Work for earth – gardening course

Are you dreaming of a new career in gardening, are you planning to start your own gardening business, or are you already a gardener, in your dream job, but you need support in coping with your work?

The environmental organisation Dodo is organising the Work for Earth gardening course in August-September 2022, where you can gather strength in the company of captivating plants and other like-minded course participants and lecturers. You’ll hear from experts on entrepreneurship, social media, empowerment at work and well-being at work. You’ll also get to test your own skills as a garden service or in workshop development at Dodo’s harvest festival Harfest in September.
You are encouraged to boldly bring up any and all challenges you may have encountered in the horticultural field and, together with other participants and lecturers, explore solutions for achieving a more sustainable and meaningful working life.

While exploring these exciting topics you’ll also find relaxation with gardening, therapeutic plants and other themes for increasing well-being. In addition, on odd-numbered weeks you’ll be able to enjoy a communal dinner after the course, with Dodo’s Urban waste food events.

The course takes place at the green Turntable urban cultivation and exhibition garden, which enables learning about plants and provides the opportunity to get into real gardening action with the incoming autumn blooms. The course is free and no registration is required. The language of the course varies from Finnish to English, depending on the topics. The course is part of the Work for Earth horticultural and agricultural employment project funded by the City of Helsinki, and is led by organic gardener, social work student & garden entrepreneur Kaisa Viitamäki and the project’s trial worker and future garden entrepreneur Milly Wernerus.

PROGRAMME (the order of the topics may change):

16.8. Wellbeing at work
More important than anything is our wellbeing when it comes to being a good employee or even an employer. We will have a sharing circle on what has helped us to remain healthy and happy at work and hear our host Kaisa’s story how she survived burn out as a garden entrepreneur. We also have a guest speaker who will share their wisdom on well-being. At last we will have time to relax in the garden and do some mindful silent gardening.

30.8. Testing our skills as event producers
On the second course session we will become the artists of our own lives. What are your greatest gifts and how could you apply them to your work or business? Well now we can show the world what it’s missing and create a workshop, speech, service or whatever we decide on by producing a program for HarFest, the harvest party at Dodo’s Turntable. Depending on our own wishes and the number of people on the course we will be divided into individuals and/or groups and plan a program for the public. Our hosts, who are a garden service entrepreneur and a garden entrepreneur to be, will share their tips and courage on the theme of making our occupational dreams come true. This session will focus on the planning of our event and the actual performance will happen on 10th of September for Harfest.

6.9. Empowerment in the profession
Why is it that for example teachers and artists speak about their professional problems in public and demonstrate openly but gardeners stay home quiet? Our amazing guest speaker will tell us from where she gets her strength to demonstrate for health care workers. We will also have a release session where all of us can say aloud the things we wish we would have said at work but didn’t dare to. Lastly we will dive into the garden to ask advice from empowering plants, both from plants to people and from people to plants.

10.9. HarFest
Dodo’s harvest festival annually ends the summer season of large public events in Helsinki. People gather to spend time together in workshops, panel discussions and with sweet tunes at the Turntable urban farming centre. This is a perfect opportunity for the course members to show their skills by adding their touch to the content of the event. Planning for the program happens on 30.9.

13.9. Social media to support work
Aren’t we tired of the stereotype of the muddy gardener who’s web page hasn’t been updated since the 90’s? Let’s brainstorm how to make the profession attractive, both for new possible gardeners and for everyone else who still doesn’t appreciate the industry. Once again we will have a guest speaker who this time is experienced in social media. At last we will have the opportunity to do some weeding in the garden and after that get a little wild and take some photos of one another. This way we can practice being in front of the camera for our possible career as a gardener.

20.9. Entrepreneurship
Not all garden entrepreneurs have to be cabbage farmers or landscapers. This week we will hear our aspiring garden entrepreneur host Milly ask questions from our other host Kaisa who already is an entrepreneur in the industry. We will also hear tips on how to start your own business from our guest speaker. Our gardening tasks for the day will be harvesting as well as learning how to preserve the crop.

27.9. Bonus fun!
After all the serious stuff we want to thank all of our participants by offering them a fun day at the garden. We will share some knowledge about permaculture and introduce you to many edible trees and shrubs that are not often seen in Finland but still perfectly possibly to cultivate! Many of them can be found around Turntable. We will also talk about seed self-suffiency and collect some seeds from our garden.

The course is held at Dodo’s office and Turntable Urban Gardening Center at the old locomotive stables in Pasila: Veturitallinkuja 3, 00520 Helsinki

For more information about the course contact: