News

Bilberry Pad & Portable Farm Exhibition @ JHL

An exhibition showcasing the Bilberry Pad and the Portable Farm projects is now open at JHL in Helsinki. Thanks to the generous supporters Kone Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Association, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu. And a big bow to everyone involved with the projects, we had a blast!

Update: The Movable Bilberry Pad – Berry Picking Time!

The Movable Bilberry Pad is now ready for action as the bilberries have grown ripe and tasty. As promised, we organized a bilberry picking event with the residents of Maijala Service Center in Kangasala.

The Pad brought a taste of Finnish fresh heath forest and wild berries to people who can not necessarily go berry picking in the woods anymore. The array of plants in the Pad includes bilberries, lingonberries, crowberries, different ferns, mosses, bunch grass and spruce. They all add to the haptic experience: the pad can be seen, smelled, tasted and interacted with. Also fauna had found its way to the pad and people were interested to see ants and long legged spiders climbing on the plants. The event was a warm occasion with lots of discussions about old berry picking memories.

The Pad modules were designed to be quite high for accessibility: the picking can be done sitting or standing. The module size was intentionally kept rather small for better portability and the modules proved to be easy to move. The modular system allows different layouts for every occasion. After the event the modules were taken to the central yard for everyone to enjoy during the rest of the summer and the fall. Thanks to all the wonderful people involved!

The project could not have been realized without the kind funding by Kone Foundation and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. Also Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu were essential for generously providing the Siberian larch for the containers and the bilberry heath transplant. Hats off for all of them! And a bow you to Jussi & Marja-Liisa Manka who provided their yard for the heath transplant and the pad construction project and helped in transporting the goods! The wonderful people at Maijala Service Center and at the Services for the Elderly in Kangasala were also a joy to work with, thank you all!

Update: The Portable Farm – In Full Bloom

The Portable Farm has flourished during the summer in Kangasala. Flowers, herbs, vegetables and berry bushes are now in full bloom thanks to the gentle care by the residents of the Maijala Service Center. Some residents whisperingly confessed they had pinched some peas and berries from the farm. Not that alarming since the whole installation was specifically made for them to enjoy. It was also delightful to see the number of butterflies, bees, bumble-bees and flies buzzing around the plants. A bow to the wonderful people at Maijala!

The Project was funded by Kone Foundation and The Finnish Cultural Foundation and generously sponsored by Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu. A big thank you for all of them!

Update: The Movable Bilberry Pad – First Modules Ready

The first modules of The Movable Bilberry Pad are now ready. The Siberian larch container modules were planted with wild bilberries, lingonberries, crowberries and some other forest floor plants such as mosses and calluna.

Thank you for our sponsors Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu and the project supporters Kone Foundation and the Finnish Cultural Foundation!

Update: Movable Bilberry Pad – The Heath Has Arrived!

The heath forest floor transplant that we will use for the Movable Bilberry Pad has arrived! Piiraisen Viherpalvelu delivered and installed the transplant swiftly. The forest floor transplant is shipped in a 2 m (6 ft) wide roll that contains 5 meters (16 ft) of heath ”carpet”. The transplant contains bilberry and lingonberry shrubs, various mosses, heather, crowberry and some other forest floor plants. For our installation we received 20 m2 of transplant that will be watered and cared for during the summer. In the fall we will move the healthiest plants to movable containers and take them to Maijala service center for the elderly in Kangasala.

Thanks a lot for our sponsors Piiraisen Viherpalvelu and Messupuu and supporters Kone Foundation and The Finnish Culture Foundation!

Update: The Movable Bilberry Pad – Construction
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Update: The Movable Bilberry Pad – Construction

The construction of the Movable Bilberry Pad has started. During the summer we will grow fresh heath with bilberries and lingonberries. We will also build movable planters for the installation. In the fall we will move some plants, hopefully with berries, to the planters and take them to the folks at Maijala service center in Kangasala. Thank you for our sponsors Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu!

The Portable Farm – Planting

The first phase of planting for the Portable Farm was carried out successfully. The brisk residents of the Maijala service center in Kangasala planted the seedlings of useful plants and flowers very quickly. The weather was a bit cold, but let’s hope at least some of the plants will survive and prosper! We also planted a family apple tree that has branches from 4 different apple varieties. We’ll see if we get proper harvest already this year.

Big Thanks for Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu for the very generous sponsorship and for Kone Foundation and The Finnish Culture Foundation for funding the work!

Getting Ready for Planting

The spring has been really cold in Finland but finally it’s getting a tad warmer. We are preparing to plant the first phase of the Movable Bilberry Pad project with the residents of Maijala service center in Kangasala. The project is funded by Kone Foundation & the Finnish Cultural Fund and very generously sponsored by Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu. A Big Thank you to all of them for making this project possible!

WSP Eco-efficient Terrace
WSP Eco-efficient Terrace

Eco Terrace First Prize!

The competition entry by WSP Finland team, including Mieluisa, won the shared 1st prize in the Eco-efficient Restaurant Terrace ideas competition organized by Climate Street and the City of Helsinki. The aim of the competition was to find new eco-efficient ways to prolong the restaurant terrace season in the Nordic climate. Big congratulations to the other winners Urban Gardens Finland and Arkkitehtuuritoimisto IAH as well!

The Movable Bilberry Pad – Update
Hexagonal compositionHexagonal Combo

The Movable Bilberry Pad – Update

The Movable Bilberry Pad gets an updated, hexagonal shape. The planting containers are made of siberian larch that has naturally excellent resistance to rot. The wood for the Pad is generously provided by Messupuu. The plant containers and the leg modules are designed as relatively small, independent units to maximise portability. The containers also vary in size so that we can get data of how much soil is optimal for the bilberries to grow.

Update: The Movable Bilberry Pad

Here are new images for the Nature Cot: Movable Bilberry Pad. The Pad consists of five movable modules. The bilberries are grown in a natural forest environment with tree shade and high humidity. During the growing season, the planter modules double as planters for useful plants and flowers. In the fall, the plant crops are harvested and the planters will planted with bilberry heath. The first prototype of the Movable Bilberry Pad will be installed this spring at a service center for the elderly in Kangasala, Finland.