Kategoria: Blogi (Page 1 of 14)

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!

We are campaigning!

Summer and our summer harvest season are approaching fast! We have started work on the fields and it has been nice to see so many of you participating in our talkoot over the past few weekends. It is also time to promote our harvest bag to friends and family for the upcoming season. This year we are also adding new ways to be involved in the Oma Maa community through crowdfunding: we are building up to issuing our equity shares in the fall, and gathering bridge funding through our loan circle. Here is some more information on these different ways to participate in Oma Maa! 

Oma Maa is inviting everyone on board for an all-year-round ecological community process around Good Agriculture. Here 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. You can read more about Good Agriculture at Oma Maa on our updated website at omamaafi/good-agriculture

We are now warmly welcoming participation in Oma maa’s process on three levels: food membership, co-production, and investments.

Food membership. By ordering our harvest bag either every week or every other week, food members are at the back bone of Oma Maa. Our target for this summer is 110 orders per week, which will enable us to deal with our daily operational costs. We are currently only at 72 orders! So if you have taken a break over the winter, remember to renew your order for this summer season! Also, we will be actively campaigning to get new food members on board, so please pass on our messages in social media and contact your friends and family who could be interested in becoming try-out members.

Co-production. We openly welcome everyone to join Oma Maa’s activities at the farm, be it as a producing member, a food member in talkoot, a trainee, a volunteer or even a professional wanting to try out what working along at Oma Maa offers, be it in the kitchen or in the fields. Oma Maa’s holistic way of working with Agriculture offers manifold possibilities for collective engagement and learning through peer-to-peer pedagogical processes. It is this co-production that will bring us forward in realising Oma Maa’s potential.

Investments. Starting this year, we are also welcoming new contributors to Oma Maa’s community: equity shareholders. We are turning to crowdfunding to finance the investments we need to both maintain, renew and expand Oma Maa’s activities. We have an investment budget of 50.000 euros in 2021 that we are looking to fund by a loan circle this spring, followed by an issue of equity shares in the fall. Read more in the leaflet distributed together with this letter in your harvest bag!

These coming weeks are important for us to be passing on this message, and to encourage more participation on all three levels! 

Thank you very much for passing the word of these possibilities to anyone and anywhere you think it could be met with interest!

Haemme harjoittelijoita


Haemme maatalousalan, ravintola-alan, puutarha-alan, eläintenhoitoalan sekä ympäristöalan harjoittelijoita luomutilalla Tuusulaan!

Hommaa riittää vuoden ympäri, joten aloittaa voi vaikka heti.
Pyöritämme mukavalla porukalla ruokaosuuskuntaa Lassilan luomutilalla. Tarjolla on hommaa monen alan harjoittelijoille.

Tule mukaan luomaan kestävämpää elämää!

Alla olevalla videolla näet mitä kaikkea Lassilan tilalla / Oma Maassa tehdään:

TILAESITTELYVIDEO:

https://vimeo.com/369257316

Viljelemme ruokaa koko ruokaympyrän kattavasti. Lisäksi meillä on 200 kanaa sekä kolme uhanalaista lapinlehmää, jotka ovat ympäristönhoitotehtävissä.

Teemme paljon myös jatkojalostusta: eli ruokia satokasseihin itse viljelemistämme aineksista; Falafeleja, leipiä, jugurttia, seitania…

RUOKAOSUUSKUNNAN IDEA:

Eli miksi hankkia ruoka ruokaosuuskunnasta kauppojen sijaan?

Luonnon monimuotoisuutta on suojeltava.

Ilmastonmuutosta on hillittävä ja siihen sopeuduttava.

Tehotuotannon sijaan on siirryttävä kestävään tuotantoon.

Ruokahävikkiä on opittava välttämään.

Lähetä hakemuksesi jasenet@omamaa.fi

IG: luomuosuuskunta_omamaa

FB: Osuuskunta Oma Maa

Www.omamaa.fi

Www.lassilantila.fi

Rethink

During the last days heavily filled with snow giving beautiful but time consuming challenges to the making and delivering of foodbags between the farm, its kitchen and the city, and to the keeping of greenhouse and tunnels standing up and at a decent temperature… I found myself accompanied by the wonderful Oxford Real Farming conference. The hundreds of sessions held online, attended to by more than 5000 people registered, and which one is able to replay whenever one wants to listen to them, was truly rewarding. With my Oma maa food cooperative’s agricultural deepdive now going on into its fourth year, and having never attended a meeting focusing on agriculture only, the conference gave me plenty of strengthening new, but also strengthening listening to Urgenci comrades sessions, and to other previously known voices of comrades from the global justice movement.

So I was drawn during the conference to a book launch session by one of the founders of the conference Colin Tudge, of his new book entitled ‘the Great rethink, a 21st Century Renaissance’.  During the session, Tudge in a very simple manner laid out thoughts around change which in its fundaments resonates a lot with also Oma maa’s thinking. And I agree with the author, that what we now absolutely also need, is an empowering simple.

(photo of Colin Tudge presentation slide ‘the elements of the Renaissance’)

The starting point for the roadmap is the specifying of the goal :  What are we as Humanity trying to achieve? The answer for Tudge to that question is that we should be trying to create convivial societies in a flourishing biosphere. A convivial society refers to a society in which everyone is having the same chance to do what one feels good about. The biosphere means ‘the living world’, the natural world, and is intended here to be a correction to the frequently used word environment, which means ‘surroundings’, and which is an anthropocentric idea that people are the most important creatures, with all the rest around being “environment”. The concept of biosphere puts to the forefront we are an integral part of the natural world.

What then do we need to do to create such convivial societies in a flourishing biosphere? Tudge explains the answer to this question to be lying in technologies, meaning all that we do to manipulate the physical word –  including crafts and high technology – that further that goal. Technologies of today need a critical appraisal, as they often do not further that goal. Some technologies make our souls redundant. What we instead do need, are technologies that enhance our lives to strive towards our overarching goal.

For Tudge then, the two technologies that really stand out, and that we really need to get right, are agriculture and food culture. Tudge uses the term enlightened agriculture, in short real farming (hence the name of the Oxford real farming conference.). Enlightened agriculture is compounded by the ideas of agroecology and food sovereignty. In short, the concept of agroecology says we should be treating all farms as ecosystems, and thus design a farm according to the ecological principles of an ecosystem.  That will mean first and foremost, the focusing on plant based agriculture, meaning arable and horticulture, and for this thus to be providing the majority of our needed calories and protein, as well as most of our vitamins and minerals, etc. Secondly, this agriculture would importantly also include some animals. The result of such farming would be plenty of plants, not much meat, and maximum diversity.

The resulting diet corresponds with what is seen as a good diet in today’s nutritional theory. This corresponds also with the features of our great food cultures. It is faulty to think that proper farming would result in not eating well. On the contrary. Oma maa’s year around foodbags and  farmdining are also an expression of such an agriculture – be it that our foodbags are vegan. But the farm has three cows which are grazing for biodiversity upkeep, as well as chickens of which some members order eggs.

Tudge’s roadmap then continues to infrastructure. To have technology serving us well, we need infrastructure that will encourage such things. This will come from governance, economic structure, and just laws. Governance should be democratic, leading to justice and to the using of everybodies input. This applies to farming as well, as we know. Much better agriculture is achieved by listening to the indegenous in situ peasant voices, then imposing structures from above. This is what democracy in action should look like. This is about the getting of everybody on board to restructure society. And I add here, that this is another way of wording that change in society is to be rooted in peoples process around basic needs, as Oma maa’s thinking has at its core.

Tudge continues then to explore thoughts around economy, again, something to be developed to achieve our stated aim. Tudge calls for the development of ‘green economic democracy’, which looks after people and the biosphere, and he lies down down 6 principles of such an economy :

– All entreprises in this economy should be social entreprises. They should contribute in net to the wellbeing of societies and the biosphere.

-This economy should be a tripartite mixed economy, with state, private and community ownership. For instance, CSA’s like Oma maa are a good example of communities taking control of what is done. And I add, as Silke Helfrich once put it, up with the commons! beyond but not necessarily without state and market!)

-All investments made in this economy should be ‘positive investments’. We can use the capitalist instrument of investing ones money in order to gain some profit, However, we should only invest in activities of social entreprises contributing to the wellbeing of society and the biosphere.

– This economy has a universal basic income, in order to ensure everyone can live and work with dignity.

– This economy rests on a change of mindset, in which we move away from the idea of having and owning as much as possible to the opposite idea : how little do we need to live a good life. For us in the Western world that probably mean about a third of what we have.

– This economy is a circular economy.

 

I stop this blog writing and leave the work of Tudge at this, and return whilst continuing on the themes above to the co-drafting of Oma maa’s new vision and action plan. Strengthened once again. Thank you Oxford real farming conference!

 

Ruby van der Wekken

Oma maa 2020 satokausi self evaluation & feedback

Oma maa 2020 satokausi self evaluation & feedback 

Kekri on-line session 31.10.2020 (summary report)

Introduction : The session held is to be seen as part of a process. A next moment in this process will be the Coop day held in January 2021, during which there will be the presentation of Oma maa 2021 farming plan, as well as the drafts of Oma maa’s 2021 action plan & budget. Then too there will be the opportunity for comments, feedback and questions. The actual approval of the 2021 Oma maa Action plan & Budget will follow during the 2021 Annual Meeting, held around April.

During the Kekri on-line session attended by the farm crew and several food and board members, the farm told of its own self evaluation, as also put forward in the end a proposal for a “Oma maa Rapid Response network” to be formed in order to deal with the needs of next years peak season (see point 7). During the time for commenting and question we mainly talked about community building and learning (see point 8)

During the session we addressed :

1.The problems in the past that we wanted to address better this year

2. The year 2020 and what “the Corona effect” meant for Oma maa

3. What we were able to do this season

4. Our Seed sovereignty

5. Our foodbags

6. Farmdining

7. (Other) Development needs & a Proposal for an Oma maa Rapid Response network

8. Community supported Agriculture, Community building & Learning!

***

1.This year we wanted to address better the following problems of the past : 

A. A better covering irrigation system

B. Improved capacity to deal with weeding

C. A more permanent ground cover

In order to be earlier, and

– Enlarge the amount of fruit trees and berry bushes

– Enlarge the amount of peltovilejly & to diversify the farming

-> Enlarge our Polyculture

And to Increase our seed sovereignty

 

2. 2020 and “the Corona effect”

This spring we saw an increase in food bag orders, and thus resources. Also more people found their way to the farm, with some of them putting up tents and staying for longer periods. On the other hand, of course activities like our farm dining and community building at large, became more challenging.

 

3. What we then were able to do this season :

A. Extend our irrigation system

We put up an irrigation system taking in water from Tuusula lake, via an inbetween laying pond, and extending over different areas in the farm. However, the setting up of the system was delayed due to different problems (among other with the processing of our ordering from a small company), so therefore the system was not set up in time. So for instance for our red beet, fava beans, and onions the watering system came a bit too late.

But since we now have the core elements in place, we can put the system up earlier next year, as well as then see for any necessary enlargements.

This then facilitated that

–  we were able to plant more fruit trees, berry bushes, pumpkins

– the plants were more alive in the greenhouses (there were water supplying lines running to the greenhouse previously, however, as we had no water filter on it, the pipes running through the greenhouse had gotten clogged)

– The plants fared better on the fields

Also, we planted a part of our root veggies in the autumn, so they got moisture in the spring.

B. To be on top of weeding needs, we put more attention to the seedling pre-growing, and developed our own compost for that. 

 The weeding need is the most acute when seedlings are small. So if we grow our seedlings bigger in our nursery before planting them, we are making sure we are not challenged by weeding needs we can not live up to.

We for the first time made biochar. However, the biochar pieces should have been smaller. The parts were too large, making the char not always compatible with the planting machine. But this was our first year of biochar making, and we learned.

We also improved and enlarged our tunnel spaces to host more seedlings.

We tried for the first time a soil blocker machine, making soil blocks. It resulted in the  moisture level of the blocks being better. A problem with the cups was that they dried out a lot (See also this blogpost “Our land, our soil”).

We then this year also got a second leg for our planting machine. This enabled us to renew the strawberries at a good pace. Beans, fava beans and onions were also able to be planted with the planting machine. We however did have problems with fitting the size of the blocks to the planting machine, this is to be improved for next year.

All in all, there are different things to improve with regards to our seedlings for next year, we should also yet again try to be earlier next year .., however :

-> We were able to grow more seedlings

-> Due to the infrastructure improvements, the circulation and spacing, the timing of different plantings will be better in the future.

So for instance our tomatoes in the new tunnel got a disease,  but also, since we got the tunnel late (the tunnel was bought when Corona gave us a rise in bag orders..)  we were also then late with the tomatoes. At the moment however a nice amount of those tomatoes has been ripping in ranankouko, and is being dried to make sun dried tomatoes!

On Kaukon tila, the weeding remained a larger problem and needs to be improved. However also there, the weeding fared better than previous year.

 C. We increased our ground cover

but also here there is still room for improvement.

Peltoviljely / The farming on the fields : Oma maa had two interns with this summer, Ahmed and Jutta, who were able to be alongside Jukka on the tractors. This meant we were able to enlarge the farming part more, and in its totality the harvest has been larger and more diverse than last year.

There is however no grand harvest to be expected of anything, as there was considerable drought in the beginning of summer (and as such the customary cooperation with other local small farms from which a part of our grains come will continue also throughout the next year).

Even if no grand harvest, If thinking of things in terms of carbon sequestration and nutrients : All that wanted to be put into each land part (lohko) was planted, so we can be concluding that on the whole carbon sequestration was improved with regards to previous years. In every lohko, a minimum of two, up to six varieties were planted!

 

4. Our Seed Sovereignty, we worked (a lot )more on that this year. We also got some new varieties that now have only a smaller yield, but of which we are saving the seeds in order to get more harvest every year.

These include :

  • Millet
  • Chickpeas
  • Poppy
  • Quinoa
  • Garbanzo beans

 

5. Our Food bags

Our foodbags have felt to have been ongoing in 2020 in a stable, continuous, fashion.

It was nice we could this year also hand out again our own Rypsy oil.  Due to corona our mill was closed for several weeks, and we during that time had to mill all we could in our own small mill, making it impossible to for instance grind seitanjauho to get seitan pasta into the bags. But still, we were able to keep the bags going also for that period.

Our Greenhouse bag saw a good start, but we would not have been able to keep it up neither larger nor longer. There would not have been enough for more people, so in that sense it was not anyway from the normal food bag orders. This was a learning for our first greenhouse bag season from which to learn and draw up improved plans for next year.

From the food bag perspective, we are going into winter with more roots than last year, and also our pumpkins did well and are still within the foodbags.

 

6. Farm dining

We had to stop our farm dining dinners with the onset of Corona. Currently we are holding farm dining dinners for small groups of people, but unfortunately it is then not really possible to hold larger and more community building intended membership dinners in that manner. We would like to develop more possibilities to hold farm dining on the farm in the nearby future.

 

7. Things that happened outside of core workings, but which were important from an ecosystem point of thinking, as well as income.

We  carried out different kind of works, and engaged in different processes :

 

8. Development needs : 

Our challenges are linked to the transparency of activities at the farm. How to continuously follow what is happening and stay on top of things in each area?

We have identified that we need to:

  • Make and create a clear division of the responsibilities of each area of work also outside of “office hours. (E.g. how to be keeping an eye on things, are the windows closed at night in the greenhouse, how is the temperature?, etc.)
  •  Be able to deal better with the peaks of season (E.g. ripe strawberries, dry hay, etc).

These peaks are very weather dependent, so there can be rather unpredictable fast arising needs on particular days for people to be there.

In spring time we were able to be systematic in managing work and we had also weekend shifts in place, but in the busy growth season, summer, that did not work well anymore.

PROPOSAL to improve our capacity to deal with the peaks of summer season : a ‘rapid response network’

Members could already before summer chart on our excel sheet which weeks/days in summer they could be available “on call”. Regardless of whether or not the call to come to the farm is put out, it would give us at any time an increased capacity to see who is available to come out, so that we can react to ripe strawberries, to the ready hay bales etc.

This takes a step further what we have already put increasingly into practice this year – to move away from the conceptualisation of talkoot as being something that a separate invitation is meant to go out for, to an continuously open invitation to come to co-work on the farm. In this manner we also promote more compatibility with the needs on the farm and the plans of people.

 

9. Community supported Agriculture, Community building and learning

On the farm we have already identified two aspects we want to improve on for next year

  1. To keep up regular discussion moments together with all people working at the farm, during which there is a focus on how everybody and everything is going. These discussions are to be organised on a regular basis, even during the peak seasons.
  2. To create time to celebrate finalised achievements.

During the meeting, in particular the aspect of ‘How do we learn at Oma maa?’ gave rise to interesting discussions, and also brought to the forefront this being a two way street :  One issue is how Oma maa can facilitate learning, but the other side of the coin is what is a person’s capacity to learn in a given situation.

As to how can Oma maa facilitate learning, we discussed that increasingly besides our main farmer Jukka also farm crew members can and should be passing on knowledge. We also discussed the possibility of making lecture type video recordings to both make and watch whenever suitable. We will be further developing our answer to this question.

As to a person’s capacity to learn in a given situation, it was brought to the forefront that the asking of questions is an important tool to use. Also, understanding needs to be developed that in most cases it is not possible to have a substantial learning process if not coming out to the farm on a regular basis. Learning importantly happens at Oma maa from doing and from whilst doing being able to increasingly able to connect the dots. This then can be supported by reading useful material as well as the asking of questions.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Honeybees@Omamaa

This year we wanted to come to host more honeybee pollinators on the farm’s fields and start up honey production. Oma maa friend Jean Poignot had some first experiences with his own beehive, and offered to put his skills and knowledge he gained so far to the use of Oma maa, with the aim to also start up a participatory process to learn around bees and beekeeping together.

Thirty four Oma maa coop members signed up to support this process, and put together the money needed to make the initial investments. And whilst due to different factors we could not make this first year a very participatory process, over the last two weekends a little group of us extracted this years honey – Kiitos besides Jean also Minna, Tuula ja Emmi!

During the extraction we removed the cappings of beeswax on the honey holding cells in the frames. The frames were then placed in an extractor,  which spins them so that most of the honey gets removed by centrifugal force.

We also looked back over the process, which started in May 2020, with the purchase of two swarms of bees, 40.000 bees each. Jean explained a bit more on the basics. The beehive, the house of the bees, has a floor, a body and a roof. The body of the beehive is a wooden box, with 10 frames in it. The bees will use the frames to make their honey in hexagonal prismatic structured cells made of beeswax, which are called honeycombs. Once there is honey in them, the bees will be capping the cells with wax for storage. As the season goes by,  boxes are added as frames get full of honey. In our process, Jean set out a total of six boxes.

Regularly checks will happen as to how the bees are working, which depends on factors as weather and the presence of flowers. Finland has a short season, but just like farmers, bees will make the most of it, and in summer be flying up to 20hours a day!

As busy as a bee – as busy as a farmer!:)

As we talked about, it was very dry in the beginning of this summer, which will have affected the flying around of the bees. Then followed quite some rain – and bees do not work when it rains. In the beginning of August it was harvesting time, meaning that Jean collected the boxes.  As he stressed, he took what the bees do not need over winter. Two boxes were left for the bees. Jean then fed the bees with liquid sugar, and also gave them treatment to avoid disease, which could make for loss up to 50% of the colony. By the end of September the bees were asleep.  Under 12 degrees they will not move anymore. Instead, they will be keeping eachother warm at a temperature of about 35C, untill about the month of April (pending the outside temperature).

The raw honey we extracted during the last two weekends will be standing for at least two weeks, after these two weeks, we can bottle our honey! We have collected approximately a small 60kg of honey. As Jean commented – our raw honey is not being transformed. We can however be sure of the fact that  up to 90% of honey in supermarkets is modified with water and sugar.

Besides fluid honey we also collected honey combs with a more cristalised honey on it. A wonderful produce to chew on we will also be giving out!

We also already talked about next year. As we have already discussed previously, for this first year , the cost per participating member has been 50 euros (with each member set to receive some 1-2 kg of honey). For year 2 and year 3 then, the cost per member will be 30 euros (and each member would receive again 1-2 kg of honey). The cost for a newly joining participants would again be 50 euros during their first year,  since more participants means also again more of everything.

But importantly also, we would want to set firmer grounds to the participatory mutual learning angle of this process during the next season. The proposal is to get together already during winter, forinstance in January. The frames are then to be cleaned as also rebuilt, using the wax we collected this year.  Following that we can have a learning session with Jean, during which we would go over the proceedings that will need to be carried out in preparation and during next season, and form a team around that.  A next invitation for that will still follow.

Thanking Jean and ofcourse the honeybees! Up with honeybees@omamaa!

t. Ruby & co.

Oma Maa’s Spring/Summer 2020 : Beyond Covid-19

July greetings! We are sharing with you here on the main things that happened in the last months – and with this a warm welcome to place a food bag order at a time when our harvest is starting to boom and bloom! We are doing so with a little look back and forward.

Oma Maa’s food week 28 (missing from the picture are tilli and fava beans)

Whilst Covid-19 brought for many in different ways confinement and limitations – looking from the perspective of Oma Maa that was predominantly not the case. As soon as the still wintery weather at the outbreak of the virus made it possible to be outside for the day (because of course also we had to adapt the rules of how to deal responsibly with the inside and outside spaces of the farm and their permanent inhabitants), a larger number of people than normal started coming out to the farm. Also a larger number of orders for the food bags came in leading to a buzzing (prepacking) satojako on Kaarlenkatu, Tuusula and Järvenpää, and suddenly we found ourselves to be in an acknowledged category of ’essential workers’. We did not ‘drive less’, but in effect ‘drove more’, doing corona deliveries to people’s homes as well.

Not that it was no time of concern, question marks, adaptation and tensions also for us. Nevertheless, we consciously chose throughout our communications to not engage in any Covid-porn. Instead we chose to keep on telling and showing what we were doing in practice, in relation to our overarching goals of the upkeep of food sovereignty and biodiversity, i.e in relation to the systemic change which is necessary, and of which Covid-19 in itself is but a symptom of.

 

And we did so much together! (Thank You everyone!)

It is fair to say that the additional both human and monetary resources gained during these months were not left idle, but immediately put to use, for investment objectives which in itself are yet meant to find other (then food bags sale income) funding sources (we will be getting back to our investment campaigning a bit later this year). The things we did together, the mentioned investment areas, can be broken down into two areas:

*Farming technical investments

We are wanting to be avoiding mechanical tilling to a maximum, and are growing more and more seedlings in our greenhouse and tunnels, before they are planted on the land.

Towards this objective, this spring we put into use a second leg for our planting machine, making it possible for two rows to be sown at the same time.

This summer we planted 3000 new strawberry seedlings, using our seed(ling) planting machine 

We also had our first experimenting with a soilblocker machine, pressing our soil into sturdy blocks, into which seeds are planted (read about the whole process of our soil making here).

Getting things right with regards to the blocks and the planting machine is something we will yet be working further on next year!

Our soilblocker blocking 

And thirdly, we set up a large wooden tunnel next to the greenhouse which we took over from a farmer in Turku to be able to grow yet more plants under a cover (our greenhouse, ‘tunneli’ and ‘chilitalo’ have been getting full!). Currently tomatoes are growing there.

The new tunnel. Today it already has its cover, windows and almost its doors! 

*Environmental investments

We want to every year be able to enlarge the polyculture of our agroforestry and to diversify our forest garden, where already at the moment grow dozens of different kinds of fruit trees and berry bushes. This serves Oma Maa’s ecosystem, this serves also our being able to have fruits for an ever longer period of the year.

Towards this objective, this spring we planted rows of fruit trees (in each row different (apple) pear trees are alternating with gooseberries, plums and a few nut trees), which are alternating with rows of berry bushes as well as vegetable raised beds where we planted among other zucchinis and tomatoes. Whilst the fruit trees will only mature in 10 years, they will bear more and more fruit from year to year.

The making of the raised beds and the planting of the fruittrees in April, and the same area in July! 

We also laid out an irrigation system to several vegetable fields, fruit trees, greenhouses, and food forest. A pump is now pumping water up from a small pond in between Tuusula lake and the farm, into a main pipe which leads to the greenhouse, and from which (see this little video telling more). We were not lucky with the order of its components, going through different difficulties with getting all in place, and therefore had the system only rather late in place. But also in this case the saying goes, rather late than never! 🙂

 

All the above related and was done in addition of course to Oma Maa’s 2020 spring/summer season planting and at the moment harvesting activities.

At the moment of this writing, already onions, garlic, salad (greens), fava beans, kale, strawberries and various herbs and our first potatoes have been figuring in our food bags.

Garlic

Much more produce is yet to follow from the land both from Lassila farm and from Kauko farm, and from the food forest. This includes different root vegetables like carrot, beet and parsnip, a variety of cabbages, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumber, and more salad greens, onions, garlic and different herbs. A variety of fruit trees such as cherries, plums, pears, apricots and kvittens are ripening their fruits, whilst we follow the growth of our hemp (and the hemp seeds it will be bring us) as well as canola seed crops (and the oil we will be able to press again in the winter), and await more also of our berries.

This year we also took our greenhouse shares into use, and are offering a number of (try-out) members greenhouse bags. Whilst produce such as tomatoes, salads, cucumbers and french bush beans are also growing on the fields and thus figuring in our food bags, you can order the greenhouse bag and enjoy more of those, including also some other varieties.

Greenhouse bag in July

Whilst our growing and harvesting time is in full swing, we are also with the board and with the coop at large, orientating towards other processes in the coop. For one we are working towards our Annual meeting, planned to be held in the beginning of September (later than usual because of Covid-19 and the holiday season following. The invitation will be sent out in due time!). We have also been reflecting on the retaking of our coop issue discussions, whereas of course also we would like to see to a resuming of our farm dining, in one way or another.

They always say, in every crisis lies a possibility as well. One could say also Oma Maa’s positive developmental story during this Corona spring is such a tale to tell. We are hoping this will be of a lasting nature! Welcome to the farm! Welcome to place a foodbag order!

 

Ruby & co.

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