Proud of the own self-grown food

Story: Anni Pajari | Photo: Mari Mansikkamäki

Last spring, Laura Del Castillo Munera, a tenant of the Kortepohja Student Village, read in the tenant newsletter about the possibility of getting her own cultivation box for the summer. Both Laura and her flatmate were excited about the idea of growing vegetables from the beginning, on their own yard.

“I only had previous experience about houseplants that hadn’t managed well in my care. I figured that because I would spend the whole summer in Finland, I had all the time to invest in caring for my plants.”

At the end of May, Laura planted the seeds at her home. After a few weeks, she moved the flowers and lettuce seedlings to the cultivation box, and later planted more carrots in the box.

“It was convenient to have the boxes so close to my home that I could actually see them from my own balcony.”

The generous harvest was enough for the friends too

Roughest part was watering the plants. Laura carried water bottles from her apartment to the cultivation box every couple of days. The heavy rains didn’t bother her that summer, as they helped with the project.

“I enjoyed getting my fingers in the soil, it was really relaxing.”

Laura and her flatmate were also cultivation box neighbors. It was fun to follow the plants grow together, and it was also easy to share the watering duty. Her flatmate finally got so much salad that they had a salad party at home, and friends came to get their share as well.

“In addition to our friends, many passers-by got interested when seeing us take care of the plants. It brough up nice conversations with our neighbors.”

Results: a giant salad and a few tasty carrots

In retrospect, Laura thinks that the plants could have been moved to the cultivation box earlier in May, so that the growing season would have been longer. At the end of the summer, however, Laura was happy with her harvest.

“The flowers were so colorful. The salad resembled a big tree, I didn’t even know it was possible for a salad to grow so big. I also got a few carrots in September, they tasted good.”

Laura Del Castillo Munero

The Village’s cultivation boxes were very popular last summer. Now the wishes of the tenants have been heard, and next summer there will be both bigger and more boxes available. Laura plans to continue her hobby next summer as well. This time, she will focus on one species, like carrots, to get some more to eat.

“In cultivation, the best thing was to monitor the daily growth and development of the plants. I was very happy and proud when during the summer the box looked so vibrant and beautiful.”

The text has been previously published in Kylä-lehti magazine 1 / 2020.

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