Dodo’s Urban Farmers

KääntisDodo is a Finnish environmental organisation which follows the motto “Environmental problems are solved in the cities”. Dodo used to  address yearly a main theme, and in the year 2009 it was “Food and Cities”. The theme inspired a flock of dodos (yes, they are named after the extinct birds) to discover how food can be produced in the city. This group started growing vegetables on a strip of land in between railway tracks in Pasila, Helsinki, and have since broadened it’s span to include a multitude of activities from guerrilla gardening actions to urban bee-keeping.We call ourselves Dodo’s Urban Farmers

  • We represent the modern international movement of urban farming, but we recognise that growing food in the cities is an idea as old as cities!
  • We think that urban farming makes cities better places to live, reduces the dependence on oil and cuts carbon emissions – when done right urban farming is direct action for the environment!
  • We want to make urban farming accessible for everybody, so that city dwellers would get to know where food comes from!
  • We want to explore new ways to grow food, telling about the advantages and fun of doing it!

URBAN GARDENS IN FINLAND

Only two Helsinki based urban garden´s are Dodo´s gardens. They are called Kääntöpöytä and Kalasatama. From here you can find a list of other new gardens in Finland (unfortunately the links are only in Finnish). The list of traditional one-acre plot garden areas is here.

Kääntöpöytä/ Turntable
Turntable is Dodo´s urban farming centre, cafe, greenhouse and an open, public space situated in Pasila´s historical railway yard. Year 2012 the yards turntable was changed into an urban farming test lab and source for learning and inspiration. Throughout the year Turntable offers workshops, gatherings, organic brunches with the renowned Turntable mint tea, chances to learn about organic, urban farming and the inspiration to take the seed of growth to Your neighbourhood.
Check from here how to get there and come along!

Kalasatama Bag Garden
If a gardener is determined and creative enough, it is possible to start a garden even on a tarmac-desert! The gardening in this project happens in big construction bags that are filled with soil. The garden in Kalasatama is a collaboration with the city of Helsinki, part of the temporary uses of the area, which in the next 20 years will be built into a new urban district of Helsinki. There is a constant lack of allotment gardens in Helsinki, so the Bag Garden functions as one: the gardeners rent the bags from Dodo. A few bags become available every year. Here is a nice article from Kalasatama Bag Garden. For more information, please contact: minna.kontkanen ( at) gmail.com, jeanne.johansson (at) gmail.com.

Some photos of urban farms in Helsinki: kaupunkiviljely.fi/kuvagalleria/

URBAN FORAGING

The city is edible without gardeners too. Loads of berries, nuts, and fruit grow in the public space of Helsinki. Since fall 2009, we have arranged bicycle rides to our parks, forests and wastelands. On the Urban Foraging Ride the public produce are recognised and collected. The harvest: Plums, apples, currants, chokeberries, pears, sea buckthorn etc. The best foraging spots of Helsinki can be found on this map: satokartta.net

For the rest of the pages you can use google translate.
A word of advice: when sentences don’t make sense, apply some guessing!