(By Katariina Hillo, visitor from Finland)
There was a dream in February. I was freezing and sitting beside a frozen lake in Mooste, Estonia, wondering how the lake would look like during summer. I could imagine myself coming back to MoKS in August, when there would be an interesting camp, called AVAMAA 2012. There I would be able to create my own open air kitchen for the planned village Moksville. I applied for AVAMAA and was invited to join.
This is the story about planning, creating, building and the thoughts about what will happen on the 18th of August when the grand opening of Moksville will take place.
Day 1, Saturday 11th August
Me and a member of my team, Nooralotta started searching for suitable materials and tried to recover suitable trash for building material for the kitchen. Juha, a part of our finnish team tried to find decent materials for his planned ceramic oven. We carried every piece of interesting wood, brick or metal and all kinds of other material that we found, out from the Kunsti Ait beside the MoKS building. We even found a sink!
We walked to the Moksville area, a field on the other side of an apple tree orchard. On the field was cut grass and 50 bales of hay. We walked through the gardens where the local people raise their vegetables. There in the gardens was a lady that showed us her plants and asked us to come pick up what we would need and use in our restaurant.
In the evening after a great chanterelle pie (thank you Patrick and Siiri!) I decided on a place to build our restaurant. I asked if we could build the kitchen between the apple trees near the area entrance. We could use the branches of the trees and we would be near the gardens.
Day 2, Sunday 12th of August
Juha fetched a scythe from Ahja and Nooralotta tried to cut the grass between the apple trees with the scythe. The other groups were building their buildings and local kids were helping out by planning tables and chairs for our restaurant!
I started to prepare the food for the evening. I was supposed to make food for almost 30 people here in MoKS. I went to fetch the potatoes the lady had promised to pick up for us. In the gardens I met her daughter Mari, who gave me 20 kilos of potatoes! I could take only half of that amount and luckily I had a bike to help me carry them back to MoKS! The distance between Moksville and MoKS is about half a kilometer. It was easier to leave half of the catch in our sink on the haybale in Moksville which is situated very near to the gardens. The village was forming now on the fields.
Making a huge dinner in the evening was good training for the opening of the restaurant! I cooked two trouts in the oven, served them with the vegetables from the gardens, herbs, garlic-yoghurt, chili-salsa and mashed local potatoes with pesto (made by Evelyn). The food was good and there was enough for everyone.
Day 3, Monday 13th of August
A tractor drove through our kitchen area and cut more grass beside the trees. Well, now we had at least plenty of room for the restaurant! I made a hanging basket from linen-rope. Daniela from Italy wanted to learn the knot too. I kept a workshop for those who wanted to learn the special knot for making for example hanging baskets or hammocks.
Day 4, Tuesday 14th of August
This day was spent building the kitchen. We had to carry our cooking ware and materials in several trips between Moks and Moksville. We had some problems with the hard wind. We couldn’t make the roof today. We had to cover everything that could get wet. It started raining after lunch, so we weren’t going back to the Moksville area.
In the evening I started the hammock workshop for the Italians. We try to make the hammock ready for Saturday. The grand opening for Moksville will be held then and there will be local people, people that we were invited and maybe even tourists coming to see what AVAMAA offers this year.
Day 5, Wednesday 15th of August
I saw a deer running through a tree aisle near the gardens! Jaanika arrived yesterday and I showed her the situation in Moksville today. She will also help us with the kitchen. Nooralotta and Mari painted the cardboards with linen oil, so the rain would not ruin the roof and other surfaces we need.
Local girls brought some tomatoes, salad, paprika and dill. I promised to cook for them tomorrow. I taught them to make bracelets from linen rope. We fetched a lot of vegetables from the garden lady. She also gave us lots of beans, but we just could not carry everything. Nooralotta will fetch them tomorrow. And again we invited the lady from the garden and other gardeners to our grand opening on Saturday.
The Italians made a delicious dinner in MoKS, pasta and several pizzas! There was a real pizza-factory in a very hot kitchen!
Day 6, Thurday, 16th of August
Exiting! Today I would prepare food for the local kids. I began the preparations after breakfast and added the girls’ tomatoes into yesterdays lentil soup. I fried my speciality with olive oil (24hrs oil mixed with crushed garlic, parsley and drop of balsamico). I packed everything and Nooralotta carried the gas, stove, pans, water and all the other kitchen supplies on a bike to Moksville.
Jaanika and I lifted the roof cardboard onto our wobbly support structures and Nooralotta bravely climbed on the bar counter and bound the cardboard through holes onto the support rack. Then some nails and, ta-daa, the roof was ok! Children helped us by peeling the huge amount of beans we got from the gardens.
The gas and the stove were a little problematic and despite the hot morning the wind started to blow. So, the heating with the gas was not so easy! But I put a vegetarian pasta on the stove and finally I could serve lunch for 9 kids! Well, three of them did not like it, but they were very polite when they gave the food back to me. There was too much garlic, I think…
We have to improve the heating-system, so Nooralotta and Jaanika will start making a grill today. They are going to dig the ground and use bricks to make a grill. I’ll cook beans and think what I can make out of 8 huge cabbages and herbs and zuccinis and paprikas and potatoes. But it is only a pleasure!
At least by Saturday there will be some sort of Restaurant JAM & Co in Moksville village!