On the weekend of the 3rd and 4th November 2018 the Finnish Permaculture Association came together for their annual autumn / winter meeting. It was nearly two years ago the association started its journey in Koroinen and therefore it was my thought to get back where it became official. Basically I thought of it as a „back to the roots“ events. Something that would help the association to grow further.

Collective Genius

After morning coffee Dan McTiernan from Wildfarm Permaculture started with his „Collective Genius“ session. He gave a short introduction to Input & Output analysis and also gave us some team tasks. Then Lumia and I presented the map from our design challenge. From this challenge you know that we have faced two difficulties:

  • The tractor that isn‘t our property and is stored in a place that needs a lot of space for taxi.
  • The septic tank needs to be emptied out ever year and therefore a lot of space is blocked for the truck
  • Wood delivery usually needs a space to taxi.

The collective genius gave some pretty cool ideas

  • Use raised beds on wheels
  • Ask if someone wants to rent the tractor
  • Check for storage of it at the neighbours
  • Use a composting toilet instead of water

We need now to investigate which solutions fit us best!

Minna had a session about her place. She was fighting this years drought with rain water catchment from the roof. The only difficulty is that her blue barrels only hold a limited amount of water while the house is far away from the point of need. The suggestion was to use IBCs instead of the blue barrels. While the blue barrels hold something between 80 to 300 liters, an IBC can hold up to 1000 liter. Dan suggested to put two IBCs above each other to gain height and therefore pressure. Another suggestion was to use drip irrigation to minimize the need for water.

The future of the Finnish Permaculture Association

Tanja Korvenmaa, president of the association, was holding a session about the future of the association. There was a lot of discussion about the different departments and about our board members thoughts about different topics. I talked about my work at the EuPN and about how Germany is changing the Diploma pathway.

Seed Exchange

Auli from Helsinki hosted a wonderful seed exchange. She first presented some useful books and then we got down to business. Auli brough a lot of seeds and the participants brought a nice selection of their own ones as well. Lumia took part in the exchange and brought home many interesting things to try out.

About the Bees

Erkki from Iso-Orvokkiniitty was talking about natural bee keeping with top bar hives. He gave a very good insight in the superorganism bee hive and also about how natural bee keeping with top bar hives works in general and also in details. As we were all not Finnish speaking participants we suggested to him to hold a natural bee keeping course in English next year. Which he hopefully will in April 2019!

Koroinen becomes a LAND center

The idea of LAND centers (Leaning and Network Demonstration network) was introduced by the UK Permaculture Association some time ago. In Finland we cooperate with Sweden and Denmark to establish LAND centers. Koroinen already had an audit some time ago. During the first audit they didn‘t pass all the criteria and had to improve. During this audit held by Marja and Selma (GEN) we had a chance to see all of Koroinens structure while walking around with them. At the evening Marja anounced that Koroinen is now the first Finnish LAND center. We toasted with alcohol free sparkling wine to celebrate.

All about Biogas

I didn‘t put any particular session about biogas up but somehow I ended up talking about biogas for many hours with many different participants. I gave a quick introduction to IBC systems, talked about the Baltic closed loop, and of course the basics. All about poop.

Board meeting

Before the general assembly we had a short board meeting to discuss some urgent matters. Dan and Maria are going to hold an introduction to Permaculture in February 2019 in Espoo. They asked the association about it, and of course we were delighted to work on it together.

Joel Rosenberg is planning a Forest Garden Conference in 2019 in Helsinki for which he asked for help.

There will be a PDC in Finnish language in 2019.

General Assembly

During the general assembly we went to the action plan and the budget for 2019. We added a lot of ideas to it from our particpating members. At the end of the assembly the members elected a new (partly old) board. Lumia and I stay on the board for the next year, which is great!