By Rachelle Cloutier
Every day was well planned by Satul Verde to incorporate all the interests of the members on the trip and it was clear that Monica, our host, took such pride in showing us different aspect of her country. The days that were most interesting to me were the day spent visiting the farm in Girbovita, the day at the fruit tree nursery, and the discussions based around tourism, triggered by visits to the bison sanctuary and various churches that we came across.
The farm visit to Girbovita introduced us to scything, haymaking and food preservation techniques as well as allowed us to discuss possible community plans for an emerging wood pasture. Learning to use a scythe was an interesting experience and allowed us to see why it was a technique that was becoming popular again with smallholders in the UK. Witnessing the different preserves that were being put away for the winter and discussing with Monica about techniques has certainly given me ideas about how we can preserve more of our vegetables from the walled garden.
The day at the fruit tree nursery was such an interesting experience for me as they were propagating fruit trees using a technique that I had never encountered before. Having spoken with others from the group we decided that though this was August, in the UK this technique would be better performed in June. I have devised an experiment to see whether using the traditional technique yields better or worse results than the Romanian technique we witnessed.
An overarching theme to this week was talking about how to attract tourists into different areas, and what core structures need to be put in place beforehand. These conversations were useful for me as I work in a garden that could benefit from having more visitors to increase our income, but we struggle with attracting more people to our location as we are away from the city centre and not well advertised within the community.
This has been such a unique experience and everyday brought different aspects of learning into my life in the most creative ways. I am so thankful to ARCH and Erasmus + for making this trip a possibility for us and I look forward to implementing the techniques I have learned in my walled garden.