RuokkapiiWhat? Urban Farming under the Finnish “Sun”

I miss summer so much!

Browsing through my pictures i keep going over the gorgeous vegetables that we got all summer long. Every second week, a big bunch of organic, locally grown vegetables, herbs would make their entrance in our home. It was our first year as members of the Herttoniemi Ruokkapiiri, and I’m so glad we joined! (They have a Facebook group too)

The experience was not only delicious, it was also brilliant fun (for the kids)  and eye opening (for me). As part of this Urban Co-operative Farm or CSA (Community-supported agriculture) you get your share of the food that is grown, but you are also expected to contribute to the work of actually growing and caring for the land and the plants.

I thought i understood it takes time to get good food, but the workout i got clearing up this leeks patch really cured me of the theoretical food supply approach! I never realized how hard it is to get those things growing as part of a truly organic, unforced environment. And as this summer wasn’t the most glorious sunny one, every-time we would receive the new crop the gratefulness & silly excitement (“I recognize that potato Mom!”) were really something i will remember for a long time!

I deeply enjoyed the feeling of “real” work. As an IT professional, the tangible outcome of the hours I spend working in front of a screen is sometimes lost on me, but 6 hours in a field will be proof enough of your worth and will leave you feeling oddly accomplished & sore all over (best work out ever!). I also admit that getting to meet the different people and understand why they were part of this community played a big part of the experience! When do you get the opportunity to blab away in broken Finnish while halfway in the mud pulling gleefully at the weed choking tiny leeks* (I secretly named one Pirjo… for Purjo* get it ?!? -embarrassing- )

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5 hours later! an exhausting but satisfying achievement! Only a few leek were injured during the process ( I think)

I’m pretty certain we will be renewing the experience next summer. It put me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to cook with ingredients i would never have looked twice at in the grocery store (Turnip, Rutabaga, Jerusalem artichoke, …) and it hey, it got me to speak Finnish!

Recipes to Follow!

How about you, are you part of a CSA? or just enjoy growing tomatoes on your balcony? I would love to hear about your attempt to grow your own food

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