Berry Commons 2011-

Hirvitalo has explored the issues around the globalized berry industry. This was done with use of the Second Forest built in Second Life. This virtual forest was used for various events and even a film shoot.

But getting your hands dirty was also required so a trip was organized and thanks to Tomsk University Summer students a large quantity of berries were picked.

The berries were then made into several products: a traditional jam from a 1920s recipe; a compote and a chutney. A product sampling selected the winner. This was then packaged and sold in sufficient quantities at a Christmas market to make a tidy sum and demonstrate the viability of the picking and production. The small profit was used to support the work of the Thai Migrant Labour Workers union.

Further berry work continues into 2012, with several masters students from Bhutan, Australia and USA participating in a berry related innovation project as part of their studies.

The trip idea has been successfully adopted by a NGO in Finland.

Other berry related activities with people from Hirvitalo have included: Aronia Berry confectionery making in Latvia; Rowan harvesting; Blackberry jam making. And a trip to interview Thai berry pickers after they returned from a berry trip.

For more information on these aspects please contact Mikko Lipiäinen, Yannes Sclivagnotis or Markus Petz.