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Eija Lankinen, Lecturer in Horticulture

The sustainability of food production is something that Eija Lankinen, a horticulture lecturer, says there is a lot of scope for influencing in her role.

Eija Lankinen, who herself has graduated from HAMK’s degree programme in horticulture years back, started as a lecturer in horticulture – specialized in greenhouse and vertical farming – last August. Eija applied for the position at the urging of a colleague in Lepaa, and her mind was drawn back to Lepaa anyway.

“I had lectured here in a professional role, and I have only good memories from the place. I was also attracted by the unique milieu and modern study environments’, Eija says.

For Eija, who previously worked e.g. at Greenlux Lighting Solutions as Plant Specialist and at Kekkilä as a Area Manager, the role of a lecturer has involved a lot of learning new things, but she finds the idea of the “bettermaking” in her own work effortlessly.

“By thinking about what is taught and what is emphasized in teaching, we can certainly have a huge impact on new students’ perception of the horticultural sector. Personally, I feel it is important to highlight new operating methods, such as biological insect control methods and how to cultivate as profitably as possible, but on the other hand ecologically.”

Eija thinks that horticulture also plays a very important role in the big picture, as everyone consumes food. According to Eija, the sustainability of food production is something that has plenty of opportunities to make a difference.

We are constantly moving in a more natural direction also in conventional production and not just in organic farming.

“The development of biological control, for example from my own student days, is quite dizzying. In practice, this means that no chemicals are used for control in greenhouses, for example, but natural predatory insects eat insect pests. We are constantly moving in a more natural direction also in conventional production and not just in organic farming.”

Another interesting and evolving thing in horticulture is the different types of growing media. Peat has begun to be reduced as a growing medium by mixing it with various wood fibres, such as lake reed or reed grass. Eija is motivated by the fact that various experiments can be used to tell farmers what works in practice and how.

Encounters with students and Lepaa’s warm work community are also inspiring.

“For the first time, I came to a workplace where I already knew my colleagues, and it’s been wonderful.”

The Bettermakers

At HAMK, we believe that the world can be saved with both feet on the ground. All it takes are brave people and concrete actions.

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