1.1.2019 / omamaafi / Kommentit pois päältä artikkelissa Meidän Oma Maa (Our ‘Own Land’) : taking us towards something new
A pedagogical process on Ecology & Democracy
Last year I have often been asked, how is Oma Maa doing? A question which as time went by, became only harder to answer in a nutshell. Oma Maa is-so-much. Therefore this new year’s attempt at a (unavoidably yet again partial) write up regarding this systemic change alternative.
A good start would be to use what I have so often used last year, and what has been motivational for my own engagement and what is at the heart of Oma Maa: ”Food is a core societal thing. Food is first of all what joins all of us. And in whose hands the control of our food system is, including of course water, in those hands the control of society lies. In other words, people can more govern their own lives, if food (the food system) is in their control. In that sense, all efforts done to get food back under the control of people is very important for the development of society, and only by addressing this, we can change our society into being more just and fair. “ as our Oma Maa farmer Jukka Lassila put it in a wonderful interview with Jukka Peltokoski for KSL.
In this, and beyond this, Oma Maa takes us further.
Democracy, commoning @Oma Maa
Oma Maa coop consists of different parts. Oma Maa’s heart and core lies in Tuusula, the land of Lassila’s tila, a family farm, which has over the years kept its arms open to Oma Maa cooperative to develop itself on its premises. Oma Maa coop’s daily presence on the farm saw this year the working together of a new group on the farm, which of course had to use a considerable amount of time in the getting to know of each other, each others skills and capacities. On a daytoday basis 6 people work at the farm, whilst the coop had also a good number of trainees and other volunteers visiting the farm, for varying periods. This includes working with the animals (cows and chickens), working on the land, in the greenhouse (which running through its first full year),in the edible forest (which was worked at again this year after an intermezzo), in the kitchen (in ‘Rannankoukku’, a rented former laboratory industrial kitchen 2min away from the farm) as well as with the coops communication, administration, and financial issues. Some of the farm team live on the farm, some commute daily from Järvenpää as well as from Helsinki.
Cooperation this year was renewed with another founding member in the cooperative, Kaukon tila, whilst cooperation continued also with different smaller farms in the Tuusula area. The latter sell some grains to the farm, and by doing so do need not to sell out to big players. Farms often do not stand on their own, but are part of cooperative networks making them collectively stand stronger.
Beyond the farm, but in a direct link between the farm and the towns of Järvenpää and Helsinki, lies the further membership of the coop, involved in different ways and to varying degrees in the workings of the coop. Some members order foodbags, some come regularly to the farm to take part in communal works, other members take part in the handing out of the foodbags two days in the week, yet other members have this year become deeply involved in admin and communications, marketing issues or take part in events organized on Kaarlenkatu 15. In Helsinki Oma Maa has its physical space on Kaarlenkatu 15, a membership space, which has also seen this year the first steps of the development of not fine, but beautiful farm dining (see below).
The whole of this myriad of flows between the farms and the city constitute multiple formal and informal points of the exercising of commoning around our food commons, of practice and democracy, from coffee morning meetings on the farm to a more substantial discussing of the week ahead on Fridays, the deliberations of communications and admin groups in WhatsApp, the discussions during the ”satojako” (handing out of the foodbags), the monthly open board meetings over Skype and live in Helsinki, the reflections and deliberations over dining, and of course the annual coop meeting.
It has come to my mind, that it are these instances in this very fluid design of democracy in our coop which are a most valuable experience of what it means to exercise and shape every day democracy. Following the different kind of uprisings globally in recent years seeking change, reflection has taken place on whether these uprisings have given rise to conscious movements. In Finland we haven’t seen such recent mobilizations, but have seen an formal installing of “participation” which has left many question marks in how far it enables empowering, structural change in our societies, allowing citizens to (re)build according to their values and not that of capital.
I have then come to see our coops daily exercising of deliberation around concrete needs as most valuable instances, which, whilst dealing with the challenges of power, of too little or too much leadership, of knowledge transfer, aims at the empowering of everyone to take informed decisions. And taking part in this has brought to the forefront how fairness, a fairness based on each others equality, is a fundamental core value in our commoning. Total hard work, totally worth it!:)
Future Food (bag) @ Oma Maa
Also in 2018, Oma Maa continued to offers its members food bags. They typically contain readymade products, products from the greenhouse and from the land. In the bags there will typically be some 8-9 products. Every week the bags will be different, and one can order them every week, or every other week. (Your order you can also be shared with friends, with third parties). But otherwise, they mainly consist of products from those three categories and they are always the same for everyone receiving a bag on a given bag day (whilst someone always has the possibility to trade a particular product from the bag with products having been put for trade on an ‘exchange shelf’).
Ever so often the question gets posed as to Why? Why do we always offer the same bag to everyone, and why don’t we give our members the possibility to order just that what they like (for instance the bread and the falafel, but not the oat yoghurt), or what is easy to use (for instance only those ready-made products and not those peas we still have to cook ourselves etc.)
We have identified different reasons why we offer the same foodbag for all. Shortly put – The bag is wanting to promote comprehensive food system change and is thus not to be seen as ‘pick and choose shopping’, is holistically wanting to address health related issue resulting from our no longer eating of local produce, wants comprehensively to address the carbon footprint of food production, is about food culture change (challenging also the illusion of freedom when buying from a grocery store in comparison with the bag), and is about the democratising our food production and with this also importantly a democratisation of our work.
Oma Maa’s foodbag as such also wants to stand for Good Work. Which will also in the context of Oma Maa refer to our possibility to carry out meaningful and enjoyable work. This includes a healthy balance between different types of work, work which allows for self-development, is as fair with respect to everyone’s equality in the collective carrying out of the work and is good for one’s well being, which in the case of Oma Maa of course should also include the possibility to work close to nature, and to be ‘getting your hands dirty’. This then in concrete terms relates to for instance how many days in the week anyone of us will be working in our Rannankoukku kitchen, in order for other peoples to not do so. The fact that Oma Maa foodbag contains some ready-made foods, but also ingredients from which to prepare your food, is then good for all alike. This coming to closure on ”who does/starts what, when” is in itself a constant deliberation – sometimes based on a needed time efficiency, sometimes because of a wanted rotation and learning. Never without a conscious thought.
Its this openness which has brought an incredible amount of new doings this year, to name some things: I have become a planter, caretaker and harvester, a caretaker of cows and chickens, a shuffler of real shit, have gotten insights on the ways of the natural world which totally have been out of sight for me until now, a maker of falafels, bread, wheat yoghurt and a waitress, have become acquainted with packing material, building material, retail/stock houses on industrial terrains I had no idea of existed, and certainly got already a part of what I asked for at the beginning of this year – to understand what it means to run a coop – the financial and the administrative, and have made a total come back with regards to the doing of basic maths. (When they say farming is counting, it’s not a joke. My mind still goes at it feels a third of the speed compared to our farmers, but I intend on catching up. :)) I think my memory has totally started to fail me this year because of the overflow of total change – and I have loved this overtake, this overtake of the doing, of making something happen.
As our cooperative develops itself, so do our foodbags. Oma Maa wants to challenge how global markets have determined what was being grown in Finland. There used to be pineapple grown in Finland some 100 years ago. Whilst it’s not about the pineapple, realising this gives a whole new ring to the sound of what future food actually could really be about. From a concrete, short-term perspective, our aim this winter is to develop new processed-products in addition to the familiar falafels, seitan and yoghurt. Oma Maa will also be experimenting with the cultivation of mushrooms (oyster mushrooms). On a more longer term, Oma Maa is wanting to integrate local and traditional methodology (not because of nostalgia but because of its efficient resource use) with global practices and tastes (grown for instance in our edible food forest), and with it address the issue of what can and should be the food of our future.
Experimental pedagogical co-learning @Oma Maa
I have learned from my comrades that Oma Maa is also in many ways (the daring to be) experimental. New happens all the time. A new variety gets planted, a new something gets made for the foodbag, a new methodology gets tried, a new person joins us for some time. Whether it concerns the land, the greenhouse, the edible forest or any future plans perhaps with besides food also ecological building, whether it’s wanting to figure out the material, the financial or the carbon footprint of anything we make – the aim is to try, to test different scenarios and learn to do the maths ourselves. Goal is to empower by doing and co-learning.
Learning as such continues to happen also in cooperation with beautiful local partners as Eetti, Ehta Raha and other Finnish CSA’s (I hope we will come to set up a Finnish CSA umbrella as well as a common Food Manifesto in 2019!), and importantly as part of a global movement, of global movement building. Last year we had a good number of comrades visiting us or doing things at Oma Maa’s premise in the city as part of different movement process, as around solidarity economy building (RIPESS members were over for a first Nordic Solidarity economy meeting, as also from Cooperation Jackson in the US), and the commons (with activists from Faircoin, and Commonfare), whilst we participated in Urgency’s community supported agriculture european and global network meeting in Greece.
Many of these occasions were crowned by Oma Maa’s dinners. Beautiful three course dinners, which we have come to call not fine dining, but farm dining, at our sweet membership/restaurant space on Kaarlenkatu 15. During and after the dinner we have talked about the coop, how things are going, have also taken a particular theme at hand. This year we will continue with the holding of these dinners for our membership once a month, whilst also commence our farm dining on a more organised note for wider public.
So perhaps this then is the nutshell I have been looking for. Oma Maa radically addresses the ecological, but not without this entailing a shaping of our radical democracy. Comrades in India have for long coined the term of ecological democracy, but I feel I only now with Oma Maa have come to really internally grasp what it feels like when there is no value of the ecological without the value of democracy, and how that is one big beautiful commoning learning process. Wishing you warmly on board for that! Our possibilities to make for change together are truly endless.
Kesäkaudella satokassin antimet kattavat koko ravintopyramidin. (Eläinkunnan tuotteita se ei sisällä silloinkaan, vaan proteiinit ovat laadukkainta mahdollista kasviproteiinia: papuja, herneitä, falafeleja ja seitania.) Talvella satokassin antimet kattavat ravintopyramidin perustan: täysjyväviljat kuten puurohiutaleet, riisin tapaan käytettävät suurimot, kaurajugurttia, tilan vanhaan juureen käsin leivotut leivät, jauhot ja vaihtelevat muut herkut.
Proteiineina laadukkaita kasviproteiineja: härkäpapuja ja herneitä, kokonaisina ja rouheina, sekä niistä itse valmistamiamme herkullisia ja terveellisiä valmisruokia kuten hernefalafeleja, seitania.
Mukana toisinaan myös tuoreita herkkuja ekologisesta kasvihuoneestamme.
9.12.2018 / omamaafi / Kommentit pois päältä artikkelissa Oma Maa Jäsenkirje 12/2018 : At the end of a beautiful Oma Maa year : up with ecology and democracy (and all the possibilities Oma Maa offers)!
Hi dear all,
This Newsletter is written during a time in which many fold environmental and societal concerns are speaking up. Quite often the discussion is being framed as being between consumer choice and big policies, and it is pointed to the fact that it is the latter that truly matters. There is another way to look at this which entails an acknowledgement of the need to work towards a profound democratisation, implying (cultural) change in the way we lead our daily lives, which will have to become a backbone of the answer. And in this context, and we talked about this also during our wonderful membership dinner at the end of November (see more below), it is truly enthusing that our coop Oma Maa as a whole offers/can come to offer, different bridges for us, possibilities, to be changing some of the immediate around us, as in/extensive as basically we ourselves want to engage in.
Our November bags continued to see Oma Maa carrots, nauris, lanttu, and punajuuri in them (These previous newsletters will be informative for you who joined only recently).
In the greenhouse the growing of our new round of asian leaves, mangoldi, spinach and pak choi unfortunately got slowed down, as we remained struggling with mice and rats, but also with the heating which was not working properly – the oven broke and needed replacement of a part and repairing. Now the oven is repaired and we are as back on track as we can be with our new plants. This week our first Mangoldi which has had a bit a bumpy ride in these circumstances will not be handed to you in the foodbags, but in the planned pelmenit for the coming week foodbags!
In November, to name but a few things, we started making posts for the foodforest fence, cleaned and stored machinery for winter, fixed and sealed the greenhouse, and made firewood for the heating of the greenhouse. Also there was the inventory of seeds, more penkkit prepared and planted, and some more lamps added.
In November we also addressed in a few steps where we are standing with our chickens, i.e. with our egg orders. Throughout the year the number of chickens on the farm goes through a cycle relating to Lassila farm also seeing a coming and going of summer chickens. We as Oma Maa coop then again have our own fluctuation in demand. Typically there is then more demand for eggs in the summer then in the winter and as such this flow needs to somehow be organically dealt with. Assessing the situation, we have now also taken up yet another possibility category in the pricing of our eggs. If someone has a foodbagg share, but not an egg share, one can order eggs with the same seasonal commitment as with the foodbags, at the price of 40 euro / 2 kennot per week (if the available amount of eggs allows this).
A last smaller but important mansikka weeding talkoot also still took place November (the more the beautiful our strawberries will be next year!) – and of course at the farm at large winter preparations came in full swing.
@the Kahvila, our second member dinner 23.11 <3
At the Kahvila then that same wonderfulness from the farm continued to the city during our second amazing jäsendinner, during which our cooks (and farmers) Jukka and Jan once again prepared a three-course menu entirely made out of ingredients from the farm.
During the eve we heard on how Oma Maa was doing, including besides on all the so much good what has happened this year also on our challenges – we remain having a real need to be higher the amount of bag orders – as also on the fantastic possibilities Oma Maa already does and can come to offer, as we started this newsletter off with.
And we heard from Jan and Jukka who took part from 9-11 November in the gathering of European Community-Supported Agriculture movements in Thessaloniki, Greece, for their 4th European Meeting. To name a few of the points that came up during their relating and the discussion that followed : Meetings like this serve to empower on a personal and movement building level, with both processes being important for our common objectives at large. And when comparing this meeting to the previous CSA meeting Oma Maa also participated in, one difference is how the Urgenci network is trying to gather more resources from its members to fund international co-action.
In line with also discussions in Oma Maa, the issue of packaging came up a lot in Greece, not only from the perspective of a critique of the use of plastic, but also from the perspective of how we as a coop should consider more the possibilities to do things, including packaging, really different from how they are done on the market – i.e. according to our own values and (informed) standards. This is a possible theme we could be exploring more together during our next membership & friends – dinner which is set for the beginning of February 2019! Last but not least, when looking at the CSA scene in Europe, Oma Maa without a doubt belongs to the most elaborate and further going proposals in terms of the systemic change it seeks and the commitment it thus demands, thumbs up were given for this also in Greece!:)
We are thanking everyone who was with this eve, they were beautiful and mutually strengthening, and as announced then, the contributions given for the dinner will be supporting the making of a traditional fence around the edible forest.
Still about our already much applauded dinners @Kaarlenkatu, the idea is next year to continue with our membership dinners at least once a month. In addition, Oma Maa@Kaarlenaktu 15 will be opening up for public pre-reserved dinners.
Towards a New Year ..!
For the December month we are now at 51 bag orders, and are again happy with a few more people who have joined as full coop members, as well as with the eight new (try-out) members that responded to the possibility to receive an Oma Maa Joulukassi special – Welcome! And we on the farm are excited about the bag content we are currently preparing for you in the two still upcoming bag weeks (whilst reminding that next week (week 50) is a normal pick up week, whereas the week after that (week 51) it will be so that everyone will be picking up a bag either on Tuesday or Thursday, as we will have no bags made in the last week of the year). Welcome that week to stay on a bit during satojako for some Oma Maa Glöggi!
Week 52 (2018) and Week 1 (2019) gives then time for all of us to be able to take a break, reflect and not in the least also develop thoughts also on paper for different other activities ‘beyond’ food we want to develop as a coop.
As you will have noted, we have opened the orders for the winterbags!, which will be smaller and consist mostly of processed and dry products, and thus cost less (120 euros a month). As we wrote already in the previous newsletter, aim is to develop the processed products so new products are to be expected in addition to the familiar falafels, seitan and yoghurt. There will also be greenhouse greens in the bag and our collected berries are in the freezer to be shared, as well as to make ready products from. In addition we will be experimenting with the cultivation of mushrooms (oyster mushrooms).
So, another repeat:), a lot of development of our foodbags will be upcoming this winter and made possible by your ordering of the bag!
A few more dates :
Welcome to join for talkoot during any weekday at the farm or any pick-up day at the cafe!
You can sign up to work at the farm or in the cafe on pick-up days as well as offer or find a ride to and from the farm via the talkoot form.
Piparjuuri on mahtava mauste
Piparjuurta ei voi syödä kuten muita juureksia, sillä se on mauste ja sitä käytetään vain vähän kerrallaan: Piparjuuri sisältää kirpeää sinappiöljyä. Piparjuuri säilyy jääkaapissa kelmuun käärittynä hyvin jopa kuukausia, pikelöitynä vielä paremmin.
8.11.2018 / omamaafi / Kommentit pois päältä artikkelissa Järjestäkää eettiset lähiluomu-pikkujoulut?
Kuva: Gentle Adventure
Ruokaosuuskunta Oma Maa tarjoaa Kallion tilausravintolassaan herkutteluun keskittyviä pikkujouluja.
Tarjoilemme illallisen osuuskunnan itse viljelemistä luomuraaka-aineista (max 25 hlö) Oma Maan ravintolassa, osoitteeessa Kaarlenkatu 15, Kallio. Halutessanne voimme myös kertoa osuuskunnan toiminnasta: siitä kuinka koetamme muuttaa ruokajärjestelmää kestäväksi.
Kysy lisää tai pyydä tarjous: email@example.com
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Organising an organic and ethical little christmas?
Oma Maa food coop is offering the possibility for you to hold an ethical pikkujoulut at our warm restaurant space. A dinner entirely made out of the cooperative’s ingredients cultivated at the farm. Oma Maa restaurant space on Kaarlenkatu 15 (max 25 persons). If wanted, we can also tell you more about our coop, about how we see the changing of our food system into something more sustainable.
Welcome to ask for more information and for an offer from our side! : firstname.lastname@example.org
8.11.2018 / omamaafi / Kommentit pois päältä artikkelissa Tilaa ekologiset jouluherkut
Vietetään ilmastokestävä joulu! Jätetään ylikuluttaminen sikseen nyt heti, myös ruuan osalta. Eettiset herkut joulupöytään saa kokeilemalla Oma Maan ruokajäsenyyttä joulukuun ajan.
Oma Maassa viljelemme ja valmistamme itse herkullista ruokaa, ekologisesti. Ruokajärjestelmä on muutettava kestäväksi! Joulukuun vegaaniset satokassit sisältävät perinteisten ruokien lisäksi tulevaisuuden jouluherkkuja.
October brought an abundant month of Oma Maa carrots, nauris, lanttu, and punajuuri – some roots very huge, but also many tasty baby roots, and with it – as our farmer Joel Bird put it – a rainbow in our foodbags.
In the greenhouse our cucumber and tomato season came for a moment to an end, whilst a lot of planting started up again: asian leaves, mangoldi, spinach, pak choi etc. upcoming in our bags very soon! At the same time we had some drawback in the greenhouse caused by among other things mice eating our produce. We are actively doing our best to control such factors and get our new plants doing well!
New in the bags were hemp seeds from our second farm in the coop, Kaukon tila. And as mentioned also further on in this newsletter, some first hemp products were experimented with during our October dinner.
In the October bags, we also had a nice combination of local products, local methods but global tastes Oma Maa wants to experiment further in, as our bags had seitan tortilla and an excellent much complimented Salsa Verde from our own tomatillos.
Some 30 people participated in October on a beautiful autumn-ish weekend during the “Sadonkorjuutalkoot ja ruokametsäkävely”. The turnout was wonderful, to show and share on all the doings with our members and to collectively also get a good amount of work done! Everyone was commenting how such a day can make such a difference in getting the things done. All our hands put together make the load light!
@the Kahvila – Next Dinner 23.11., do sign up now!
We had a fantastic dinner on 26.11. at the Kahvila on Kaarlenkatu. Our cooks (and farmers) Jukka and Jan prepared a three-course menu entirely made out of ingredients from the farm, which included this time among others a new experimentation with the making of Hemptofu. The goal for this dinner, in addition to an enjoyable evening, was to gain practice for everyone and to get feedback about the food and the overall experience. Following the delicious meal, we had a good round of discussions about our coop, see this little note on the things we will be collectively taking forward.
More Coop members & December’s Oma Maa Xmas (try-out) bag!
For the November month we are now at 55 bag orders, and whilst this means we are at a bit less bag order, we are very happy a few people have joined as full coop members, as well as that four new try-out members joined us for November, welcome!
In December our foodbags will see Oma Maa end of the year season treats, both traditional as well as foods of the future! This is how Oma Maa is wanting to develop its food: locally grown ingredients, traditional methods, yet also this combined with global practices and tastes. As December marks also the end of our summer season bags, we decided to now offer a one month whole bag try-out period for December, meaning three larger than normal bags (due to the last week and beginning of next year’s week being a break in production). Do spread this word to friends and acquaintances, that there is this possibility to bring ethical food products to all of our xmas and end of the Season celebration tables! Ordering happens via this form! (and if you are already getting your bag, you of course don’t need to do anything)
As already notified of, we will commence with our winterbag season in week 2 of 2019.
We requested your comments on the “Summer-winter season switch and 2019 bag ordering arrangements”, and we got a few replies from you writing that the arrangements seem good! (See our e-mail to you on 30.10.2018) So we will be proceeding as such.
We will soon be opening the orders for the winterbags, which will be smaller and consist mostly of processed and dry products, and thus cost less (120 euros a month). As we wrote also in the email, the aim is, however, to develop the processed products so new products are to be expected in addition to the familiar falafels, seitan and yoghurt. There will also be greenhouse greens in the bag and our collected berries are in the freezer to be shared, as well as to make ready products from. In addition we will be experimenting with the cultivation of mushrooms (oyster mushrooms).
So a lot of development of our foodbags will be upcoming this winter and made possible by your ordering of the bag!
A few more dates :
Welcome to join for talkoot during any weekday at the farm or any pick-up day at the cafe!
You can sign up to work at the farm or in the cafe on pick-up days as well as offer or find a ride to and from the farm via the talkoot form.