Last week 0.7 design organized outdoor activites in Finnish forests for Japanese travellers. The ladies were very keen on craft making and birch bark, so the theme of the day was simply Birch.
We met at Kimito bus station in the morning, and drove towards the forest. On the way we passed beautiful countryside houses and gardens. On the way we picked up a basket filled with picnic delicacies provided by Café Vivan at Söderlångvik Manor.
The first activity was to collect birch sap. We chose a tree that looked like it would give some sap, and drilled a hole for a straw for the sap to drip into a bottle. As the best season for birch sap is before the tree get leaves, the sap dripped very slowly.
The second activity was to peel birch bark. With a sharp knife we made two lines from top to bottom, and began to peel the bark. Birch bark peels only during a couple of weeks in a year, usually around midsummer. We felt lucky to be able to do this already in the begining of June!
In the forest we got to see huge fields of baby-blueberries and raspberry bushes with small green berries. The summer has been very sunny and very dry, so we hope for some rain for the berries to grow big and sweet.
For both of the activities in the forest, collecting the sap and the bark, you need a permission of the land owner.
The last activity of the day was weaving a small birch bark basket. We moved indoors to Café Vivan there we had nice table to sit around and the materials waiting all prepared. The activity is suitable for beginners as well, but these ladies were truly pros – the baskets came out so tight and beautiful! After a successful accomplishment of weaving we ate a late lunch and had a short and peaceful walk at the gardens of Söderlångvik Manor.
We made it to the bus stop just in time, so that the ladies could return to Helsinki for evening. It was a wonderful and peaceful day in forest!
A report in Japanese, with plenty of photos, is available here.