Forests As A Travel Destination

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Forests As A Travel Destination

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We humans like to travel

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Travel is great but it has chellenges

The travel industry is a straightforward way to places and countries to increase the value. We travel because we want to get away, want to experience new, want to see, take photos and learn something new. But at the same time travel has many negative impacts to nature. Flying is not the most sustainable way of travelling and our impact to the environment is dramatic.

Come to finnish forest

The nature and its wonders is a destination to travels. We have created national parks for us to get in to the ‘wild’ and reflect our relationships with the nature. But there is a need for more travel. This year 2023 Europe has faced extreme heat, the water reserves are low. . The nature’s limits are here and humans are bound to seek for places where the power of the sun is not burning, where the air and wind is clean.

* ------Forest in Finland is a healing place. You just have to look at the map and see where the weather is perfect But at the same time the nature in Finland is very delicate.

Travels that truly matters

The idea is to find experiences, transformative experiences that makes the travel truly matter. Therefore just flying in to the edge of the forest is not enough but the true value is created when travellers me and you are taken into the depths of the forest, to immerse itse beautiful aura to transform and heal us.

Protecting Resilience

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Protecting Resilience

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Fornemus is non-political, non-ideological NGO to have an open and critical conversations about the forest and its exponential value. Is protecting forest increasing or decreasing the value of the forest?

Conversation is stuck. Protecting forest is seen as sacrifice or it is seen as the ONLY way to go forward. Protection is also seen as stagnation and removing the idea of growth and mutually benefitting.

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Protecting forest - Increase or decrease value?

We protect what is valuable to us, but more important question is the what is the act of protection. At Paimio event Päivi, Sipe, Elina and Mirkku talked actually about increasing the value by amplifying the biodiversity of the forest thus creating resilience to the ecosystem. Resilience is the best protection. (Thank you Sami Toivoniemi)

 

Päivi Luoma talked about the importance of transparent data, Sipe told stories about actions that everyone can do. Elina outlined solvable paradoxes and Mirkku told a story how changing perception created value for Artek products. 

 

The conversation outline three key fundamentals of the future of protecting forest:

  1. We want to go from stagnated protection towards empowering resilience 
  2. We want to amplify the mindset of caring and seeking a harmonious relationship with the forest ecosystem
  3. Resilience building is made of actions that we all can do. 

    Fornemus is looking for forest resilience building solutions. We want to remove mindset barriers and make finnish forest knowledge a torchbearer of the new forest relationships.


* ------Who are the guardians of the forest. In Lord of the Rings story Tolkien told about a interesting character Tom Bombadill - What a great example of forest guardians.

I had an errand there: gathering water-lilies,
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year's end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet till the snows are melted.
Each year at summer's end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down the Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.
By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!
And that proved well for you-- for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
not while the year is old. Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow's house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.

Tom Bombadill singing to Hobits Lord of the Rings


Mikko-Pekka Hanski wondering about the world.

Planting trees with Apulanta

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Planting trees with Apulanta

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Planting trees with: We humans want to do good and remember. Planting trees is an age old tradition. We have planted trees for kings and queens, to remember people and respect life in general.

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Trees grow from me

Metsä Ry had an opportunity to collaborate with a finnish music group Apulanta to encourage people to plant trees. In July 2022 we gave away 200 000 birch seeds to people to sow the seeds and raise a birch for planting.
Sowing a birch seed and planting it somewhere may seem as an ordinary thing to do, but in fact it is way bigger than just a tree.

Birch — always a good idea

Birch tree when growing up can digest 0,904 t CO2/m3
Birch tree in Finland is a home for hundreds of species
Birch tree is a national tree of Finland. It is part of our heritage
Birch sap – the power drink of the forest
Birch leaves buds are the sign of spring
Artek furniture is made of birch!

But there is also critical reflections.
Birch drinks all the water from the ground and competes with other trees on light.
When old it can be dangerous to humans

Planting a tree is prohibited if you are not owning the land.
As you can see the downsides of planting a tree and birch are way less than positive. So therefore it is generally a good idea to sow birch seeds.
Conservations, forest industry and land owners we all love trees and forests. The means and expressions of love are different. But planting a tree is a good idea

Plant and share

“For us the nice boys from Apulanta forest is an important thing. That is why we want to donate the birch seeds to you. Do what you want with them, but we hope you end up planting them to a good ground. Maybe to a place that is important for you. The plant grows – and later the fearless tree – will remind you of this evening, the circle of life and the relativity of time. If you feel like sharing your story, use hashtag #minustakasvapuu. That way we all can celebrate together what came out of these seeds and where the trees ended up growing.”

* ------Apulanta - https://minustakasvaapuu.fi/

Orienteering

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Orienteering

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Orienteering: The ability to move in the forest using your instincts, cognition and physical capabilities is one the oldest metaskills we have had.

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Never get lost

Arctic Tern (travels easily 55 000 miles every year) is an eternal voyager, a follower of light. It is that they said to see more daylight and sunshine than any other species: the endless day of Arctic Summer followed by the endless day of the Antarctic summer on the other side of the world.”

* ------From the fantastic book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris the Lost Words, a spell book. Publisher Penguin Books 2017

Ultimate education

The ability to move in the forest using your instincts, cognition and physical capabilities is one the oldest metaskills we have had. The skills of a navigator provided food, shelter, new worlds and survival.
Our current world on the verge of metaverse requires the same skills to navigate. Identify key points from the map, observe surroundings, adapt to changing situations, reach goals and keep on going. Sounds familiar?
Yes, the skills and capabilities used for orienteering are exactly the same as what we need to orientate to our lives in general.

Find your way home

We feel that nature, wild forest and wandering are fantastic ways to not only learn physical navigation, but it teaches us skills for metaphysical navigation. To understand what goal is in any way, how to adapt (resilience) and energy to move ahead.”

* ------Reflection by Minna Kauppi - Interview by Mikko-Pekka 2021

Foraging

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Foraging

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Foraging has the potential to revitalize our connection with surrounding nature, no matter where you are and remind us that we are not above nature.

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Transforming Body & Mind

A core idea in foraging is that finding what we eat has a transformative effect on our body and mind – our spirit changes by eating. Foraging is also a spiritual practice. It’s about living in the moment and letting nature guide you. Sami Tallberg emphasizes that you need to enter the forest with no expectations, anger, and negativism. You’ll never know what’s going to happen and what you will find. But he always brings back something, it could be a massive revelation about human relationships, an exhilarating patch of mushrooms or a discovery of a new plant. It’s like entering a new world every time.

Foraging is also a learning process. Sami Tallberg is today using around 100 plants and over 70 mushrooms in his cooking, but what nature has to offer is endless: an unfolding mystery. Every year is different. You can predict where certain plants grow but with mushrooms you have absolutely no idea. There are no shelves or prices driving your decision making, instead you need to enter nature with deep respect and be thankful for what you find. You could look at it as the antithesis of capitalism, nothing costs anything, and yet what you find is often invaluable. On the flip side of the coin, the ingredients you find in nature can be incredibly valuable when served at gourmet restaurants or packaged into food supplements.

Every man’s rights to superfoods

Every man’s right makes Finland heaven for foragers. It is legal to pick berries, herbs, and mushrooms from a forest without consent from the landowner. Never the less, the best place to forage is close to where you live and where you feel a strong connection to the land.

The tradition often resides with the indegineous people. The Sami people are the perfect example: they can hear plants, berries, and animals, and connect with them on an emotional, spiritual level.

Foraging and the superfood qualities of the wild ingredients are gaining momentum as a way to re-build the lost connection.

Re-connecting...

I didn’t realize until five or ten years ago, that my grandad was really strongly connected to nature and he was collecting all the remedies from nature. My earliest memory from nature is my grandad collecting birch sap into a Koskenkorva bottle.

But my dad was never too into that and my mom had zero connection to nature. So basically I think that connection and information jumped over my parents generation to me –and was activated in me.

* ------Sami Tallberg

Dandelion

Dazzle, little sun-of-grass!
And spin me, tiny time-machine! 
(tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
Now no longer know as Dent-de-Lion, Lion’s Tooth, or Windblow
(tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
Evening Glow, Milkwitch or Prachute, so

Let new names take and root, thrive and grow,
(tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
I would make you some, such as
Bane of Lawn Perfectionists
Or Fallen Star of the Football Pitch
or Scatterseed, but
Never would I call you only, merely, simply, ‘weed’.
(tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)

* ------From the fantastic book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris the Lost Words, a spell book. Publisher Penguin Books 2017

Fungi

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Fungi

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Mushrooms tie us to our past and will propel us to a better future.

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Ties to our past
and to our future

Fungi can be very old, thousands of years old. The mushroom spot your grandmother showed you is probably the same organism that has been feeding generations of your ancestors for hundreds if not thousands of years.

We form these personal over-generational relationships to trees, like the apple trees inherited from grand parents, but rarely to fungi. It’s the same species. Same organism. Fruiting bodies from the same individual.

The hidden kingdoms inside the forests

Eric, Kääpä Biotech – When we look at forests, we tend to name them according to the trees: a spruce forest or a mixed forest. We rarely stop to think about what really defines the health and character of the forest, namely the fungi beneath the ground responsible for those mycorrhizal connections.

Maybe it’s the complexity and interconnectedness that has kept fungi largely invisible until today. We know nothing about fungi out of an estimated 1.5 to 5 million species on the world around 150,000 are known to science, but even these are under researched.

Boundless potential

This leaves us with boundless potential related to applications for fungi, medicinally, from the perspective of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and in the quest to preserve biodiversity.

This is why fungi have the potential to save our species.

Boundless potential

This leaves us with boundless potential related to applications for fungi, medicinally, from the perspective of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and in the quest to preserve biodiversity.

This is why fungi have the potential to save our species.

The gentle science of growing fungi

Fungi turn deadwood into the nursery of the forest through keeping the logs moist and antibacterial – a perfect breeding ground for new life. In Finland, it’s estimated that 20,000 species depend on deadwood.

The fungi also have a crucial role in enhancing the ability of trees to capture carbon. Introducing fungi to tree nurseries increases tree growth by 20%, but also helps with survivability of the saplings as it reduces pest infections.

In addition of improving profitability this practice helps the trees to get on the right path to form very healthy mycorrhizal relationships.

Carbon sequestration:
 Forming the black diamonds

However, finding and maintaining the right mycorrhizal strains is a science in itself, but shows great promise. Whereas trees are delaying the carbon cycle, fungi can sequester it into the forest through melanizing the carbon.

Melanized carbon has more in common with diamonds than it has with wood: it doesn’t decompose.

 

* ------Eric, Kääpä Biotech

‘All right,’ Too-ticky said. ‘Now, here’s your new family. They’re a bit silly at times, but rather decent, largely speaking.’
‘Give the kid a chair,’ Moominpappa said. ‘Does she know how to pick mushrooms?’
‘I really know nothing at all about Ninny,’ Too-ticky said. ‘I’ve only brought her here and told you what I know. Now I have a few other things to attend to. Please look in some day, won’t you, and let me know how you get along. Cheerio.’
When Too-ticky had gone the family sat quite silent, looking at the empty chair and the silver bell. After a while one of the chanterelles slowly rose from the heap on the table. Invisible paws picked it clean from needles and earth. Then it was cut to pieces, and the pieces drifted away and laid themselves in the basin. Another mushroom sailed up from the table.
‘Thrilling!’ My said with awe. ‘Try to give her something to eat. I’d like to know if you can see the food when she swallows it.’
‘How on earth does one make her visible again,’ Moominpappa said worriedly. ‘Should we take her to a doctor?’
‘I don’t think so,’ said Moominmamma. ‘I believe she wants to be invisible for a while. Too-ticky said she’s shy. Better leave the kid alone until something turns up.’

* ------The invisible child, Tove Jansson page 68–9, 1962