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9 The miracle of growth and local food

Helsinki has a tradition of allotment gardens stretching back over a 100 years. Today there are 41 allotment gardens in the city that are rented out by local district and allotment garden associations. The allotment gardens here are rented out by Maunulanpuiston Palstaviljelijät ry. The size of each allotment usually ranges between 50 and 100 square metres. Visitors are free to walk along the paths between the allotments and admire the gardens. The allotments themselves, however, are private property, so visitors should not pick anything or walk across them.

The allotments are used to ecologically cultivate a wide range of vegetables, herbs, flowers and berries. Such home-grown food is packed with vitamins. The gardening enthusiasts who rent these allotments can witness the miracle or growth and enjoy knowing exactly what they are eating. Composting recycles the nutrients in gardening waste back into the allotments, and green fertilisers fortify the soil. In this way, the ecological footprint of food production is reduced.

Urban farming is very popular, but there are not enough allotments for everyone. The backyards of the homes in Maunula are quite large, so local residents could also grow food in plant boxes. All they need is the permission of the housing association and a couple of enthusiastic neighbours.