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Hiedanranta box plantation

summer 2022

In the summer of 2022, an open urban farming experiment was set up on the asphalt field of Hiedanranta's factory square, in which 35 people could participate for free. The goal of the experiment was to test and learn how food can be grown in harsh conditions with community-powered circular economy nutrients.


The goal was also to bring interested people to the Hiedanranta area and to enliven and calm the factory square. The cultivation area was a barren asphalt field, very windy and unprotected. Farmers
from the point of view, the accessibility of the place was a bit difficult and on weekends the area was sometimes a bit restless. On the positive side, it was a very sunny place and, according to the breeders, an inspiring and exciting location.

The cultivation was carried out with Blokgarden cultivation boxes, of which the cultivation had a total of 60.
15 of the boxes were shared and 45 were for the farmers' own use.

What happened there?

The farm was built in one day at the beginning of June and the opening day was celebrated on June 10
in a sunny atmosphere, planting seedlings while enjoying music and refreshments. Farmers came all afternoon at their own pace to plant their own box as well as the common share. At the same time, the game rules and watering shifts for the plantation were created together. The farmers used their own seedlings and seedlings brought to the site provided by the plantation.


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The farmers were supported by a whatsapp group where they communicated about the farm's issues. Done
watering shifts, the flea problem, pictures of plants and crops, regretting the act of vandalism,
questions for the gardener and the progress of the cabbage moth invasion. The group included Blokgardenin
gardener answering questions and coordinating activities and events.


Every Friday there was a joint gardening day from 15:00 to 17:00 when the gardener was also there
advising and guiding. At the same time, there was a lot of discussion about urban education and
About the future of Hiedanranta. Friday often ended with the Community Sauna warming up.

In addition to the Friday gardening, four events were organized at the farm: Opening,
Biodiversity Day, Planting workshop in connection with Garden Day and dinner celebrating harvest.
The New Tampere Festival was also organized in the area in July, during which the plantation was dismantled and
was taken into custody in the adjacent yard. Some of the boxes served as the green decoration of the Festival.

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How was the summer

As a whole, farming went well, but there were also problems, e.g. the heat caused a lot of watering,
fleas and cabbage moths ate the plants, moped boys caused a bit of trouble and the windiness of the place brought its own
its challenges for plants.

However, the plants grew very well and the harvest was plentiful. This is thanks to a sunny place and
the nutrients we consume. The previously barren asphalt field turned into a green food oasis for people and
for insects, increasing the area's biodiversity.

The cultivation used recycled soil, which had a low nutrient level and needed to be improved.
As nutrients, we used the circular economy fertilizer from the local DTS Oy, which was from local biowaste
produce. In early summer, we also used burnt urea from the local toilet, which was diluted 10%
into a solution.

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What was learned

The urban farming experiment was very successful in terms of cultivation and the community began to form. A continuation of farming activities in some form was hoped for, and the majority expressed their desire to continue. The previously peaceful place calmed down a bit when there was active activity in the area, and it no longer felt like a wasted space. Farming activity created a purpose for the area and several people hanging out or passing by commented on the farm as a positive thing.

Discussions with farmers brought out the following points:

  • the farmers felt that they met new people and had a good experience in Hiedanranta.

  • the cultivation site should be more sheltered, the irrigation system would be good, there could be more boxes.

  • the gardener's help and support was greatly appreciated.

  • the growth of the plants and the yield was a positive surprise

  • the act of vandalism that happened upset many people, how to prevent it?

  • The Hiedanranta area was described as fascinating, inspiring and exciting, the Berlin of Finland

  • many thought about the future of the area and hoped that the urban culture would continue in Hiedanranta

The number of visitors was monitored on Fridays and at events, some visitors of course being the same and at other times
those who visited were not tracked in any way. Access to the area was free and many farmers visited within their own time frame.
Opening ceremony: 38 people, Biodiversity day: 14 people, Garden day 142 people, harvest: 19 people
There were 15 Friday afternoons and a total of 148 people were counted
Visited groups (2 pcs): 37 persons

= a total of 398 counted personal visits

Thank you for the season to the farmers and Hiedanranta Development for your support!

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