In English


In general

“Omavaraopisto” means school for self-suffiency. Our location is in Northern-Karelia in the east of Finland. We are going to start in 2020 teaching gardening, ecological building, handicrafts and lots more, which makes people more independent from destructive lifestyle. The teachings are based on practical experiences  of Lasse Nordlund and Maria Dorff over several decades.

In the moment we have many work camps along the years to build the infrastructure for our school. If you like, you are welcome to participate. There are many people sharing the idea of doing something meaningful.


The purpose of the school of self-sufficiency is to provide a broad range of knowledge and guidance for people interested in living on their own terms and working with their hands. To learn and develop alternative models of living in harmony with the finite resources nature has to offer.
At that time the teaching will be only in Finish.


The six month program includes an entire year’s crop cycle.
Starting in May, students learn hands-on how to grow nearly all of their own food in a simple garden. Building and crafts help develop a thorough picture of basic human needs. Teaching is practice orientated. Work is done without machines, manual labor promotes resource wise thinking and helps understand the ecological footprint of communities and the individual. The course will provide insight into various materials, methods, and therein personal physical capabilities and bodily health. A balance of work, mental well being, and social interaction is an important subject matter.
Time is allocated for being together and improving social skills in a group.
The course will include theoretical discourse in the likes of the connection of modern society to energy and finance along with cultural and ethical questions in life. The core of the program is based on the practical experiences of Lasse Nordlund and Maria Dorf over several decades.

The course will cover:
-gardening and composting
-harvesting, storage, threshing and processing of crops
-foraging for berries, mushrooms and wild plants
-basics of log based construction
-building from clay, straw, and natural stone
-metalwork and tool maintenance
-cooking and baking
-different methods of food preservation
-felting, spinning yarn, and knitting
-leather tanning and sewing
-woodwork and utensils
-weaving, crafts from birchbark and wood shakes, rope pleating
-making firewood
-growing and processing flax
-forest use from a subsidence perspective
-tar making
-self-medication with plants

The learning environment resembles the conditions of a natural economy.
The teaching will follow weather and seasonal changes.
The school grounds are surrounded by woodlands, immersed in nature. At the center are a log house as a schoolroom and congregation space, a sauna, a cellar, wood sheds, and an outhouse which also functions as a compost. The garden and orchard are located in the immediate vicinity. Rainwater is collected for washing and a nearby spring for drinking water.
In the first years the accommodation will be in tents. 4-5m wide standing height bell tents are homely and equipped with a wood burning stove. As the program progresses we will build small cabins with students and volunteers. The congregation space will have solar panels and charging spots for charging the individual batteries for the tents and cabins. LED-lighting and phone charging will be available in all accommodation spaces.

Cooking is done outside in an open-air kitchen with a roof. On schooldays students will cook their own food together under instruction. Most of the food will be produced by the school itself. The diet is mainly vegetarian. Fishing is possible in a forest pond 4km away. The actual fishing instruction will happen during a separate 2 week period at the Kainuun opisto main campus. Students will have 5 days of instruction a week, some of which may be done independently. Weekends will be free.

There will be plenty of opportunities to focus on personal interest, during both instruction and free time. Morning and weekly meetings provide an opportunity to walk through work plans and address questions and concerns. Social and communal issues are open for discussion. After the course students can remain in the school’s peer support network to take advantage the knowhow and experiences of others.


The course will take place in a forested, natural environment in the region of North Karelia, near the border of Kainuu in the municipality of Valtimo, in the village of Rasinmäki. The main road between Joensuu and Kajaani is 3 km away with functioning public transportation in both directions.


Further readings

Selfsufficiency in a nutshell


FoundationsOfOurLife_3_2010  (Here you find also the berry conservation receipt)




Are you inspired? Do you like to translate into another language?





Murtomäentie 1155

SF-75790 Rumo-Rasimäki

phone 044 3736277