Grass Meadows and Mills
“The oldest farms have taken over all the best meadows, so all that has remained for the newer farms are poor small patches of mire meadows scattered across the backwoods,” told Rurik Calamnius, brother of author Ilmari Kianto, at the beginning of the 20th century.
The locals gathered cattle feed, even from the smallest meadows, until the 1950s. They also built dams in streams; that way the spring floods fertilised the meadows. The journeys to the meadows were often long and laborious. Lean-to shelters and meadow saunas were built for overnight stays by the meadows. The hay stored at barns and on hay-drying frames was taken home in winter during the period of crusty snow. For cattle feed, people made bundles of leaf fodder and gathered beard lichen, dwarf shrubs and lichen.
The population increased and grinding the grain by hand-held stones was inefficient. Mills powered by water were built by stream banks. A sturdy log was placed lowest, onto which an axle and the blades were fixed. The blades made the axle rotate. At the same time, the upper millstone (located at the axle’s upper end) rotated. The grain was poured via a hole in the upper millstone between the millstones. At its best, there were three watermills in Hossa: one at Lavajärvi and two at Lounatkoski. The Lounatkoski mill was transported onto its current site from Lavajärvi.