Romanian Village Farming 27th August – 03rd September 2018

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Erasmus+ structured courses for staff

27th August – 3rd September 2018

Hay is at the base of almost all traditional meat & dairy farm products – even to the farmyard chickens eating grasshoppers brought into the yard with the new hay crop.   Hay – especially cut with a scythe, has shaped Romania’s rural cultural landscape and resulted in enormous biodiversity of flowering plants, insects & birds. Other important & ecosystem shaping farming activities include grazing and cutting (shredding/pollarding) trees for leaf hay and for fencingwithout wire.  The structured training course develops out of  ‘Green Village – Rural Food’.

DAY ONE – 27th August

Arrive in Cluj Napoca and travel to the market town of Aiud in Alba County ( the transfer takes around 1:30 h, depending on traffic). Overnight at “Casa Domeniile Vinului” Ciumbrud (a village at the outskirts of Aiud town). Dinner & discussion about the programme.

 DAY TWO – 28th August

Visit the village of Girbovita. We start a ‘day on the farm’ – visiting vine yard / hay meadows / orchards & vegetable gardens.  In each, the focus is on the wildlife potential of these traditionally farmed areas – we look out for insects, birds, trees and flowers – their importance & significance is discussed. Haymaking – we might learn to cut with a scythe and will turn hay and make a hay stack. Visit the fence without wire and go into the forest to see the source of the small roundwood – discuss the nature conservation value of pollarding & coppicing.

Lunch at the farm.  Afternoon walk around the village to see the round stones (piatra rotunda/trovanti) & visit the ancient church.

Return to Aiud/Ciumbrud in the afternoon.

DAY THREE – 29th  August

Early start into the mountains to the village of Rimet. We drive up through stupendous oak forest – stopping to look at this specific biotype (depending on season, there are a variety of edible fungi).  We break out from the forest into high hay meadows and pastures – the flowers and cacophony of insect noises is startling. Look at flowers, identify some of the more notable ones – learning their local names & uses. We visit the traditional steep pitched roof houses and admire how they blend into the landscape. Visit the mayor & hear about how this mountain village ticks – with agriculture at its base. Walk through hay meadows and look at shredded ash trees – producers of leaf hay, especially when grass hay is in short supply. Visit the etnographic museum in the village and meet Torita, the lady in charge of the museum.

DAY FOUR –30th August

Market day in Aiud, spend the morning browsing the stalls.. We visit a local fruit tree nursery to see how they grow and perpetuate local fruit varieties and the importance of this for nature conservation. We carry on to the town of Alba Iulia where we visit the spectacular Vauban fortress. Overnight  in Alba Iulia.

DAY FIVE –31st August

After breakfast we set off on a journey to Hateg, to see the bison reserve in Hateg –Slivut forest. In the afternoon we visit the “Corvini” Castle in Hunedoara. Overnight in Alba.

DAY SIX –1st September

Drive along the Mures river –Visit the Saxon church at Vurpar.  Carry on to Homorod to the wood pasture with its ancient poplars and willows.  Look at the old trees and discuss management and the future for this kind of village pasture. Carry on to the Roman spa town of Geoagiu Bai. Overnight Alba.

DAY SEVEN– 2nd September

Morning departure to the village of Remetea- a Hungarian village that tripled the number of tourists in the last years. Carry on to Turda, visit to the the Salt Mines. Walking tour of the pedestrian city centre in Cluj Napoca. Overnight in Cluj.

DAY EIGHT – 3rd September –  departure from Cluj airport.

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