You have stumbled upon the website of the Pumpkin House and, through it, also the website of the Pumpkin Movement. There is still work to be done here, but at least you will get a first glimpse of what it might look like. We will continue to update information and various sections.
The Pumpkin House is an idyllic urban grove located on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi, where cultural events are held, boats are rented, support is provided for allotment gardening, and where we generally stand for a good cause. There are many of us here. In the coming summer, the Pumpkin Movement Ry, the Vuorenväki Association, and the Yad Association will all be active in and around the house.
We run a support café for the Pumpkin Movement with the help of volunteers, open on Tuesdays to Thursdays and every other Sunday in June and July. The Vuorenväki Association also runs a country-style café.
Even if the world is askew, our swing is straight. So, welcome to sit with us for a moment and take a break from the hustle and bustle!
In the beautiful summer of Tahmela, a little bird perches on a branch of an apple tree. In front of it, the vast lake opens up, right next to the city, and on the neighboring plot, smiling people are busy with their hands in the soil. The spring mating rituals are slowly coming to an end, and the bird’s task is to find everything that could soon be offered as food for its offspring. And lo and behold, someone on the adjacent plot begins to dig in the soil. The opportunity has arrived.
The bird watches for a moment, then takes flight and grabs the worm just uncovered from the soil. The joy rings its bells on the vast expanses of the natural world.
The place, of course, is the shore of Kurpitsatalo, located at the northern end of Lake Pyhäjärvi, right next to the center of Tampere. “How is this even possible?” someone sighs as the sunflowers strengthen their stems to withstand the stronger gusts of wind from Pyhäjärvi. Children, seniors, and everyone in between run around in the yard. The house has come back to life after the winter.
Kurpitsatalo, with its idyllic boat rows and verdant birches, is a small summer paradise in the midst of picturesque Tahmela waterfront scenery. The house was built by Leppänen for his son in the adjacent building around 1920. The upper floor was constructed after the war.
In 1998, the city rented the house to the Kurpitsaliike Association without charge. The association has renovated the house and its surroundings with volunteer work since the early 2000s, including a major renovation of the foundation and sewage system. Water was brought to the house in 2008, which also marked the beginning of cooperation with the Pirkanmaa Building Culture Center Piiru.
At that time, employment activities focused on human connection began, leading to many new paths. In 2009, the Vuorenväki Association also established a permanent presence in the house, providing nature-based and communal activities for all ages.
The city of Tampere eventually recognized the long-term volunteer project by naming the house a cultural center in 2021. Without all those volunteers and their incredible work for the house, people, and community, Kurpitsatalo – and perhaps even the Tahmela plots – would have become another abandoned, derelict, and eventually demolished old building on the Tahmela shore. Now, it has become a lively cultural center to the tunes of bird songs and leaves rustling in the summer winds.
Thanks to the immense volunteer effort and the goodwill of the city of Tampere, the house has become a lively stand and cultural center for plot gardeners. The Kurpitsaliike Association manages the house.
Services provided by Pumpkin house
Kurpitsaliike Ry was originally founded to promote allotment gardening, especially in the Ala-Pispala/Tahmela area and to support the cultural landscape of that area. In 1998, the newly established Pumpkin Movement campaigned with other associations to protect the allotment gardens on Tahmela beach. Discussions on the matter took place with the City of Tampere and the Ministry of the Environment. The city was planning to rezone the cultivation areas of Pispala for urban development, and although the Pispala area was considered culturally significant with its buildings, the plan included clear directives for new construction on the area between Isolähteenkatu and Viikinsaarenkatu.
Discussions with the city about the plan were unsuccessful, so a complaint was made to the Ministry of the Environment, which initially overturned the general plan. However, the city’s appeal to the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Ministry of the Environment with a 3-2 vote. Nevertheless, this process gave a positive foundation for the direction of planning.
As of the time of writing (May 1st, 2023), building is not recommended in the zoning plan for the Tahmela allotment area.