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!