A carrot a day – urban farming in Helsinki

“Hyperlocalism is a growing trend that is already seeing everything from fashion to bicycles to media and food being sourced, produced and sold wholly within local communities. In NY, the Gotham Greens hydroponic rooftop farm is endorced by Mayor Bloomberg, London recently appointed its first “food czar”, and the recent competition bids to rebuild Paris envisioned select parks being tilled for vegetable and fruit production.” - The Future Laboratory

DODO is a local environmental organisation working for urban sustainable development in Helsinki. DODO updates also a blog called “Global Picnic – Cities and Food“. Last year DODO supported the rise of urban farming with its well-organised guerrilla garden project by the wasteland of the railways in Pasila. The meaning of the project was to show if it is possible to grow clean food even in the urban, high traffic areas. In addition to safe, local food crops, urban gardening makes cities cleaner and greener as they offer a nice way to boost some happy spirit within the commune.

Helsinki, as other cities in Finland, has a long tradition in growing household vegetables both in people’s own gardens and in the allotments provided by the cities. These urban green spots are so popular at the moment, that unfortunately there is not enough land for everyone. This spring, there were over 60 new greenies attending to DODO’s introducing to urban farming course.

We look forward to DODO’s 2010 projects, as the start of the city farming season is at hand. By this summer Helsinki will get its first urban bee farm, there will be at least three new wasteland spots and the 2009 Pasila project enlarges from 15 up to 65 bins! DODO is also awaiting permission to turn abandoned fishing harbour into urban green oasis. It will be a greenrush; around 50 new bins caling for the garden folks! The city of Helsinki is also planning to cultivate two more urban gardens.