Tekijä: omamaafi (Page 1 of 31)

Welcome for a stay with Oma maa food cooperative in Finland!

Oma maa (Our Land) food cooperative in Finland is warmly welcoming interested practitioners to come work, learn and stay along with us during the upcoming season! 

We produce year-round food bags for our members on the two farms in our cooperative some 30kms outside of Helsinki, whilst we take care of our land and our animals (three Lapland cows as well as chickens), and work in our food forest, greenhouse, gardens and kitchen and, whenever we can, farm-dine together in our little membership/restaurant space in town. 

We believe the challenging Taiga environment of Finland offers a thought and practice provoking setting for international exchange around agriculture, in which agriculture addresses our food system, but also the fulfilling of other basic needs Welcome to experience the next season with us! 

There are two ways in which you would be welcome to come stay with us :

Welcome to our Agricultural Camp during 19 – 30 April! Thanks to a grant received from FundAction, we are able to fund the travel and costs of a few people. Read more on the camp.

 And/or

Welcome to come to stay with us for a longer time throughout Spring/Summer/Fall 2022! To support your stay we can be offering modest but sweet accommodation on the farm, including breakfast and meals during weekdays. Of course we will also assist you in any other way possible to make your stay with us as good as possible.    

 Read more about us and the things we do in this comprehensive text on Oma maa’s process around Good Agriculture,  and from our website www.omamaa.fi. Everyone interested is most welcome to get in touch with us and ask any questions you might have! Please write to jasenet@omamaa.fi.

On behalf of the coop and welcoming to the farm,

Ruby, Jon, Jukka and Ulla

 

Oma Maa’s process around Good Agriculture

(updated 15.1.2022)

The following text was written to support the reader in getting a comprehensive overview of the process Oma Maa is, its vision, mission and objectives, and thus what to expect and how to contextualise things when you join the coop’s activities by ordering a foodbag or otherwise become involved. It’s a long read! But we hope it helps to understand things more…

Towards flourishing life
Oma maa wants to work towards a world where people live within planetary boundaries by building together a sustainable, meaningful future in which, in addition to humans, the entire spectrum of species flourishes.
(Oma maa’s vision, Plan of Action 2021-2025)

Osuuskunta Tuusula Oma Maa – ‘Our Land’ cooperative – in Tuusula (30km from Helsinki), was founded in 2009 and is building an all-year-round ecological community process around Good Agriculture. Agriculture for Oma maa refers to the caring, cultivation and development of the land to fulfill the community’s needs in food, as well as (in the future) other basic needs such as energy in order to make good, ecological life possible.

Since 2014, the cooperative is working according to community-supported agriculture principles, which means that the coops producer and food members form a network of mutual support, co-working and learning, in which the risks and abundance of the farming season are shared. The coop has several active producing members working daily on the farm (no full salaries yet possible), some 80 active food bag ordering members, some of whom are having central roles in the coop for instance carrying out administrative and distribution tasks. In addition there are also ‘try-out members‘ who after a 3 month period decide whether or not to join the coop.

Oma Maa’s activities are rooted on the Lassila farm (in the Lassila family since 1697) and Kauko farm in Tuusula, with product distribution and activity points reaching out to the cities of Järvenpää and Helsinki. Through its cooperation with both farms, Oma Maa will develop and take care in 2022 of some 100 hectares of arable, of which 2-3ha will be used for horticultural crops, 30 hectares of forest of which some 1.5 hectares is a forest garden. And in addition, there are 3 hectares of natural pastures, where the Lassila farm’s three cows graze in summer and fulfill their role as guardians of biodiversity.

Good Agriculture

Oma Maa’s process around Good Agriculture aims for systemic change in society. Oma maa wants to bring to the forefront that by changing our basic needs systems – meaning by changing the production, distribution, and consumption of our basic needs such as food and energy – we can develop pathways towards more socially, ecologically better, and healthier communities both locally and globally.

Important here is that this systemic change in society is to be rooted in people’s processes around their daily needs and is not to be captured nor left to financial profit-seeking markets, for they will not deliver the desired change. In other words, putting this and the previous together, changing the systems of our basic needs as food and energy can lead to systemic change, if and when these processes are in the hands of people.

Oma Maa’s process around Good Agriculture is guided by a number of values and working principles.

Whilst working together according to the principles of permaculture and polyculture, Oma maa members together as a coop take care of the land of Lassilan and Kauko tila farms in order to increase its vitality : to strengthen its upkeep of biodiversity, which importantly includes also its capacity to offer for its animals (there are three Lapland cows and chickens on the farm), insects and birds a safe place to live and feed; to strengthen its capacity with regards to carbon sequestration, and to strengthen its efficiency with regards to the recycling of nutrients. For example, Oma Maa has a contract with the Tuusula municipality to remove excessive water plants as well as fish from the eutrophic Tuusula lake and feeds this into the compost of the Lassila farm.

Oma Maa’s activities are designed not just to reduce our ecological footprint, but to enlargen our ecological handprint!

And it is through first of all this caring for the land, that Oma Maa then strives towards self-sufficiency and food sovereignty, including importantly self-sufficiency of seeds.

Good Agriculture -> Good Food

Oma maa’s food is a direct expression of Oma maa’s good agriculture, and by ordering the coop’s foodbag you are supporting and enabling Oma maa’s caring for its land – including its animals, i.e. its ecosystem, in its totality and all year around. All this in turn supports importantly our health. We are learning all the time more and more about how our soil’s microbiomes are connected to our gut’s microbiomes, and this in turn to our overall health.

Oma Maa works towards the production of diverse and tasty food which provide for all the nutritious needs of its members. On the lands of Lassila farm and Kauko farm, Oma Maa cultivates grains, raps for oil, and legumes, garden plants such as potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumber, salad greens, radishes, roots, onions, fava beans, hemp, and corn, as well as strawberries and black currant berries. Cooperation continues to take part regarding grains with local surrounding farmers in Tuusula.

In is food production, Oma Maa wants to contest profit-based notions of what can and can not be grown in Finland, and thus eaten as local produce. The coop has been experimenting with different grains and is developing a food forest, where different fruit, berries, and other perennial garden plants such as pears and plums are grown according to permaculture principles. Oma Maa intends to expand the food forest every year, in order to come to every year yet longer periods of fruits. In our self-built greenhouse (warmed in the winter by bioenergy) and covered tunnels made from a lot of recycled material, we grow seedlings and a variety of different experimental plants such as figs and citrus fruit.

And in this manner Oma Maa wants to enable food sovereignty for up to 200 households. This is the capacity of Our Land. The produced food is distributed to Oma Maa members throughout the year in the form of food bags.

Good Agriculture -> Good Food bags & Farm dining

The food bags contain a lot of seasonal products, but also products that are conserved, refined, and processed by Oma Maa to better suit members’ needs. Such ready-made products include wheat and rye bread, falafel, seitan, and oat yogurt, various fermented and dried produce, and different grains, groats, and flakes.

In addition other items will be made for the bag pending on seasonality. For instance, we have been adding wild herbs and nettle pesto with our hemp seeds to the baggs. Additional items also depend on what produce has been able to be conserved over winter, which is linked to the harvest and to our collective capacity to harvest. This can lead to for instance a fruitroll or a berry cream of wheat being added to the foodbag.

Every month also, the aim is to have the following “dry products” in the bag : 1kg groats (which can use like rice), 1.5kg flakes, 1 kg flour, 500 gr Bulger, 1 kg crushed favabeans (and as soon as our pasta machine is fixed again, also speltpasta). In addition also whole beans and pulses find their way regularly to the bags.

Oma Maa wants to integrate local and traditional methodologies of both efficient and ecological resource use with global practices and tastes and with this process address the issue of what can and should be the food of the future. Through its practices, Oma Maa gives a whole new ring to the sound of what future food actually could really be about.

Oma Maa offers the same foodbag for all and there are solid reasons for doing so. The bag is wanting to promote comprehensive food system change and is thus not to be seen as ‘pick and choose shopping’. The foodbag also wants to holistically address health related issues resulting from our no longer eating of local, organic produce. In addition the bag wants to comprehensively address the carbon footprint as also handprint of food production. Oma Maa’s foodbag is about a change of food culture, challenging the illusion of freedom when buying from a grocery store. Last but not least, our foodbag is also about the democratising of our food production and with this also importantly a democratisation of our work. The latter then relates to for instance how many days in the week anyone of us will be working in our Rannankoukku kitchen, in order for other people not to work in their own kitchens.

With Oma maa foodbags being presently Oma maa’s main income bringing activity, we see an ordering of 100 foodbags per week as our sustainability threshold, enabling daily operations, enabling a strong enough core team on the farm. Currently (January 2022) the coop has some 60 (whole) bag orders (meaning the total sum of every week (whole) and every other week (half) orders counted together). A tight fit posing challenges we as a coop are addressing constantly.

Besides Oma maa foodbags, Oma Maa does also offer and develop its three-course Farm Dining dinners (all ingredients from the farm, and produced by the cooperatives farmers and cooks) in its member and restaurant space in Helsinki on Kaarlenkatu 15, or sometimes on the farm. The dinners are typically accompanied by joint discussions around issues of the cooperative or broader societal issues and are open to members and friends. They have been nice and informative moments to get up to date but also introduce Oma Maa to new friends.

In the future Oma Maa wants to open its Farm Dining to the general public, Also in the future a wish is to hold Farm Dining dinners at the farm. This will require developing the cooking facilities on the farm. A future project is for example the building of an artesanal oven.

Good Agriculture -> Good Community

Co-working, learning and decision making

Oma maa is importantly a community process. Earlier in this writing it has already been brought to the forefront as to how Oma maa sees this as the basis for the ecological and social change it wants to be working towards.

Oma Maa therefore has a continuous open call for members to join in the learning and co-production around all that is done. Besides occasional specific talkoots, or participating in food bag distribution, people can drive along to the farm on any given day to work along with the farmers. The cooperative is also open to members wanting to learn and co-produce on a more permanent basis. So there have been food members staying for a certain period on the farm and bringing in also their skills with regards to for instance food bag content.

Our farms can then be seen as places of learning, with regards to food but also, as Oma Maa has been envisioning, ecological building and energy provisioning. Core starting questions in this process are : What is it we want to do? What are our resources to do so? and What are our skills to realize this? – and to then learn how to do the math with regards to the material costs, financial costs and carbon footprint of anything we make. The goal here is to empower by doing and co-learning. Whilst for such a process to take a more institutional form is of course a longer term process, in different ways Oma Maa coopers are already engaged in such collective and experimental co-learning processes.

Needless to say, besides bringing the ecological and social pedagogical angle of Oma maa’s process to the forefront, everybody’s participation is also important as to in how far Oma maa can be realising its potential, whilst at the same time we collectively as a coop do understand not everybody can be taking part in all of this, nor to the same extent. In any case, how well we manage collectively to be for instance weeding when weeding is really necessary, or harvesting when harvesting really needs to happen, of course matters and affects. It has been also in 2021 fantastic to see how much we can achieve together when up to 15 people come out for a Saturday or Sunday potato harvesting – the power of one can be impressive and often times a driving and inspirational must, but the power of us is ultimately what really will make a difference!

Oma Maa coop has a board, producer members, and food members, and different working groups such as communications, administration, and financial issues, foodbag handout, and talkoot (communal works). The farm has its own daily morning meetings.

The board meets about once a month in meetings all members can attend, whilst the different working groups are organised in different ways, using different tools like whatsapp groups and other media.

An important annual meeting is the presentation and discussion regarding the year’s farming plan, and every year there is also the co-op’s annual meeting. No ecology without democracy – whereas also in Oma Maa coop, the exercising of democracy is a constant process in need of evaluation and development, and importantly will need to entail space and willingness for learning.

The working and learning of Oma Maa does not happen in isolation, but has been happening in cooperation with local farmers and partners such as Eetti, Ehta Raha and other Finnish CSA’s, five of which together in 2019 founded Kumpanuusmaatalous ry, and importantly also as part of a global movement. Over the years a good number of comrades have been visiting us or doing things at Oma Maa’s premises in the city as part of different movement process, such as around solidarity economy building and the commons (mm the RIPESS network, Cooperation Jackson) whilst we also participate in Urgenci’s community supported agriculture european and global network.

Oma Maa’s Good Agriculture is a process

… in a full fledged developmental phase.

When ordering an Oma Maa foodbag, one is ordering importantly a local organic vegan foodbag, which is bound up with its production – with the coop’s capacity to make for a good harvest in summer and to then conserve produce for winter, as well as with the available time and resources to experiment and develop secondary production.

Important is also to look at the bag not from a singular bag perspective, but to look all season long and see along the line the moments of abundance and of the periods when there is less so.

But beyond its foodbags, Oma Maa is a process of people taking (a part of) their food system into their hands and to try to realize the potential for transformation that it can give in different areas. Efforts in this process should be viewed from a short term but importantly also long term perspective, as also from the perspective that a sufficient level of engagement is core to realizing this potential.

A challenge entirely worth pushing for.

Welcome along!

Ruby & Oma Maa crew

Bravo Oma maa! On 2021, and on the ways you can be supporting Oma maa right now!

Dear Oma maa membership, 

Dear all!

So much good – beautiful foodbags, a couple of farm dining dinners, meeting, doing and learning together – has happened once again also in our Oma maa’s 2021 year!

Together we continued to take care of the land of Lassilan and Kauko tila farms in order to increase its vitality : to strengthen its upkeep of biodiversity, which importantly includes also its capacity to offer for insects and birds a safe place to live and feed; to strengthen its capacity with regards to carbon sequestration, and to strengthen its efficiency with regards to the recycling of nutrients.  

And based on this caring for our land, whilst learning and doing together, we continued to produce our food bags throughout the whole of 2021, catering importantly also to our objectives of food sovereignty and self-sufficiency. 

The weather conditions in the spring of 2021 could be said to have been even more challenging this year then that they were in the previous year, with extensive rain in May delaying works on the fields, followed by a very dry period. We had some challenges this year to collectively carry out the necessary tasks as weeding and harvesting on the farm, as Oma maa cooperative as a whole and because of the need to strengthen our core team on the farm. These are the challenges we will continue to work on also as board and farmers in the coming year.

A countering force to these challenges was this year’s increased machinery capacity, which was also the result of our wonderfully successful community loan circle process! Next year this process will continue in the form of the giving out of Oma maa shares, and with this with the creation of a new relation towards Oma maa coop, that of investor! (more info on this soon). New machines allowed us to do more planting, and we had yet again a more diverse vegetable content in our food bags this summer season. For instance our cabbage and cale were a new produce. 

This year we also worked further with our Plan of Action 2021-2025, please see the current draft which has been edited by our member Anu Karvinen here. The document should be seen as a living document, supporting us on Oma maa’s road (This is the Finnish version, we try to get the full English version in place asap too). 

In our Plan of Action we importantly were more explicit as to what we are seeing as Oma maa’s Vision and Mission, putting to the forefront that community processes as Oma maa are core to systemic (social and ecological) change in society, and with this ultimately to justice. Oma maa was also this year on several occasions asked to talk in different venues exactly about this empowering envisioning. Read more on this also in this blog written by Ruby van der Wekken for the Kumpanuusmaatalous blogi.

Summa summarum, challenges notwithstanding, it is due time for us to say also almost at the end of this year – Bravo Oma maa! 

And with this we are about to walk into a new year, with the full intention to further realise our Oma maa potential for (food) systemic change, for which we continue to need the full support of our coop as a whole. Therefore, at the end of this little report on 2021, we are putting forward different ways in which you can currently support Oma maa, with the objective of raising the food bag order into the new year, and towards a new harvest season. 

The current numbers are pointing to some 60 whole bag orders for January 2022, which is roughly the same as last year. We are grateful for each one of these orders, but we are also very aware that this number needs to significantly rise in order to strive for sustainability in our coop, to be able to continue our daily operations and also to pay decent remunerations to our producing members. 

We therefore want to make the following suggestions with regards to the getting in of more orders for these coming months now : 

Order a food bag from January! 

(If you haven’t done so already or are not continuing automatically from December)

Gift a friend with a Foodbag or Farm Dining dinner gift card! 

(for an every other week food bag order in January, or a Farm Dining dinner at some point in the new year. The link leads you to our website’s main page, please scroll down to read more on the gift card option). You could also spread the word on the possibility of buying these gift cards to your friends on social media.

Consider working towards a new distribution point for Oma maa beautiful food bags in 2022! 

(in the document you can read more on the ways in which this could be happening, as well as on the support you would receive from us on this)

Spread the word! 

We will be putting out more social media posts now towards the end of the year and beginning of next year on our fb closed group and public page. You are welcome to share them! 

We will also be getting more flyer and poster material ready, which everyone will be able to spread in their neighbourhoods. More information on this soon. 

We thank you very much for being with on this! All of your efforts are appreciated, and, if you like, can be seen as an important talkoot contribution to your coop.

With very best wishes to everyone for the last month of this year, with wishes for independence and sovereignty to all of us friends of Our Land on this 6th of December!  – whilst we on the farm together with several of you, will be soon gearing up for the production of our last food bag week’s 113 xmas bags! 

Oma maa hallitus, 

Jon Dunn

Maja Lieveska

Merita Miftari

Emmi Skyten

Ruby van der Wekken

Towards new distribution points for Oma maa’s beautiful foodbags in 2022! 

We have already earlier this year been sending a word about the establishing of new distribution points, in the hope that this can be a meaningful step also in the raising of our foodbag orders. This was sent to you before summer, which is most probably not the easiest time to think of the start up of new distribution points. Therefore, we want to resend this message to you, thinking that the onset of 2022 could be a better time to start with possibly a couple of new distribution points.  It would be wonderful if you feel you can be onboard of this one! This would certainly be a valuable talkoot/co-working contribution. 

The main aim is to increase the amount of Oma maa foodbag orders. The idea is to make the food bag more accessible to new and non-ordering members who are interested in the foodbags, but who find it impossible to pick up their bag from the current pick-up locations in Helsinki (Kaarlenkatu), Tuusula or Järvenpää. In addition, it is of course great if any new distribution points can come to benefit already ordering members!

 We therefore want to ask if you would be interested in working on the establishing of a new distribution point, with our help of course.

In that case, please read through the following and see how it applies to you: 

  • You live in an area that is not very close to an existing distribution point – outside of Kallio at least, in the case of Helsinki. 
  • You are willing to spread the word about Oma mas food bags in your area – materials will be provided to you and you can also collaborate on working on those!  
  • You think that we could increase the number of orders with at least 5 additional orders for the new distribution point. We then open up this distribution point also to your existing orderers as the total about of of the people using this new pickup point would optimally be 10-15 bags. New members can as usual start as try-out members for 3 months.
  • In addition, it would be good that the new distribution points are easily accessible, for instance close to a train station. In this way members who don’t live in the immediate neighborhood, can also easily make use of the new distribution points.
  • You think that one of the offered models (explained below) for a distribution point could work in your area and you are willing to make the effort of establishing it (or perhaps after reading this you might have another suggestion!

    It would be great to also have pairs signing up, because together it surely is easier to plan and make the distribution point happen! After we find you who are interested, we’ll also do some pairing, if possible.

 

 

Distribution point models

 

 Option 1. Home distribution
 

Around 10 food bags are driven to a members’ home (or picked up from Kaarlenkatu), from which distribution happens for a fixed time. 

 What does this require from you?

This option means that you are willing to organize the distribution of the bags at your home. The commitment to do this would be for one season after which you can decide if you want to continue. This can be done with another member who lives close so that you can alternate in organizing the satojako. In the case of this option, there could be a pick up only once a week to make it easier. 

In this manner, you can get your own bag delivered to your home. Or alternatively, you are available to pick up all the bags from Kaarlenkatu, against km korvaus. 

 Additional considerations:

What to do when people dont come to fetch their bag? Are you willing to hand out the bags still the next day, at an agreed time? Or can the non perishable items of any unpicked bags be stored at your place until next week’s pick up day? 

Or would you want people to notify you a day in advance, so that the bag is not coming to your home, but instead can be picked from Kaarlenkatu on the next pick up day? 

Clear rules can and should be made, so that responsibilities are shared in a clear manner between you and the member picking up their bag. 

 It is always good to have a backup member who could sometimes organize the pickup at their home, in case of vacation or another situation of absence. Or, it would also be possible to organise an Option 2 (see straight below) in front of your home, when for some reason you are not able to organize the satojako at your home.

 

 Option 2. Distribution straight from Oma Maa’s van, in a designated place

The Coop car drives to a distribution point and does satojako for like half an hour on a particular outdoors spot (for instance a parking lot, in front of a library) and members pick the bags within 30 mins. 

 What does this require from you?

In this option you would need to check for a suitable place where the car can be parked for 30 mins and where people can easily come. Ideally, you would yourself also be present during the distribution time.

Additional considerations:

What to do when people do not fetch their bags? 

Perhaps best would be to agree that non fetched bags are to be picked from Kaarlenkatu on the next bagday. Ideally people notify in advance, and simply know that if they can not pick from the distribution point on that given time, they can collect the bag from Kaarlenkatu during the next pick up day.  

Maybe you would be interested to drive the coop car for 1 or 2 hours on some pick up days and take care of foodbag drop off points (for example a couple of option 1’s  + an option 2) ? Let us know if this is the case.

 

 

Option 3. Pick up is organized at a local café or similar small business

The Coop car drives to a designated place and you will be helping to carry the bags in a local cafe/bakery/restaurant/other small business with kitchen facilities.
 

What does this require from you? 

Check for suitable cafes in the neighborhood and contact the people in charge. What needs to be checked is whether they have space to store the food bags 1 or 2 times a week for a few hours at a time, in line with their opening hours. One option is to have the list of names there and everyone would just tick their name so no need for anyone to stay for the whole time. 

 

Additional considerations:

If there are unpicked bags, could they stay in the café until the next pickup time? We could offer the café a food bag in return and they get potential customers in our members. We can also give the unpicked bags to the cafe. Maybe they also want to support our cause.

 

 ***

Any new distribution point put in place, should be seen as a pilot exercise for us. For sure it will bring up the need for changes etc. At the same time, we should try to figure out things as thoroughly as possible before we start with any new distribution point, so that new ordering members will not be disappointed by the experience. 

If you are wanting to propose and organise a new distribution point as described in the above – welcome to get in touch by writing to jasenet@omamaa.fi! Thank you!! 

Honeybees@omamaa 2021

 

As a bee queen lives approx. 3-5 years, Oma maa continued with the same bee colonies which were acquired last year in the year one (read the report from last year’s honeybees@omamaa). The only change for this season was a new beekeeper, Michaela Mostynova 🙂 

Both of the colonies made it through the long, snowy and freezing winter and started with their diligent business as soon as the first sun rays allowed it. Michaela continued with the same beekeeping philosophy with which the beekeeping at Oma maa has started: minimum interventions in the bees’ lives. In practice, that means, among others, that a beekeeper doesn’t open the hive unless necessary and doesn’t take all the honey she could. And that was also the case for this year’s honey extraction. 

Despite the very short and intense summer, the bees have managed well and collected a good amount of nectar which they turn into the honey we are interested in. This season, there was approx. 30 kilos of honey per colony which could have been extracted. That would give us 60 kgs of honey to give out to the members. However, since the summer was intense and thus short, the beekeeping season ended a month earlier than it usually would! 

The beekeeping season follows the cycle of nature, including blooming of the flowers bees utilize. So the short season means that the last flowers bloomed almost a month earlier which means that the bees didn’t have a lot of nectar to collect during August even though it was still nice and warm outside. To make the point, Michaela decided to leave the bees approx. 35 kgs of honey for the winter season which is almost double what a “typical” beekeeper would do. As such, the Oma maa bees are not fed with any additional sugar water for the winter months which is a common practice otherwise. Sugar water doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad and evil for the bees, it is just less natural to them as it is for people eating candies instead of fruits.

The honey extraction was done this year on a professional extraction machine which is gentle to the honeycombs in the frames. These frames with the honeyless combs can be used again in spring which is again favorable to the bees – it is easier and also preferable for them to use such frames over building a new wax base on a brand new frame. Oma maa rented a few more beekeeping machines this year to secure all the needed hive components. A wax from very old frames was boiled and partially cleaned, old frames were disinfected and refurbished and soon these will be equipped with wire and/or a wax wall to be ready for the next season. The beekeeper is beesy all year round 🙂

Thanks to the machines mentioned above, there will also be some wax distributed to the members on top of the honey. Beeswax is typically used in cosmetics or candle making and one can make these products easily at home.

There has also been one workshop this summer (visit to a hive) and one more theoretical course is planned for later this autumn. So in case you are interested in the bees and/or beekeeper’s work, stay tuned and follow Oma maa’s Facebook group to learn more about the date. 

Michaela Mostynova

Agricultural Camp in the Taiga of Finland, 19.-30.4.2022

Oma Maa food cooperative is inviting for a 2 weeks Agricultural Camp at the Lassila family farm in Tuusula (some 30km from Helsinki). The camp is wanting to  offer a thought and practice provoking setting for international exchange around agriculture, in which agriculture addresses our food system, but also the fulfilling of other basic needs.

Program

During the Agricultural Camp participants will be offered the possibility to exchange, learn and co-work with CSA Oma maa cooperative members regarding  the use of local resources as well as traditional methods in 

– the production of food for the CSA foodbags and farmdining dinners 

– the building of the infrastructure of the camp. Pending the interests of the participants, this could involve the following jointly decided upon activities :

*Accomodation: the building of a Goathi (Kota), the traditional home building practice of nomadic Sami people, from material in the forest.

*Food cooking: the building of a traditional hill oven. 

The program will include a visit with other CSA initiatives in the Helsinki region, as well as a Farmdining evening at our coop’s membership place in Helsinki. 

The camp will in addition also have sufficient moments to relax, have walks, jooga and sauna together on the Lassila family farm (we will be asking for the interest of participants in such activities and build the program accordingly!).  

Participation

The Agricultural Camp is made possible by a grant from the FundAction participatory grant making fund. If you are interested in participating in the camp (and/or have any questions), please write us including a word on your motivation to join the camp to jasenet@omamaa.fi, by 14.4.2022. You are welcome to join for the whole or a part of the camp – Tervetuloa mukaan!

Read more on Oma maa’s process around Good Agriculture

Let’s create new distribution points for Oma maa’s beautiful foodbags! 

We are very excited to share with you the possibility of increasing the number of Oma maa foodbag distribution points! 

As we have been sending a first word about – We are currently campaigning! including for more foodbag orders in order to strengthen Oma maa’s sustainable functioning and we believe the establishing of new distribution points can be a meaningful step in this. We would really appreciate it if you feel you can be onboard of this one! Also this would be a valuable talkoot contribution. 

The main aim is to increase the amount of Oma maa foodbag orders. The idea is to make the food bag more accessible to new and non-ordering members who are interested in the foodbags, but who find it impossible to pick up their bag from the current pick-up locations in Helsinki (Kaarlenkatu), Tuusula or Järvenpää. In addition, it is of course great if any new distribution points can come to benefit already ordering members!

 We therefore want to ask if you would be interested in working on the establishing of a new distribution point, with our help of course.

In that case, please read through the following and see how it applies to you: 

  • You live in an area that is not very close to an existing distribution point – outside of Kallio at least, in the case of Helsinki. 
  • You are willing to spread the word about Oma mas food bags in your area – materials will be provided to you and you can also collaborate on working on those!  
  • You think that we could increase the number of orders with at least 5 additional orders for the new distribution point. We then open up this distribution point also to our existing orderers as the total about of of the people using this new pickup point would optimally be 10-15 bags. New members can as usual start as try-out members for 3 months.
  • In addition, it would be good that the new distribution points are easily accessible, for instance close to a train station. In this way members who don’t live in the immediate neighborhood, can also easily make use of the new distribution points.
  • You think that one of the offered models (explained below) for a distribution point could work in your area and you are willing to make the effort of establishing it (or perhaps after reading this you might have another suggestion!).

    It would be great to also have pairs signing up, because together it surely is easier to plan and make the distribution point happen! After we find you who are interested, we’ll also do some pairing, if possible.

Distribution point models

 

Option 1. Home distribution
 

Around 10 food bags are driven to a members’ home (or picked up from Kaarlenkatu), from which distribution happens for a fixed time. 

What does this require from you?

This option means that you are willing to organize the distribution of the bags at your home. The commitment to do this would be for one season after which you can decide if you want to continue. This can be done with another member who lives close so that you can alternate in organizing the satojako. In the case of this option, there could be a pick up only once a week to make it easier. 

In this manner, you can get your own bag delivered to your home. Or alternatively, you are available to pick up all the bags from Kaarlenkatu, against km korvaus. 

 Additional considerations:

What to do when people do not come to fetch their bag? Are you willing to hand out the bags still the next day, at an agreed time? Or can the non perishable items of any unpicked bags be stored at your place until next week’s pick up day? 

Or would you want people to notify you a day in advance, so that the bag is not coming to your home, but instead can be picked from Kaarlenkatu on the next pick up day? 

Clear rules can and should be made, so that responsibilities are shared in a clear manner between you and the member picking up their bag. 

 It is always good to have a backup member who could sometimes organize the pickup at their home, in case of vacation or another situation of absence. Or, it would also be possible to organise an Option 2 (see straight below) in front of your home, when for some reason you are not able to organize the satojako at your home.

 

Option 2. Distribution straight from Oma Maa’s van, in a designated place

The Coop car drives to a distribution point and does satojako for like half an hour on a particular outdoors spot (for instance a parking lot, in front of a library) and members pick the bags within 30 mins. 

 What does this require from you?

In this option you would need to check for a suitable place where the car can be parked for 30 mins and where people can easily come. Ideally, you would yourself also be present during the distribution time.

 

Additional considerations:

What to do when people do not fetch their bags? 

Perhaps best would be to agree that non fetched bags are to be picked from Kaarlenkatu on the next bagday. Ideally people notify in advance, and simply know that if they can not pick from the distribution point on that given time, they can collect the bag from Kaarlenkatu during the next pick up day.  

Maybe you would be interested to drive the coop car for 1 or 2 hours on some pick up days and take care of foodbag drop off points (for example a couple of option 1’s  + an option 2) ? Let us know if this is the case.

 

Option 3. Pick up is organized at a local café or similar small business

The Coop car drives to a designated place and you will be helping to carry the bags in a local cafe/bakery/restaurant/other small business with kitchen facilities.
 

What does this require from you? 

Check for suitable cafes in the neighborhood and contact the people in charge. What needs to be checked is whether they have space to store the food bags 1 or 2 times a week for a few hours at a time, in line with their opening hours. One option is to have the list of names there and everyone would just tick their name so no need for anyone to stay for the whole time. 

 Additional considerations:

If there are unpicked bags, could they stay in the café until the next pickup time? We could offer the café a food bag in return and they get potential customers in our members. We can also give the unpicked bags to the cafe. Maybe they also want to support our cause.

***

Any new distribution point put in place, should be seen as a pilot exercise for us. For sure it will bring up the need for changes etc. At the same time, we should try to figure out things as thoroughly as possible before we start with any new distribution point, so that new ordering members will not be disappointed by the experience. 

If you are wanting to propose and organise a new distribution point as described in the above – welcome to get in touch by writing to jasenet@omamaa.fi! Thank you!! 

 

We are campaigning! Oma maa Newsletter 1/2021

 

The first newsletter of this year is being sent out to you in May.. let us think of this as a tribute to the fact that we have not been sitting still!:) and at least some of you will of course have been following what has been happening via social media.

1.News from the ongoing seasonSome words on the field activities currently ongoing and our foodbagorders.

2. Coopday I (the already circulated report of our first Coopday held on February 7th. One of the things presented during that day was a draft of our Oma maa Action plan 2021-2023. We will be having our Annual meeting mid June, and the board has been discussing that during the annual meeting we will address the action plan, whilst still getting back to the collective drafting in a next session following the annual meeting. In the draft plan Oma maa’s call was worded followingly :

Oma maa is inviting on board of an all-year-round ecological community process around Good Agriculture, in which agriculture refers to the cultivating and developing of the land to fulfill people’s need for food as well as other basic needs, and to make good, ecological life possible!

3. Oma maa loan circle and shareholdership – towards an investment fund for Oma maa!

After a half year qualitative process involving the dedication of a number of Oma maa members, we are now set to open Oma maa’s loan circle, which can be seen as the pulling together of community financing in the run up to Oma maa shareholdership!  It is urgent for us now to be able to gather resources to finance the necessary investments for Oma maa’s process which have started already last year, and which are taken forward this year.

4. A  continued welcome to join in Oma maa’s coproduction! As was also brought to the forefront during the Coopday, beyond a notion of “helping” of our farmers to be producing our food, Oma maa is an invitation for everyone interested to shape a relation towards our Agriculture, and with this bringing our foodsystem more into our hands and governed according to for us important social and ecological values – which is an important cornerstone for systemic change in our society. Big words 🙂 but so at the core as to the ‘Why we are doing what we are doing’.

In practical terms – Please find these words linked to the sheets on which you can notify of your coming to the farm, and join in the coop car going. We are also working on Saturdays. Or perhaps you want to join in the carrying out of satojako. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is needed! At the same time we want to add, that it is also perfectly understood if it is not possible for you to join in any thing of this just right now…

5. And last but not least, and putting all of the above together : We are campaigning!

We are warmly welcoming (and in need of) more participation in Oma maa’s process on the three levels of food membership, co-production, and investments and these coming weeks are important for us to be passing on this message.

Therefore, thank you very much for passing the word of these possibilities to anyone and anywhere you think it could be met with interest! You will be finding the linked to letter also in your foodbags over the next weeks, welcome to pass that on!

With sunshine greetings,

And on behalf of Oma maa board and co-producers,

Ruby van der Wekken

Investment funding for Oma maa!

Whilst the income of Oma maa foodbags is meant to see to the covering of Oma maa’s daily running operations, Oma maa is now turning to crowdfunding to finance the very necessary investments we need to both maintain, renew and expand Oma Maa’s activities.

In this process, our coop decided unanimously and positively during an additional cooperative meeting on March 28th regarding a change in our cooperatives rules allowing for Oma maa to be giving out equity shares in order to come to an investment fund for Oma maa.  A first step in that process, is now the establishing of a loan circle, to which anyone members and non members alike can be participating with whatever kind of sum they seem fit, and which can be converted into shares which are intended to be issued in fall (if one want to do so).

The loan circle will be running from 15.5 – 13.6.2021, and the aim is to in this manner collect up 50.000 euro’s  investment funding. 

You can read here (much) more on the process of the raising of Investment funds for Oma maa, and in particular on the first fase of the loan circle – including information on the coops financial and economic situation, investments that are being considered and gotten, a full fledged Frequently Asked Questions section and ofcourse on how to participate in the loan circle.

All in all the process of coming to the change of Oma maa to allow for shareholdership has been a qualitative rich process which started after our annual meeting last year September, and which brought at large good learning for us, for our coop. As perhaps not everyone has had a change to follow this process all too well, anyone interested is welcome to still look at all the Oma maa shareholdership material we created in this process.

PS look at this wonderful visual of our coop AK made! including also the new role of investor being created.

News from the ongoing season

mde

The season is well under way. Every day new soil is being made from our compost, a bit of peat, sand and water. The soil is then fed into our soilblocker making the blocks into which our seedlings are grown, and so there are now in the greenhouse growing onions, different kinds of beans, salads, asian leaves, reddish, paprika, herbs, and different kales. Last week the first fresh produce of the year figured into our bags : redishes and for the Järvenpää and Tuusula spinach leaves! (sometimes when there is not yet a full amount of something ripened, we simply have to make a wise division of different produce going into different bags, whilst we are aiming at an even spread throughout the year for the different bag days and destinations).

As also last year, the greenhouse is at this time of the year serving the starting up of the planting season, and its first produce will be serving all of the foodbags. From June on we will again be making it possible for members to order a greenhouse bag along the same terms as last year – we will very soon be sending further word on this (you can read more on the plans for this season in the report from our first Coop day on 7.2 referred to one more time further in this newsletter).

In the raised beds behind the greenhouse, where we planted last year a range of different fruit and nut trees as well as berry bushes, once again also different vegetables are being planted. The aim is to also this year continue with the making of several more arched raised bed rows of fruittrees and vegetables. The fruittrees are expecting to bear fruits in some 5-7 years, whilst the trees mature at 10 years of age. Oma maa is at its core a continuous banking and investing not only on the present but also on a healthy future!   At the same time different other areas on the farm are prepared for sowing and plantings.

We also have been working on the weeding and taking care of our strawberries (on Kaukon tila, the second farm in our cooperative), as well as working further on our seed sovereignty , recently of our carrots and turnips. Did you know that carrots, turnips, swedes have a two year life cycle?  They are bienials : First they grow their roots which we can eat, and then, if we protect them well over winter against frost and being eaten (by spreading a hay cover over their rows and for instance by planting garlic in their rows), in their second year they will grow seeds, which we can harvest and again sow for a next season of edible roots – Such the endeavour!

In the meantime also our honeybees have been waking up from their wintersleep, and our new beekeeper Michaela Mostynova was happy to find both colonies doing very well! Some 30 coop members have now signed up for this 2021 honey season.

This spring was still governed by the restrictions set in terms of this Covid19 year – and we were not yet able to resume for instance our communities farmdining evenings. Wonderful however that a number of you have been coming out to the farm!

Our foodbag orders remained at a steady 80 foodbag orders per week (the sum of every week and every other week bag orders), which presents a figure more or less as imagined in this year’s budget. Thanking with this also those of you that have been coming out to the farm on a regular basis for the making of our wonderful foodbags, including the cooperation with Aslihan Oguz, aka my dear kitchen in Helsinki! For June  there are currently 72 bagorders placed, and this is a number we certainly hope and need to see rising in the coming weeks!

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