The history of Achrén’s apple farm dates back just over a century. Its story begins in the 19th century Vartsala where Johan Abrahaminpoika Achrén (b. 1826) worked as a pilot at a pilot station in Hästholmen. His oldest son Johan August (b. 1859) followed in his father’s footsteps and moved to present-day Luotsisaari after the pilot station was relocated there in 1892.
First Apple Farms in Luotsisaari
It was in Luotsisaari where Johan planted his first apple trees. Apple orchards were built in almost every one of the 15 plots on the island. They proved out to be so profitable that small apple orchards were built also elsewhere on the coast of Angelniemi.
Johan’s son Veikko Achrén had been considering on following the family tradition and becoming a pilot. However, the pilot station was closed down in 1933, and Veikko stayed at his farm and continued farming and fishing. He married his wife Dagmar in 1932 and they established their home at the family house built by Johan in the 19th century.
Prominent Sapling ProducerVeikko’s brother Väinö attended the Långsjö gardening school in Somero and worked as a gardener in Espoo in the 20s. He came back to Luotsisaari and established a nursery and an orchard called Metsola. Majority of the fruit trees in Vartsala and Angelniemi are from Metsola, and Väinö was one of the most important producers of saplings in the area.
In the autumn of 1940 Veikko purchased a decrepit farm called Saarela on the neighbouring island Angelansaari. Fields and ditches were in a poor condition but Veikko had his own saplings at Luotsisaari and his brother Väinö had saplings that were not quite good enough for sale. Saplings were brought in on a dugout over the strait from Luotsisaari. Planting should be started quickly – apples were in great demand after the long war years.
The Story ContinuesVeikko’s son Jaakko Achrén (b. 1939) participated in the daily chores of the farm since he was a little child. He became so interested in apple farming that he established his own four acre apple orchard in the mainland in 1965. The farm produced apples but he also farmed cucumber, carrot, rhubarb, dill and strawberry.
The farm changed owners in 2007 when Jaakko’s daughter Paula Achrén took over. At the moment the farm has 6 acres of apples, two of which are Veikko Achrén’s old orchards from Angelansaari. The old orchards are still going strong, though they are being slowly reformed.