Kirjoittajalta omamaafi (Page 1 of 28)

Oma maan kesän talkoilu jatkuu – welcome (any day) to the farm!  

Oma maan kesän talkoilu jatkuu, tervetuloa tilalle (milloin vain)!

Tilli

Pienenä muistutuksena: Tervetuloa tilalle! Talkoileminen tilalla ei ole velvollisuus, vaan enemmänkin mahdollisuus oppia ja olla osa Oma maan prosessia sekä tukea Oma maan hyvinvointia (osuuskuntasi tarvitsee sinua). Tule ihmeessä mukaan!

Jos tulet tilalle ensimmäistä kertaa, tai et ole käynyt täällä vähään aikaan, on myös mahdollista tehdä pieni kierros ja tutustua siihen, mitä kaikkea on käynnissä.

Yleistä tietoa talkoilusta löytyy täältä, mukaan lukien ohjeet talkoiluun tilalla arkipäivinä (esimerkiksi arkipäivinä on tarjolla lounasta kunhan ilmoitat tulostasi etukäteen (katso ohje alla)).

Olette myös tervetulleita tilalle viikonloppuisin! Ainakin yksi viljelijöistämme on silloin paikalla (katso talkootaulukko). Viikonloppujen talkoopäivinä aloitetaan klo 10, jolloin hommiin ohjeistetaan. Työt lopetetaan klo 16 (tai oman aikataulun mukaan). Kiitos, kun otat omat eväät mukaan viikonlopputalkoisiin.

Ilmoittaudu mukaan niin arkipäivätalkoiluun kuin viikonlopun talkoopäiviinkin (esim. 4.7.) talkootaulukossa (‘co-working spring/summer 2020’ -välilehdellä).

 

Tervetuloa tilalle!

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Oma maa summer co-working continues, welcome (any day) to the farm!  

Punajuuri

A little reminder to all that you are Welcome to the farm ! Coming to co-work on the farm is not an obligation, but rather an opportunity, to learn and be part of Oma maa’s process, and ofcourse, to contribute to Oma maa’s wellbeing (your coop does need you:)) ! Feel free to join! 

If it is your first time to the farm, or you haven’t been around to the farm for some time, there will also be an opportunity to have a little tour around to get acquainted with all that is happening. 

Find the general information about our co-working here, including some guidelines about co-working on the farm during regular weekdays (there is for instance lunch offered during the regular weekdays working together, as long as you inform of your coming (see below))

You are also welcome to come out in the weekend! At least one of the farmers will be on call (see the sheet). On the weekend co-working days we get together at 10 o’clock, for the instructions of the day. The work ends around 16 (or according to your own timetable). Thank you for bringing lunch on these weekend days with you.

Whether you come to the farm during a normal weekday, or during the weekend, please inform on the talkoo sheet (in the tab ‘co-working spring/summer 2020’) of your coming!

 

Welcome to the farm!

***

Kuinka tilalle pääsee Helsingistä?

Porkkana

Osoite:

Lassilan Tila

Paijalantie 341, 04300 Tuusula

  • Autolla (katso talkoolista kimppakyytien järjestämiseksi)

Käpylästä, aja tietä 45 Tuusulan suuntaan.

Tuusulassa saavut liikenneympyrään. Jatka tien 45 seuraamista, nyt Hyvinkään suuntaan.

Seuraavassa liikenneympyrässä jatka tietä 45 Hyvinkään suuntaan.

Ajettuasi kilometrin, käänny oikealle Nummenväylälle (seuraa Järvenpään kylttejä).

Seuraa tätä tietä noin 2km ja saavut Lassilan tilalle. 

  • Juna + polkupyörä

Voit ottaa pyöräsi junaan ja matkustaa junalla Järvenpään asemalle. Asemalta tilalle on noin 7km pyöräreitti Tuusulanjärveä seuraillen. (ks. Kartta alapuolella). Muita asemavaihtoehtoja pyöräilijöille ovat Kerava ja Korso.

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How to get there from Helsinki? 

Address: 

Lassilan Tila

Paijalantie 341, 04300 Tuusula

  • By car (check the sheet to organize carpooling)

From Käpylä, take highway 45, direction ‘Tuusula’. 

Once in Tuusula, you’ll reach a roundabout. Keep following road 45, now direction ‘Hyvinkää’. 

On the following roundabout, continue on road 45 direction ‘Hyvinkää’. 

After 1km, turn right onto ‘Nummenväylä’ (follow the sign to ‘Järvenpää’). 

Follow this road for about 2km, and you’ll reach Lassilan Tila. 

  • Train + bike 

You can take your bike on the train to ‘Järvenpää’. From there it is about 7km bike ride, following the beautiful lake of Tuusula. Other stations to bike from are Kerava and Korso. 

 

Our Land, our Soil

Oma maa’s soil starting off the life of our seedlings is composed among other of compost and biochar.

Material from different sources feeds into the compost. So there is the biowaste coming from Oma maa’s food production, and secondly there is animal waste from the farm’s chickens and cows. Also brought to the compost is horse manure from a neighbouring farm.

An important source of the compost comes from the coop’s cleaning out of Tuusula lake. The coop has for several years had a contract with Tuusula municipality to be taking out among other the excessive water plants, which also feed into the compost.

Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment for both carbon sequestration and soil health benefits. Wood will be burnt on a constant pace, allowing for as little as possible oxygen to enter the process.

After some 4 hours the fire is extinguished, and the result will be biochar!

Compost, biochar will be mixed together…

 … After which the soil will then be pressed by a soilblocker into sterdy blocks.  A main asset here is that we do not need not to use starter cups! 

Seeds will planted in the soilblocks, which will be watered and weeded,  and after some time…  see here our (French bush bean) seedlings <3

Tule talkoilemaan ja tutustumaan tilaan! / Come and co-work and get to know the farm!

(English below) 

Hei Oma maan jäsenet,

Kevään ja kesäkauden alkaessa haluamme toivottaa kaikki osuuskunnan jäsenet lämpimästi tervetulleiksi tilalle! Luvassa on muun muassa istutusta, kitkemistä, mullan tekemistä, sadonkorjuuta… Kaiken työn tekeminen vaatii monta käsiparia. Se on myös mainio tapa tutustua muihin osuuskuntalaisiin jopa korona-aikoina ja oppia miten tuotamme ruokaa osuuskuntana. Ilmoitathan meille talkoolistalle ilmoittautumalla (linkki sähköposteissa sekä facebook-ryhmässä, Spring/Summer 2020 -välilehti) milloin voit tulla tilalle töihin (ilmoita myös silloin kun olet tulossa yksin). Tällä tavoin tilalla osataan suunnitella ja organisoida työtä ihmisten määrästä riippuen ja osallistujat voivat järjestää kimppakyytejä. Tästä linkistä pääset lukemaan tarkemmin Oma maan periaatteista jäsenten tekemään kumppanuustyöhön liittyen.

Nyt koronaviruksen vaikuttaessa toimimme osaltamme annettujen määräysten mukaan. On jokaisen omalla vastuulla tarkkailla vaatimusten toteutumista. Olemme päättäneet, että työt tehdään pienissä (max. 5 henkeä) ryhmissä. Työt tehdään ulkona tai Rannankoukun keittiössä. Tilalla asuvien ihmisten koteja on kaikkien vältettävä. Kimppakyytien osalta olemme asettaneet autoihin 3 hengen maksimin.

Tyypillinen päivä tilalla:

9:15-9:30

 Keskustellaan aamun tehtävistä ja tehtävät jaetaan ryhmille

9:30 – 12:00 

Aamun tehtävät

12:00 – 13:00

Lounas (Jokaiselle on tarjolla lounas. Syöminen tapahtuu ulkona, aitassa tai grillikatoksessa)

13:00

Iltapäivän tehtävät kerrotaan ja jaetaan ryhmille

13:00 – 16:00

Iltapäivän tehtävät

16:00 – …

Tällä hetkellä työt saattavat jatkua myös illalla, tarpeesta riippuen, jotta suunnitellut työt saadaan tehtyä . Tämä katsotaan erikseen talkoopäivänä. 

Voit liittyä mukaan talkoisiin omien mahdollisuuksiesi mukaan. Yritä olla tilalla paikalla tehtävänantoja ja ohjeita jaettaessa. Näin viljelijöiden ei tarvitse keskeyttää töitään ohjeita antaakseen tai miettiä uudelleen päivän työjärjestystä.

Mukaasi tarvitset vain työvaatteet ja vesipullon. Työhanskat on myös hyvä ottaa mukaan jos sinulta sellaiset löytyy. Niiden puuttuminen ei kuitenkaan haittaa.

Toivomme näkevämme teidät kaikki talkoissa jonain päivänä saamassa maistiaisia siitä, miltä työ tilalla tuntuu. Yleensä saamme osallistujilta hyvin positiivista palautetta. Tule mukaan ja kokeile itse!

Oma maan hallitus ja viljelijät

********************************

Dear members,

As the spring and summer season is starting to fully bloom, all coopers are warmly welcomed on the farm! Planting, weeding, making soil, harvesting,… it requires a lot of hands. It’s also a great way for you to meet others in the coop even in corona times, and to learn how we are producing food as a coop. Please inform us through the talkoot sheet (link in e-mail and in our facebook group) when you can come to the farm, even if you come on your own. This way our farmers can organize and plan the work according to the number of people, and everyone can organize themselves for carpooling.

In this Covid-19 time, we are working in par with today’s requirements. It is everyone’s own responsibility to observe those requirements. We have set as a principle to be working in small groups of maximum 5 people with work being done outside, or in the kitchen of Rannankoukku. The homes of the people living on the farm are to be avoided at all times. Also with regards to carpooling, we are setting the limit on three people per car.

A day at the farm usually looks like this:

9:15-9:30 The work plan is communicated by the farmers, and tasks are divided over different groups.
9:30 – 12:00 Morning tasks
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch (There is lunch available for everyone. Eating is outside, in the ‘aitta’ or ‘grillikatos’)
13:00 Afternoon plan is communicated and once again divided over different groups
13:00 – 16:00 Afternoon tasks
16:00 – … At the moment, works continue also in the evening, pending necessity in order to finish planned works. This will be discussed on the day itself.

You can join according to your capacity and availability. Try to be on the farm at the times when the communication and dividing of the tasks happen. This ensures that our farmers don’t have to pause their tasks to repeat instructions or rethink the organization.

Working clothes and a water bottle is all you need. Working gloves can be handy if you have them, but not a problem if you don’t.

We hope to see you all there someday and let you have a taste of what a good workday on the farm feels like. Usually, we get very positive feedback. Join us and try it out for yourself!

Oma Maa board and farmers

 

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Kuinka tilalle pääsee Helsingistä?

Osoite:
Lassilan Tila
Paijalantie 341, 04300 Tuusula

  • Autolla (katso talkoolista kimppakyytien järjestämiseksi)
    Käpylästä, aja tietä 45 Tuusulan suuntaan.
    Tuusulassa saavut liikenneympyrään. Jatka tien 45 seuraamista, nyt Hyvinkään suuntaan.
    Seuraavassa liikenneympyrässä jatka tietä 45 Hyvinkään suuntaan.
    Ajettuasi kilometrin, käänny oikealle Nummenväylälle (seuraa Järvenpään kylttejä).
    Seuraa tätä tietä noin 2km ja saavut Lassilan tilalle. 
  • Juna + polkupyörä
    Voit ottaa pyöräsi junaan ja matkustaa junalla Järvenpään asemalle. Asemalta tilalle on noin 7km pyöräreitti Tuusulanjärveä seuraillen. (ks. Kartta alapuolella). Muita asemavaihtoehtoja pyöräilijöille ovat Kerava ja Korso.

***

How to get there from Helsinki? 

Address: 
Lassilan Tila
Paijalantie 341, 04300 Tuusula

  • By car (check the sheet to organize carpooling)
    From Käpylä, take highway 45, direction ‘Tuusula’. 
    Once in Tuusula, you’ll reach a roundabout. Keep following road 45, now direction ‘Hyvinkää’. 
    On the following roundabout, continue on road 45 direction ‘Hyvinkää’.
    After 1km, turn right onto ‘Nummenväylä’ (follow the sign to ‘Järvenpää’).
    Follow this road for about 2km, and you’ll reach Lassilan Tila. 
  • Train + bike 
    You can take your bike on the train to ‘Järvenpää’. From there it is about 7km bike ride, following the beautiful lake of Tuusula. Other stations to bike from are Kerava and Korso. 

CSA Finland / Kumppanuusmaatalous ry 

During its annual meeting on February 22nd (notes), the newly forming CSA Finland of which Oma maa has been an active participant, got its rules as well as its action plan for 2020. The association is now being registered. The meeting was held in conjunction with the first meeting of the now operational Kumakka hanke around CSA’s in Finland of the Helsinki Ruralia institute and Luomo-Liitto, which has been seen as presenting a good opportunity to strengthen us in our working towards our objectives. A lot of sharing of experiences, concerns and hopes happened during these first Kumakka meetings, and entailed also a visit with our Oma maa CSA on the farm. The next meetings in the Kumakka project’s process will be in September, on Livonsaari. In the meanwhile, CSA Finland is planning to do some joint campaigning, whilst also the development of a Food Manifesto is on the agenda!

On our Sowing and Milling facilities

On our sowing, not only on the ‘what’ but also on the ‘how’

We have been up and about in full swing. In the main greenhouse, the seeds of different kinds of tomatoes, beans, peas, chilies, herbs, squash, salads, asian leaves have already been sown. Some further deliveries of seeds and seedlings are still to arrive. So for instance also strawberry (and raspberry! new!) seedlings, as we will be renewing these plants this year on our coop’s second farm, Kaukon tila. Also the fruit trees are of course being cared for.

Also investments in the future seed sovereignty of our grains have been made. We have ordered some new grain varieties (like organic millet and chickpea) in quantities that can yield enough for all members after their resowing throughout a couple of seasons. More about this soon!

Every spring the issue is not only what we sow, but also how we sow. What’s new this year is that we have been experimenting with first of all a handheld soil blocker. The resulting soil blocks have felt to be a satisfactory alternative to the previously used carton cups, a main reason being that there is simply no need anymore for the latter. Also, the larger soil mass of the blocks seem to make for a good composition for the plants to start off growing in. Therefore now also a soil blocking machine has been ordered, and is expected to arrive in Finland from Holland next week!

Already last year we planted using an on foil transplanting machine. The equipment we bought then, allowed for one person to sit behind the tractor and tip down the seedlings. As the experience with the machine was deemed positive, now a second seat part has been ordered, so that two rows will be able to be done at the same time and straight next to each other.

Besides these machines, our farming system is also still in need of another investment – to get an irrigation system in place. This year we will be putting up a temporary system.

On our foodbags & milling facilities for Oma maa

In February and throughout March we realised two sets of food bags in which the first weeks saw a ready-made product, for which then the ingredients were given to make it yourself in the next two weeks. We started off our pedagogical systemic change food bags first with blinis, and the second month the learning concerned the making of breads. The giving out of a sourdough starter proved to be really appreciated (also in our recent bags), with pictures of great homemade breads baked being sent in!

We also kept well in sync with our objective to give out every month 1 kg groats (ryynit), 1,5 kg flakes (hiutale), 1kg flour (jauho), 1kg pasta, 500 g bulgur, and 1 kg fava beans groats (härkäpapurouhe), with also whole beans and peas finding their way into the bags. Bag content recipy mails sent out bi-weekly made it well possible to plan ahead also in relation to other shoppings.

We have now had to adapt a bit of this sequencing, due to the closing of our mill. As we informed earlier in an email, with our own equipment on the farm, we can grind whole grain flour and groats from rye and wheat for the food bags. But we will not be able to give out refined flour, flakes, whole hulled grains, or any of the ready-made products made of those. We will be able to bake bread from whole grain flour, and make those ready-made products which can be made from the grain products that we can produce with our own equipment. As such we have also made the switch back to weekly recipe and bag content mails.

This then is another area for us to develop: milling facilities for Oma maa!

Keeping the bigger picture upfront, with Urgenci’s statement 

As for all of us, also for Oma maa this period has been one of adaptation, to live up to today’s COVID-19 situation. The taking care of each other and of what we are doing took on amplified dimensions. Nevertheless, what we have consciously wanted to keep upfront, is the big picture; the need to continue to work towards the important goal of the strengthening of an alternative food system, which is safe and accessible for all, and which is upkeeping both ecological democracy and biodiversity. We are hoping that the picking up of interest around CSA’s, now also in Finland, will continue also into the future. Through CSA Finland, Oma maa was included in the issuing of the statement by Urgenci, the international platform for CSA’s: Community Supported Agriculture is a Safe and Resilient Alternative to Industrial Agriculture in the Time of Covid-19.

Oma maa Newsletter 2/2020 : Keeping the wheels turning strong! 

Wellbeing greetings to all! This newsletter is written to you midway through April – a month during which we welcomed a good number of new try-out members (Tervetuloa!), and completed now two weeks of 80 food bags each. During these weeks also we continued the sowing of more than 6000 seeds of some 50+ plant varieties! And more is to follow!

Please see behind the following links to read more about these timely topics:

Keeping the bigger picture upfront, with Urgenci’s statement

On our sowing and milling facilities

Coopday 18.1.2020 report

CSA Finland rules and 2020 action plan 

…Organising, cooking, sowing and planting … we hope to greet you out here with us some day soon again! At the moment we are facilitating for people to come out in small groups (max five people) to the farm, having their own refreshments with them and prepared to be outside also during the breaks in the grillikatos or the aitta. In this manner we can keep in par with the requirements of today, whilst we also continue our important collective work together. And of course, to enable all to enjoy a bit of green care – also that is part of the future we want to build together. Hopefully till soon!

Ruby & Oma maa board and farmers

Oma maa Newsletter 1/2020: Setting many wheels in motion again 

With these February greetings, we are picking up the thread of our monthly newsletter writing again, and commence by saying that Oma maa started off the new year well!

The last week of last year, and the first week of this year brought a well deserved production break of two weeks, after 50 weeks of production in 2019. Our first foodbags were handed out again in the second week of January, and in the following three weeks. As January had five weeks, there was no need to compensate for the first week lack of foodbags.

Setting many wheels in motion again 

In January we cleaned up, organized and repaired a lot in our Rannankoukku kitchen. Our dryer was fixed by member Joonas, and got new fans spinning around their axes, making it possible for us to dry for instance our fava beans again, and then following make fava bean groats (härkäpapurouhe) as has already been figuring in the first foodbags of this year. The new central screw for our pasta machine finally arrived from Italy and the first whole grain spelt pasta has found its way into our food bags. The meat mill got its necessary spare parts, which means we can now much easier grind different produce (and we used it already for the making of our potato-fava bean patties). The cooler, which we use for example to cool our yogurt, got a new fan and is also again supporting our kitchen production.

This means that nowadays in the kitchen you can find, behind the specific production for a certain bagday, at the same time ongoing also the putting to soak, steaming, drying/grinding of different beans and pasta so that we can come to have a stock of different items for our food bags. A strong eye is of course also kept on energy use, making a maximum use of any heat generated. All in all it requires us getting a grip on a number of additional routines, and a new document has been added to the ‘Oma maa docs’ folder: Rannankoukku calendar.

Organising, organising 

And we are getting an increasing amount of shared docs in drive organising our work on the farm, accompanying our increased capacity to be planning on different fronts. One of the things this is concretely expressed in is the shift in February towards biweekly food bag content and recipe emails.

In the emails we are reminding that every month the food bags will contain about: 1 kg groats (ryynit), 1,5 kg flakes (hiutale), 1kg flour (jauho), 1kg pasta, 500 g bulgur, and 1 kg fava beans groats (härkäpapurouhe). Also whole beans and peas will find their way from time to time to the bags. Of course there can and will occur variations in this pattern! Due to for instance issues with the mill, or if a machine runs into problems (may the latter however not happen for long!:)). But, this is the intention.

New is also that we will be having in the first two weeks of the month a certain ready made product in the bag, for which we then will give out only the raw ingredients in the last two weeks of the month, and of course the recipe as to how to proceed!

We hope the information regarding the foodbags coming out earlier, as well as the additional pedagogical element in the bag will be perceived as useful – all feedback is most welcome.

But organising and planning happened certainly also outside of our kitchen, and one other excel sheet worked on was that regarding our seeds, an updating of the existing database in Latin and Finnish. Slowly but surely we will move more into the greenhouse, and setting up the places for our seedlings. First to be sowed will be longer growing time requiring plants as tomatoes and chili’s.

Also, farmers will be having access to a program usable from one’s phone, in which all planting on Oma maa lands will be charted. In this matter we will all be able to keep track of what’s happening where, what is needed where and when, etc.

Here we soon go again … wishing well! 🙂

Coop Day I

On the 18th of January we had our first Coop Day of the year! With some 20 coop members including farmers, board members and food members we talked about the economy of our coop, our democracy, as well as our farming and food bags – including Oma maa’s contribution to CO2 sequestration as well as biodiversity upkeep.

Our report of the day is still forthcoming, but one thing we can put out already and which is related to the development of our co-learning & democracy, is the idea that this year we will aim at four Coopdays. Following this first one, which we could see for the future as a first Coopday of the year with varying development points, the second one would be the annual meeting possibly in May. A third Coopday would then follow possibly in August, organised by the board, looking for instance at Oma Maa project applications. The fourth Coopday would be then around November, and would concern among other the evaluation of the farmers and food members as to how the season went, as well as the first reflections regarding plans for the first year, concerning farming and food bags.

On the 19th of January, some of us were back in Kaarlenkatu, then for the continuation of the founding meeting of Kumppanuusmaatalous ry. Established in May 2019, the association is taking its next steps to come to its rules, plan of action for this year, and the budget. Synergy in this is already happening with the project “Kumppanuusmaataloudella kestävyyttä, kilpailukykyä ja maatalouden arvostusta” (KUMAKKA-hanke) of the Helsinki Ruralia institute, and a next meeting, which will both be taken further the association as well as the Ruralia institute project, is on 22.2, and will include a talkoot by the participants on Lassila farm.

Oma maa was also invited to present last Thursday at the Night of Ideas of the French Institute, in a session entitled Live to Eat / Eat to Live. The conversants came from a diverse background, among other from the Ministry of agriculture, LUKE (Finnish centre for natural resources), and INREA, France’s new National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, and as such the discussion was a good moment exchange as well as an opportunity to contribute with Oma maa’s envisioning on among other how change is to happen.

Besides these events, January also brought already a good amount of contact taking to Oma maa to come learn and work together, which is wonderful! Oma maa has several producer members working on a daily basis, several active food members carrying to varying extent different Oma maa tasks forward, and in addition to this Oma maa welcomes others to join for the co-learning and production. The latter is happening absolutely in order to strengthen Oma maa and the diversity of work we want to carry out, but also as the fulfilling of the mandate it has given itself: seeking societal change through the engagement of people with their food system.

And on that note – welcome to everyone to visit at the farm! Or then during our next Farmdining dinner on 7.2! Jan and Henni will be in the kitchen, we will be telling and updating on Oma maa, whilst Tuuli will be telling more about EU agricultural policy and subsidies. Welcome! Also to bring interested friends along. Our food bag order for February is at 62, more fit (and needed):)

Ruby & Oma maa crew

Utopian Practice

When the Utopia is not the dream but the practice

Not so long ago I ran via Michel Bauwens into this writing by Will Davies, “This is not all there is : Thinking utopias in ideas and practices,” and it hit home. Davies writes about how the idea of Utopia has logically resurfaced in recent times amidst our current concerns with regards to Life’s future (the latter my own words). However, as Davies describes, Utopian thinking of a better life will not automatically enthuse people to believe and act that else is possible, but might actually only add to feelings of disappointment with the present, of disappointment with all that failed. But, Utopian thinking does become politically energising, liberating, when liberty is understood as an autonomy which is not introspective but compatable with ethical duties and fulfilling work. Utopia will be empowering when it is not a ‘dream of escape,’ but a Utopian practice, ‘giving form to an imagined future, to be used to explore alternatives’. This for me is a fantastic way to understand what Oma maa is (also) about. A Utopian practice.

The Utopia

A year ago I wrote this writing Meidän Oma maa (Our Own Land), taking us towards something new, which among other explored the link between ecology and radical democracy. In his writing on the ecology of Cornelius Costariadis, Yavor Tarinski connects the dots as to how fundamental that link is (and I have patched the following freely together from Yavor’s writing):

Ecology is political. Ecology cannot be scientific, since science is not about setting limits before its goals but about discovering ways of achieving them. If scientific research cannot determine with certainty whether something harms the environment irreversibly, then precautionary limitations should be established with a political, direct-democratic process. Ecology is then part of wider revolutionary project, that of direct democracy, which directly challenges the contemporary institutional order. In the matter of our common future all of the social collectivity should have a say. Everybody should be asked whether they want to saw off the branch of the tree they are currently sitting on.

In the beginning of the “Meidän Oma Maa” text, this link between ecology and radical democracy is set out in what we could call Oma maa Utopia:

Food is a core societal thing. Food is first of all what joins all of us. And in whose hands the control of our food system is, including of course water, in those hands the control of society lies. In other words, people can more govern their own lives, if food (the food system) is in their control. In that sense, all efforts done to get food back under the control of people is very important for the development of society, and only by addressing this, we can change our society into being more just and fair. “ as our Oma Maa farmer Jukka Lassila put it in a wonderful interview with Jukka Peltokoski for KSL.

I add here, what has been for me a useful rephrasing of that Utopia: Food, and for that matter other issues we consider core change makers as energy in light of issues of concern as climate change, are systemic change makers IF AND WHEN their systems are in the hands of people. Or in other words, Food is a systemic change maker leading to a more healthy and socially and ecologically just society, when its production, distribution and consumption are in the hands of people. Which then is so fundamentally pointing towards the fact that Systemic change is to be rooted in peoples processes around daily needs.

The Practice: co-producing our food system the whole year around

All the core things written out in “Meidän Oma maa,” continued also this year. Come foodbags, come farm dining dinners, come adminstration and governance, Oma maa kept it well up in 2019. We recently summed up the overall sentiment with regards to our foodbags as being “increased satisfaction compared to 2018, resulting from a better harvest, as well as from an increased capacity of the core team on the farm and the cooperative at large”.

Even more perhaps then in previous years, in the summer of 2019 a good number of coop members came out to the farm for the picking and gathering of produce. Several weeks even a second car drove up from Helsinki for the mornings. Also during the weeks that core team members were away, there were co-producing responsible hands available. Via an excel sheet some sort of self-organised organisation was experimented with, whilst this also happened via whatsapp and facebook – this all certainly with room for improvement, but in any case, food bags and kitchen tables were filled with great produce.

In fact, throughout the year a good number of others have been joining for periods on a daily basis on the farm and in the kitchen, resulting in core team’s hands being able to be freed to keep up other activities, which is necessary to keep also the continuous processes going. We tackled new things too, and started a vineyard! We became better at using each other’s experiences, and different people also learned to do different things independently.

This all is central to appreciate how it is possible that Oma Maa as a CSA produces foodbags for its (try out) members all year around. Foodbags which next to customary home grown and made products as bread and seitan /falafel (but also not so customary as forinstance hempbutter from our hempseeds or salsa verde from our tomatillos)  saw an abundance of produce like berries, beans, squash, root vegetables and tomatoes (all produce which then at the end of the season got dried, frozen or fermented for the winterseason), whilst at the same time we know that for next year we want to be able to offer yet more cabbage, herbs, cucumber, melons, and garlic. Also different forms of cooperation continued to be developed this season. Beyond the already existing cooperation of Oma Maa cooperative members Lassilan tila and Kaukon tila, and with local farmers around, in the last  months we have been trading different produce with Stadin Puutarhuri in Helsinki.

We also identified two major challenges to our Utopian practice. The first one is the financial. Whilst our food bag ordering (try out) membership in its totality is on the rise (for this January we have some 20 more every week bag orders then last years January!) , it is not enough to be seeing to all necessary investments, nor for salaries for everyone (whilst different food compensation and housing arrangements on the farm for some do exist). One of our core team members saw himself forced to step out last summer, which had its own implications. The pressure remains on for the others, and therefore too, next year’s Utopian practice will not be any easier the struggle.

The second challenge relates to our collective need for more education. I have come to understand this as relating both to our core team, as well as to our cooperative membership at large. We are wanting to strengthen our process of the passing on of skills to each other, whilst we identify any needs for external formal education. As to our cooperative membership at large, the collective practising of democracy is not possible without the collective strengthening of our co-learning around our common issues, our commons, including for instance learning on local ecosystems and species, making also for understanding regarding our farming plans. In a meeting soon to follow in January, we are in fact wanting to establish a more organic calendar of learning, discussion and decision making concerning all the areas of our coop – Ecology not without democracy, including knowledge production.

The Imagining

The above is mainly an account of the (amount of the) peoples hands engaging with their food system, which is nevertheless of course a core starting point for the Utopian practice discussed.

Yet another level would be to start to look at what this means for the involved. How is their involvement with Oma maa having an impact on their lives (in the last years linked to tekst I tell a bit of what the impact has been on mine), on their families, on their communities, on society? Not only of the growing, farming and caring, of the foodbags, but also of the developing farmdining restaurant as well as of the developing plans for an educational program. We can imagine that as time goes by, in a multitude of ways involvement with Oma maa’s (in themselves evolving) practices can lead to more physical and mental health, to more social justice, to more ecological wellbeing.

Taking a few steps forward, one could yet further imagine a future in which perhaps shorter working weeks, complementary currencies, basic income (or perhaps even a mechanism coupling all of the mentioned) could be bringing forth that many more people could be involved with a process as Oma maa, leading to not only more novel practices, but also to the strengthening and potentially interconnecting of yet other Utopian practices of peoples process around daily needs.

After a year of climate strikes and gathering also in our Northern corners, the angle that systemic change is to be anchored in peoples processes around daily needs, profoundly connecting ecology and democracy, is not yet figuring in our discussions nor in our calls for action. This tekst is an invitation to consider the potential Utopian real outcome if it would be. Oma maa for one welcomes on board!

Ruby van der Wekken

Community supported agriculture upkeeping biodiversity

Jocelyn Parot, general secretary of the Urgenci international community supported agriculture (CSA) network, came to visit with Oma Maa on Lassila farm in the beginning of this month. It was in January 2011 that Jocelyn presented in Helsinki about CSA workings in France, and that his visit gave impetus to the development of CSA workings in Finland.  Jocelyn told that he believes the number of CSA initiatives in Europe keeps rising, and that Urgenci wants to carry out a next census in 2020 to get up to date on the numbers.

This development is certainly not without its challenges. Whilst the CSA mode of organising can certainly help a farmer to achieve sustainability, different particularities might make sustainability nevertheless a challenge for many CSA’s. Whilst today there is more demand for organic products, a CSA is about the engaging in a deeper process of change, and this can be felt as challenging for people to join on to.

The Urgenci network is at the moment putting a focus on biodiversity, and via interviews with its members wants to address the question whether a CSA in fact is a system which supports and promotes biodiversity. Since a CSA does not operate according to market demands, but allows for decision making regarding planting between a farmer and other cooperative members, in principle more diversity of growing can take place.

Our farmer Jukka Lassila agreed that indeed as a CSA, Oma Maa can have the possibility to be experimenting, meaning diversify its planting more than what otherwise would be the case. But then the question arises, do we always understand what biodiversity upkeep entails and includes? Why are there for instance cows on a farm, when the farm is not into dairy or meat production? On Lassila farm there are four cows, which in the summer season graze in front of Tuusula lake. In this area there is no food production, because the area floods. In the past, the area has been serving as grazing lands, and there was a lot of diversity. But when no more cows were held in the area, the diversity of the area clearly diminished. Now, after the re-introduction of grazing cows in the area, there is a clear comeback of diversity. The issue of animals on a farm is at large an important question.  Jukka explained that it is not an issue in any way of maximizing the amount of animals on a farm. The issue is one of determining what is the maximum amount of cows or chickens that can be held with them eating what is not eaten by people. This is how to look at land and biodiversity.

Jocelyn also shared with us on the next larger upcoming meetings around food. The next larger international Urgenci CSA meetings will be taking place some time in May, 2021, in Spain. Before that, food networks will be present in Barcelona in June 2020, at the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies. Jocelyn also told of a CSA Hackathon in Freiberg, Germany, in November, where the development of software will be tackled, which will be helpful for (larger) CSA’s organization and governance. Even if not without challenges, the CSA movement is moving.

Ruby van der Wekken

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