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Biodynamic farm & communal life
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We are Toivo-farm cooperative at Rihu-village, Heinola, Finland. The cooperative cultivates biodynamic vegetables. Biodynamic farming is based on the sustainable use of natural resources. The farm makes their own ecosystem, which brings up more rural biodiversity. The complex includes the ground, crops and animals, but also people and the entire surrounding nature.The cooperative receives students, volunteers, school groups, etc. to learn biodynamic- and organic farming, self-sufficiency, ecological lifestyle, respecting nature etc. We want to share information and to provoke thought and discussion about climate change, carbon footprint, recycling, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, the possibilities of life, to provide inspiration and positivity for the future life. Our main goal is to be a stepping stone to a more natural lifestyle, improving mind and body with healthy&clean, spending time in nature, supporting organic and biodynamic cultivation and sharing information etcEach year, the farm is almost 100 volunteers, students or schoolchildren. Volunteers comes from Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa, so the destination is truly multi-cultural. Volunteers are mainly young adults or youth, but also older people and families. The idea is to give the opportunity to people to learn the knowledge and skills offered by the farm, what maybe would not be possible in their own lives. With our project, we want to bring inspiration for volunteers lifes and "I can" -attitude, which we support in our farm in all its activities.From EVS we would have 4 persons coming, 2 young men from Austria, one young woman from Germany and one young woman from Turkey. For us EVS brings a chance to get also volunteers with fewer opportunities and that is really important for us, since otherwise we dont have people with economical difficulties, or geographical difficulties or people with long term unemployment.We believe that the project has a lot to offer especially for those who come with fewer oppertunities. Also, for example, Turkish citizens would not otherwise come to us, but now it possible through this kind of project.Volunteers will be making many different tasks, depending on the time of year. Daily tasks can be for example.; sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings, watering in the greenhouse, harvesting, collecting and drying herbs, planting trees/bushes and caring them, maintaining buildings, construction work, etc. Together with the volunteers we choose for them the most interesting topics and they can work with those topics more. Every month we will work with third-party project or projects , for example, in the neighboring village Huhdasjärvi Village Association organizes social/cultural events which we are involved in organizing. In Heinola with different organizations.; Jyränkölä Setlementti, through which volunteers can publish writings on their experiences in a local newspaper for example, from their experiment in Finland and EVS and what they have learned while participating. We are organizing different events at the farm, like harvest event what is open to all the local people and also we invite some part of our project partners, like Heinola kindergarten or people from refugee center in Heinola. All projects will hear the voluntarys desire, what kind of projects he/she wants to be involved in.Project happens mainly at the farm, where there are always persons in charge available. Since we all sleep and eat in the same building, it is very easy for the volunteer to talk about any issue coming on the way. We can make easily for each volunteer a personal experience and they can tell what they want to learn more. Project managers are members of the cooperative and they are present throughout the project. All work is done in groups with always at least one person in charge included. MultiCultural communal style of living can be really eye-opening, to many it may even be the first time when living away from their parents. CitizensSkills become familiar and learn to be flexible in different situations, to respect the ways of others, etc.We hope that our project will bring inspiration and positivity volunteer into their future lives and person would get an attitude towards life that anything is possible. We believe that doind many kind of work from beginning to end (From seed to table, or even the construction of an outdoor shelter from the start to end, etc.) makes satisfaction to person, with his own hands made the job till the end and the results are visible. Learning such a conclusion, and yet in many different field, makes people believe in themselves and the fact that it is able to do almost anything. For some cooking can bring feelings of success, if they never did it. We believe that seeing foreigners participating projects in our village, neighboring villages and Heinola makes people think more positive way about foreigners, and this is what we are looking for.
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