forest areas grow dozens of different kinds of health-boosting herbs, including medicinal plants. GLC could take Sahala Herbs Ltd to run with all its potential and sell.
- Producing medical mushrooms in the forest commercially or for our own use is easy, and some of them already grow there naturally.
- We have about 3000 species of healthy mushrooms in the forest, of which about 300 are harmful. They are ready to be picked from July to October. You need to know what to pick, and there are apps and books to learn from.
- We have not yet produced any insect protein, but with grass-eating species, this is surely a good option to study, as well as worms and certain kinds of butterfly caterpillars which are rich in fat and protein with no bones.
- We can heat mostly with our own wood and solar.
- Many want to have a homeschool for children. This way of education could be at least complementary to normal school.
- GLC's preventive health program keeps the members very healthy, and outside medical care is seldom needed.
- We have numerous smart, social, and intellectual ideas for peaceful evening activities, which diminishes the need to look for outside commercial entertainment.
- We have a couple of generators in case of electric cuts. However, our electricity system in Sahala is in a so-called weatherproof electric net. This means that all electric underground cables all the way to Sahala cannot be affected by falling trees, storms, etc.
- In our massage room, we have a sophisticated therapy massage table with which regular massages, up to demanding osteopathic treatments, can be shared among members.
- Developed and intensive sauna culture is a very effective team builder, stress remover, and health supplier for the group.
- We have a very good variety of mechanical tools and a repair shop to do small repairs ourselves. There is a very skilled forest machine driver man who can do this too.
- A good strong community has members with various innovative skills to solve a number of different kinds of problems in a spirit of cooperation.
Our own food production, gathering from the farm or neighboring areas, is all a sustainable operation.
The same goes for using wood for heating. Sahala forests grow about 10,000 m3/year, and for heating, we need a maximum of 100 m3.
Solar collectors work from March to October. We need to invest some more in this system.
We do not have solar panels yet. It may not be profitable in the long run because electricity in Finland is cheap and, in the summer, even cheaper. We could buy green electricity only. Our electricity consumption with LED lamps is already low. In the big kitchen, the stove already uses gas, which can be biogas too. We can install more gas stoves if we want.
Moving on the farm happens with bicycles or electric mopeds. We will buy electric cars once they have reasonable prices.
We could use our own rips oil for diesel after installing the right machinery and growing the rips.
We can wait for economical single farm biogas equipment to show up in the market. Then cars and tractors can be used with that. In Sahala, we have lots of grass for that, and from neighboring cattle farms, we get the manure. There are plans for biogas in the village (3 km), where we could act as a partner.
Car or bicycling or electric moped driving can be changed on good weather to go shopping in the village with Salli canoe (max 3 persons), our "Wind arrow" canoe (20 people) or rowing with the "Forwind" rowboat (40 persons). These are also great ways to go relaxing and enjoying peaceful and beautiful nature even for several days in the big lakes of our area.