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!
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.
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.