Rather than the usual diary of events this week, I thought it would be a good idea to fill you all in on some of the thought and planning behind ROK.
Here is a rough plan for this years planting. I say rough, because the location of some things will change as we go along. But, this should give you an idea of what we are planting and where. So far in the field there is the valkosipuli that was planted last October and the porkkana, palsternakka and sipuli that were planted last week. Most of the remainder will be planted in the next few weeks. In fact, many of the seedlings are already growing in our small nursery at the back of the flower shop.
For a more detailed view of what is grown, below is a copy of the main planting chart. Of particular interest to you is when things will become ready to harvest. So, for example, you can see that the main field harvest begins in July. Until then, there will be some salad and herbs.
The kasvihuone is not on this plan. As most of you have seen by now, the tomatoes are coming along very well. They have started to ripen and now it is a matter of waiting until there is enough to share out. 2-3 weeks, I expect, depending on the weather. The salad in the kasvihuone was not doing as well and is anyway now just about finished. I am planting kurkkut where the salad was; planted in 4 phases to try and ensure a steady harvest all season.
I think it is worth noting that Lahden ROK is (I think still) the only scheme in Finland that has heated kasvihuone facilities, even though our harvest charge is still comparable to the others. So, the early salad and the variety and quantity of tomatoes and cucumbers is a real bonus. Having said that, the glasshouse space has not increased in the same way as the field crop space (through out deal with Toivo farm) so we are having to manage the growing for many more members in the same size indoor space. We have tried to do this by growing salads and herbs in pots and distributing these to members in order that you can start your own small plots or planting boxes. In this way, the little you get early on should go a long way. Some things have worked better than others and we will make a note of this for next year. I certainly have a lovely little kitchen garden at home and it should last the Summer.
Finally, while I am in organising mode, many thanks to all who showed up for the Talkoot on Thursday. Unfortunately the weather was not great and we could not do many of the jobs we thought, particularly spreading the biodynamic preparation. We were also a bit ill-prepared for the numbers who showed up! Obviously you are not a group to be put off by a bit of rain. Next time, we will look to make more use of all your talents.
On that note, and finally finally, it occured to me that with over 100 members (many of which are families) we have a huge resource of skills to draw on. Indeed, with 10 hours of volunteer time per member, your combined contribution is about that of another full time employee! So part of the task that ROK now has is to ensure that you are all fully engaged in ways that benefit the enterprise and yourselves. This may be in field work but equally may be in one of the many other tasks, including management, PR, volunteer coordination, administration, etc, to help keep the whole show on the road.
|Note: Salaatti will be grown all season|