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Opinion

Finland is a country that boosts growth – literally

Sustainability is at the core of growing, whether it is professional or a hobby, says Nina Kinnunen.

In a land where ice and snow cover the ground almost six months a year, it has been crucial to find innovative ways to grow food throughout the year. Finns have been lucky – our land is rich in peat, whose characteristics make it an optimal growing medium in greenhouses and indoors.

Peat has the ability to keep plant diseases in control, and it has natural antiseptic qualities. Its structure is also perfect for growing strong roots, the basis for a healthy plant. For those reasons peat is the most used growing medium worldwide in greenhouses, and Finland is one of the biggest exporters.

One thing that makes me especially happy is that millennials here have also become extremely interested in growing. Growing green, that is. For them, home doesn’t feel like home without plants in it; whether it’s a cutting you took from your mother’s plant when leaving the childhood home behind, easy-care cacti or trendy plants like monsteras. Growing brings people together too – Facebook groups dedicated to gardening are growing like weeds. In a good way.

Sustainability is at the core of growing, whether you do it professionally or as a hobby. On a global scale water is becoming a scarcity and land is becoming more and more polluted due to the usage of chemicals in food production. In more ways than one, people are also becoming more aware that you definitely are what you eat. There is an exponentially growing demand for safe and sustainable plant food production.

This trend can also be seen in urban environments in Finland. On the balconies and windowsills, one can see tomatoes and pumpkins sprouting, and community gardens are attracting more and more members, young and old. And when you look at their happy faces with soil marks on them after a hard day’s work with the plants, it becomes clear why gardening is growing as a hobby worldwide – it makes people and the environment flourish.

Published on 24.05.2018