From 1 to 8 September 2017 we took part in an Erasmus+ study tour of south west Norway, led by Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). This is a brief report to summarise the lessons learnt from the visit. The main reason for the trip was to look at woodland […]
In the valleys and hillsides of the Apuseni Mountains, hay making is at the centre of farming life and goes on all through the summer months with the meadows receiving several cuts, providing hay for a way of life that has existed in these valleys for hundreds of years. Gentians, carline thistles, scabious, Transylvanian clary, wild thyme, vetchs, clovers and a vast array of other species were all still in flower on the meadow margins and track verges
In Romania wildflower meadows carpet the land, different species of birds pop up constantly, butterflies abound and the air is alive with the sound of insects and frogs singing. During the first two days of our trip we were lucky enough to spend time on our guide Monica’s grandmother’s farm in the tiny village of Girbovita, where we visited the vine yard, hey meadows, orchards, vegetable garden and farmyard animals before sitting down to a delicious home grown lunch
Romania 19th – 26th September ‘Lime burning in Romania is part of an unbroken rural tradition which is at risk. The tradition of kiln building and lime burning is maintained by an increasingly older generation, with no apparent successors from younger generations appearing willing or trained to take over and secure its future. As a […]
Key Objective: Living and working in a remote rural area in the far North of Scotland I applied to participate in the Cyprus Programme to see if there were any useful comparisons between the two countries to explore opportunities for sharing/learning from one another as to how best to incorporate traditional skills back into fiercely competitive economies.
Lime Burning in Romania with Satul Verde By Jessica Hunnisett Snow and William Napier In August 2015, we were given the opportunity to travel to Meziad, a lime-burning village in Romania, and participate in the process of loading and firing a traditional kiln or ‘cuptor’ (Fig. 1 and 2), slaking the quicklime produced, and experimenting […]
Lime burning in Meziad is a family and village scale business. The limestone is burnt using renewable wood fuel at temperatures over eight hundred degrees Celsius for three days. Lime burning was once an important craft in the UK. The purity of the wood fired product and the fact that it achieves a much higher price than the factory made lime demonstrates there is still a window for old skills in a modern market.
On day 1 we stopped in Ciclova Romana and Manuela went to collect sheep’s cheese. It was as if we’ve stepped back in time: green grass transported by horse drawn cart, hens pecking about, a cock crowing and the smell of mown hay and dung. When I went to primary school in the early 60s we passed a field with the last working horse; all farms had tractors by then. We hardly saw farm machinery in this part of Romania. Ten yards after the village of Ciclova Romana ends Ciclova Montana begins. We stayed there in a village house, within walking distance of forests, meadows and the Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park. We tried local produce and experienced some rhythms of village life, as we ate our first meal we heard bells from cows being driven home for milking. One day the water pump broke and we brought in water from the well in the garden and used the toilet there which emptied into the river rushing past.
Haymaking was happening everywhere we travelled across Transylvania in Romania, from the outskirts of the city of Timisoara to the heart of the Apuseni Mountains, a few days before midsummer in June 2011. Wooden carts pulled by glossy chestnut brown horses trundled along the roads, laden with loose piles of fresh green hay. From first light to dusk, groups of two or three people laboured in the small rectangular fields, using wooden forks and rakes to turn and gather in the hay, tossing it up into conical stacks built around a central wooden support. This might be a sturdy forked branch stuck upright in the soil, a tripod or four-legged frame, or a post with several cross-bars nailed together, the top invariably poking out above the haystack like a short mast.