Kovero Heritage Farm

Western Finland, Pirkanmaa Region
Municipality of Ikaalinen
Seitseminen National Park
The area is managed by Metsähallitus.

Kovero Crown Tenant Farm features everyday life at a farm during the beginning of the 1900s in the Seitseminen backwoods area. At Kovero farm the traditional cultural landscape is maintained through old farming methods.

The Kovero Crown Tenant Farm was officially established in 1859, although people had probably settled there about a year earlier. The farm remained lived at until the end of the 1960s. During the farm's heyday during the first decades of the 1900s Ananias Kovero and his family lived on the farm. In addition to the household members in wintertime loggers from local logging sites slept on the farmhouse floor, as was later told by the Kovero daughters.

After the wars farming dwindled little by little at the estate. The state yet again gained ownership of the farm when Metsähallitus bought it in 1970. Today, Kovero is part of Seitseminen National Park's cultural landscape area and farm has been restored as precisely as possible to resemble those from the era of horse agriculture, meaning 1927-1941. Much of the farm's restoration work and other daily tasks have been realised by volunteers from the community.

  • More information on the history of Kovero Crown Tenant Farm.

Directions and Maps

Address: Seitsemisentie 948, Ikaalinen
For directions to and information on public transportation to the area see the Seitseminen National Park directions and maps page.

Electronic Maps

Services

Events

  • Visitors may go to greet the farm's animals. Animals should be approached calmly, while chatting to them quietly so that they do not frighten. Visitors may feed the animals by plucking a bunch of grass for them from beside the fence. Feeding anything else to animals is forbidden to ensure their safety and well-being.

Marked Trails

  • Torpparintaival circle trail, 6,2 km. The trail sets off from Kovero Crown Tenant Farm and leads through Multiharju old-growth forest, by Lake Haukilampi and back to Kovero. There are meadows, pine forest forests, mires with duckboards and shadowy old-growth forest along this route. There is a campfire site at Lake Haukilampi.
  • Hikers can also get from Kovero to the other trails into Seitseminen National Park.

Café and Restaurant Services

  • There is a restaurant at Seitseminen Nature Centre, which is situated in the northern part of Seitseminen National Park approximately a 7 km drive from Kovero.

Services for the Disabled

  • Kovero farm is accessible by wheelchair from its parking area, which is about 50 metres away, but those with wheelchairs should be accompanied by an assistant.
  • It is possible to look around the grounds from a wheelchair, but it is difficult to get into some of the farm's buildings due to their high stone foundations and steps.
  • The closest toilet for the disabled is at Kovero parking place.

Kovero Buildings and the Farmyard 

Kovero is a nationally significant cultural area. The estate consists of old and in parts original structures including the farmhouse, a bakery as well as shelters for horses and grain. The oldest building on the grounds these days is the bakery which is from the 1870s. Construction of the magnificent main house began in 1881. The massive logs which the walls are constructed of were hand-carved. In the place of other buildings which have once stood on the estate, but have gotten destroyed over the course of time, such as the magazine, the shed and the drying barn, Metsähallitus has gotten replica's from the surrounding area and placed them where their original counterparts once stood.

Many old spices and medicinal and ornamental plants thrive on the grounds: wild tobacco, common hop, lovage and roses. The main house is adorned with balsams and geraniums. Indigenous cows and sheep graze in the meadows surrounding the farm and chickens strut around the grounds.

More information on

History of Kovero

Around the mid 1800s a farmhand from the Nisula estate, named Matti Juhanpoika arrived in the Jutimäki wilderness looking for a suitable place to set up a farm for his family. The young family found the Kovero area to be pleasant and right away a bit of field was cleared and a sauna, a barn for sheep, a barn for cows and the largest building the drying barn were built. The farm's lease was also put in order and so Kovero became a crown tenant farm, a rented farm on state-owned land. The family paid rent by either gaving a part of their harvest or with labour.

Matti's and Severiina's first son Nija was worn down by a lung illness and running the farm became overwhelming for the rest of the family. In 1878 the farm was sold to Matti Esaianpoika Liesijärvi. He adopted the house's name Kovero as his surname.

According to word of mouth Matti Kovero was a strong man. Together with his wife Anna and their children he worked the rented land. The fields and meadows grew in size and a new grand farmhouse was built, but the family still did odd jobs to earn additional income: logging work and offering lodging to travelling workmen. The area's forested parts were often called forestry's promised land. The income offered by logging brought timber jacks from far and wide to the area. Lodging was in great demand and the men often stayed in local homes.

In 1902 Matti handed the farm over to his son Ananiaa. Niia and his young bride Aleksiina started to run the farm, Matti and Anna were set for life: as when they retired they stayed at Kovero. According to the retirement agreement made, Matti and Anna were entitled to live in backroom of the main house, to keep a few cattle and to get things such as meat and shoes from the house.

Niia and Aleksiina were blessed with seven daughters and one son. Their son, however, lived only a few months and one of their daughters died when she was 10 years old. Aleksiina died of "her lungs withering" in the winter of 1925. On top of logging work and farming the fields Niia was left to deal with taking care of the livestock, household chores and caring for the youngest children. A new wife was more than needed. With the help of a speaker a need marriage was arranged and so Aliina and Niia were wed in 1926.

When the farming act was legislated in 1923, farmers began to purchase estates for themselves. Independence was considered at Kovero as well, but due to land surveys and appeals becoming drawn out the purchase was delayed until 1931.

Wartime had little effect on Kovero, as no one from it joined the draft. The death of Matti, Niia's father, caused great sorrow during the interim peace, but his daughters' weddings in turn great brought joy to the estate. The younger daughter's wedding was celebrated on Pentecost in 1946. Even though times were tough after the war the tables were laden with food and not even the thirst of four hundred guests emptied the beer barrels.

Kovero's heyday, however, came to an end during the wars. The farming boom after the wars had little effect on the lives of those at Kovero: the estate did not begin to use electricity and the fields were not drained with ditches. Upkeep of the farm which was dwindling came to a complete halt when Niia died in 1952.

The farm's fields and buildings were sold to the state in 1970. The fields were reforested and the buildings were left abandoned. When Seitseminen National Park was established in 1982 Kovero was annexed to the national park. In the national park's framework Kovero Crown Tenant Farm was appointed a cultural landscape (metsa.fi). The farm's buildings and fields, as well as the surrounding meadows and forests form a valuable man-made heritage landscape, the conservation of which has been ensured by appointing it one of the park's sights. The farm was restored as precisely as possible to resemble a 1930's farm and is maintained by traditional methods. The heritage landscape, which was born due keeping of cattle and cultivation of the land, are maintained by grazing: during summer cows indigenous to Finland wander in the farm's pastures and meadows. In addition to conservation of buildings and nature one of the main objectives of Kovero is to tell of life in the olden days.

This is the web page nationalparks.fi/kovero

Opening Hours in 2020

1.6. - 9.8.  Wen - Sat 11 am to 5 pm, Fri 19.6. closed.
10.8. - 31.8.  only for groups reserved before coming Wen - Sat 11 am to 4 pm

Visiting the farm is free-of-charge.

Customer Service

Metsähallitus, Parks and Wildlife Finland 
Tel. +358 206 39 5270 (Mon-Fri 9-15)
sisasuomi(at)metsa.fi

A hand holding a mobile phone showing Excursionmap.fi. Open the map of Seitseminen in Excursionmap.fi.

Map of Kovero Heritage Farm


Pdf-file 686 kb (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Self-guided Tour: "Finland's Cultural Landscapes"


Pdf 1.3 Mb (julkaisut.metsa.fi)