My roots are deep in the Kuusamo soil, and I draw my strength from the nature and animals. I am a wife, mother and mami (step mother) of four children. We also have reindeer and four Lapp reindeer dogs.
I have grown up in nature, and there I have returned to find empowerment. I love observing and studying the wonders of nature, harvesting wild herbs, berries and mushrooms and, most of all, fly-fishing. Working with my hands and doing all kinds of crafts, particularly those I can use and recycle natural materials in, are my passion.
I am a sixth-generation reindeer herder. I have worked as entrepreneur in adventure tourism for 20 years. As nature-based product adviser I have had the opportunity to provide information and skills for utilising Forest Treasures wild food, and about their primitive and unifying power.
I found myself struggling with fading personal strength, and discovered energy treatments: from them I found help for both physical and mental challenges. This aroused a desire to learn about chances to help others in the challenging whirl of life.
The gentle effectiveness of BodyMind Energy Balancing Method in treating diverse problems has introduced me to a new way of sharing a presence with another person.
My roots are deep set in the ancient forests of Kainuu, eastern Finland, but the north has always been my heart’s desire. Forests, fells and rivers are a constant source of joy for me. My father introduced me to fishing when I was five years old, and I still remember many childhood fishing trips. I took up fly-fishing in 1997.
Previously, I worked in the Finnish Defence Forces as a trainer and sergeant major, until I studied to be a wilderness and nature guide and a fishing guide. In 2009, I was able to turn a beloved hobby into a professional guiding service. In this work I can pass on my knowledge and skills to my customers. In 2010, I moved to live permanently in Kuusamo with my wife, Satu, where we now together continue the family’s old livelihood, reindeer husbandry. At the same time, we also carry on the tourism activities started by Satu’s father, Reino.
Alongside fishing, I have discovered a second passion in life, reindeer husbandry. Living in sync with the cycle of nature, with all its joys and sorrows, is peaceful in its own way. When working with reindeer, I can follow the signs of nature much more closely than when just wandering in the wilderness. In nature, everything has an effect on everything else. Having our own Lapp reindeer dogs join me in working with the reindeer is rewarding. Years of training gives back many times over when I see a dog leading reindeer to roundups in autumn.
When winter turns to spring, there is time to organise/guide long snowmobile safaris to Sweden or Russia. I enjoy safaris of several days with the same guests, as then there is time to get to know people better. On these excursions, the wilderness takes on a whole new meaning and each excursion is unique.
The same principle is present in all of the services we provide. We want our guests to enjoy themselves with us, together, the same way we enjoy our ”work” and hobbies.
Palosaari Reindeer and Fishing Farm sustainable travel principles
The operation of the reindeer and fishing farm on Palosaari has always sought to respect nature. The company works in cooperation with animals and nature, so responsible and sustainable business has been a natural path. This activity has not been systematically documented before, but separate plans and decisions have been made, which, however, have always supported the principles of sustainable tourism. As tourists and tour operators value sustainable tourism and operations to a greater extent, it is consistent to create clear documentation of the company’s operations.
The company’s premises are original farm buildings and the craft shop, which sells local crafts and other products, operates in a house built in 1920. The facilities are kept in good condition by utilizing recycled materials, respecting building traditions while preserving the old culture. For the land owned by the farm, we have made our own protected areas where no felling or tillage is carried out. Concerns about the survival of our natural fish stocks have led us to be involved in the development of water bodies and fishing regulations.
Palosaari’s reindeer and fishing farm received Green Activities certification in November 2020, which was a natural continuum in the company’s sustainable development and tourism work.
The company’s operations are strongly based on local and reindeer husbandry culture. We offer internships for local as well as international students, offering them the opportunity to learn about reindeer husbandry culture as well as the local lifestyle.
Year-round activities can strengthen sustainable use of nature and strengthen visitors’ perception of the area’s fauna. We work closely with other entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the region to promote sustainable tourism and primarily select partners with the same values. The company regularly discusses with the locals about the company’s operations and develops products more and more throughout the year.
We are constantly learning new things and actively looking for more environmentally friendly, responsible and sustainable ways of operating, and the company has a clear will to be one of the most responsible companies in the region by 2025. The company aims to have a zero carbon footprint by 2025.
Values and ethical guidelines
1. Respect of animals
The starting point for all activities is a healthy, happy reindeer whose life and needs are respected. Animal well-being is ensured by care, maintenance, and enabling of natural behaviour. In addition to our reindeer herd, we cherish forest animals and birds, and all life that surrounds us.
2. Promotion of well-being, human rights and equality
For us, all our customers are guests. In our customer service, we promote the kind of inclusion that increases the opportunities of our guests to have an effect on the decisions and actions regarding their lives. A person has the right to make independent decisions when using services, where this is not in conflict with anyone’s well-being, safety, or community guidelines. In all our operations, we always treat our guests equally and comprehensively, regardless of their status, life situation, gender, age, religion, culture, race, beliefs, or opinions.
3. Principles of sustainable tourism
When operating in the surrounding nature and Oulanka National Park, we do our best to follow the Metsähallitus principles of sustainable tourism. In our actions, we make environmentally friendly choices and we also help our customers in doing so.
4. Culturally sustainable tourism
We work to keep the local culture as alive as possible and to show the local way of life to each of our guests exactly as it has been for decades – and still is.
5. Openness of communications, operational transparency, cooperation
We communicate openly with our guests, authorities, partners and employees on all matters regarding the living conditions of our animals, the principles that guide our operations, and the actions we take to ensure environmental protection. The questions our guests ask will be answered honestly. In our operations, we strive to promote good mutual relations and cooperation between those working in the field. We value the expertise of other professionals in the field, and support other actors in their work and professional development.
6. Quality and safety
We are aware of the laws, statutes and regulations that have an effect on the everyday operations of our company. For us, safety means mental, physical and social safety. As a service provider, we offer our guests products and services that are safe and of high quality. We see to it that the requirements set for our work are met. We assess the quality and safety of our work regularly.
7. Local products and services
Whenever possible, we get everything from as close as possible: products, services, ingredients, collaboration partners, anything at all that we need for our family and our company.
8. Consideration of regional environmental policy
We make good climate choices and reduce our carbon footprint. We monitor the impact of tourism on the environment and, with active measuring, aim for more efficient use of energy and resources. We are involved in developing tourism to a more sustainable direction regionally, and we follow the Kuusamo town environmental policy.
9. Support of year-round tourism and sustainable growth
In order for the northern nature to maintain its unique quality, development work must be done slowly and peacefully, avoiding unnecessary rush – in the local way, respecting nature, people and animals. As far as nature tourism is concerned, product development should always happen in a world where money alone has not been given the leading role.
10. Palosaari Reindeer and Fishing Farm follows the moment and evolves
Our goal is to maintain and develop professional knowledge and skills in our field. We keep up with the newest publications regularly, and take part in training and organizational activities. We also help our employees to improve their professional skills and, for our part, we will pass on our professional skills to future generations.