Role of Traditional Fruit Farming in Regional Development

Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices 2015-1-CZ01-KA202-013923


About the project

The project called "Role of Traditional Fruit Farming in Regional Development" is a project aimed to sharing experiences at the level of several different organizations from five EU countries in which the organizations are more or less engaged in the field of fruit growing. The project is aimed to demonstration of possibilities, opportunities and possible ways of development fruit farming (apples, pears, stone fruits or other specific species and their varieties) in connection with education. Always with reference to locality, local varieties or old and classic varieties. In most cases, they are historically proven in terms of resistance and adaptation to particular climate and local conditions. Then demonstrate good practice and "know how", how to do businessin fruitfarming. The main idea of this point is cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices between different institutions devoted to the fruit farming in education. In the whole time of the project duration, we will be working on educational material which will be continue to be used for teaching subjects at schools and educational institutions.

Project "Role of Traditional Fruit Farming in Regional Development" takes place in the period 1.9. 2015 - 31.8.2017 and it is supported by ERASMUS + Program (Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training - KA2). Registration number of the project is: 2015-1-CZ01-KA202-013923. Project buget is 83.100,- EUR.

Partners of the project

Natura Opava - Czech Republic, Edvarda Beneše 30, 747 05 Opava,

Masarykova střední škola zemědělská a Vyšší odborná škola, Opava, příspěvková organizace, Purkyňova 12, 746 01 Opava,

Rude-Associação de Desenvolvimento Rural (Covilhã e Canhoso), Rua Conde da Ericeira, Covilhã 6200-086 Covilha, PORTUGAL

Universitatea de Stiinte Agronomice si Medicina Veterinara din Bucuresti, Bld. Marasti, Nr. 59 011464 Bucharest,

Zespół Szkół nr 1 w Kędzierzynie-Koźlu, Ul. Skarbowa 2, 47-200 Kedzierzyn-Koźle,

Natura Opava - Czech Republic, CZECH REPUBLIC
Educational organization called "Natura Opava - Czech Republic" is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that has been dealing with environmental education, training and consultancy in the branch of environmental protection since 1992. Our training programs are aimed to teaching pupils and students to get familiarized with the nature by using own experience. Our motto is - "Learning about the Nature while in the Nature". We also try to provide the wide public with information of natural attractions. Our activities are mainly focused on township of Opava (Czech Republic), Raciborz (Poland) and the region of Amvrakian Bay (Preveza-Greece). During a year, we organize about one hundred seminars, branch exercises and awareness events. We organize nature-scientific expeditions used for making scientific work closer to the younger generation. In cooperation with the Statutory Town Council of Opava, we have regularly been publishing publications about the nature in Opava region in the recent times. Two years ago, we began to issue the magazine called "Opavský Přírodovědný Zpravodaj" (natural-science newsletter of Opava), also with support of Statutory Town Council of Opava. The newsletter has so far had over 9,000 email subscribers. Our activity in vocational education is also quite extensive. We have closely been working with high schools and universities for which we provide branch training and practical lessons within accredited school subjects and also within common lessons associated to involvement of professional experts. We hold methodology lessons in several schools. We are co-administrators and reviewers in prestigious competitions of student works, like for instance Olympic games in biology and secondary-school professional activities at both the district and regional levels. Our members have actively been leading professional training both in traditional lessons and in non-formal education. In this perspective and level, we can monitor and specify significant failures of lessons within professional education in schools focused on natural sciences. This experience has brought us to the the idea to develop this project. With a team of collaborators from schools of Opava, Poland and Slovakia, we have been preparing useful projects aimed to education for students and young people in the branch of sustainable development, agriculture and nature protection. We provide consulting services in the branch of nature protection to the wide public. We also provide consulting services in the branch of environmental education and practical lessons of biology to schools. Information of our activities is available at our website: Our team includes many experts who are mostly graduates of prestigious universities in the Czech Republic; they are extensively experienced in professional training.

Masarykova střední škola zemědělská a Vyšší odborná škola, Opava, CZECH REPUBLIC
They are secondary school of agriculture and higher professional school of Opava; we have been providing adult people with our services as a training centre in the branch of agriculture. We have these school subjects to teach - Agro-business, Nature Protection, Chemist-operator, Gardener, Farmer, General Business, Nature Science Lyceum, Regional Rural Politics. We actively cooperate with the School Farm Opava and Teva (pharmaceutical production company); our organization is aimed to as much as possible connect practical experience in teaching at schools and gradually expand portfolio of partner organizations of the school. We are quite busy in the knowledge branch of international cooperation; we have our partners from more than 10 European countries and their number is increasing every year. This provides our students with opportunity to get familiarized with their culture and gain experience in the particular knowledge branch. Our school is located in the Moravian-Silesian Region, which is a region significantly burdened by heavy industry causing major pollution of the natural environment; our town is one of three most polluted towns in the country, according to statistics of the last year and this year. This region is also known for its big problem with unemployment; our region lies on the border with Poland. Our students come from several different regions of our country; they commute up to the distance of 130 km. Our school is also attended by pupils and students from poor families; their parents cannot afford to provide them with enough money for their trips. This project is a unique chance for those pupils and students to gain international experience in the knowledge branch of knowledge and get familiarized with new culture. Our school is one of few facilities of such kind in the region which are not afraid to accept students with learning disabilities (SPU); these students have their individual study plan in our school. They can also enjoy full support of management and staff employed in the school.

Rude-Associação de Desenvolvimento Rural (Covilhã e Canhoso), PORTUGAL
RUDE - Rural Development Association is the managing body of the Community Initiative LEADER at Cova da Beira, accredited on April 11, 1992 by the National Management to administer this fund community in the Territory NUT III Cova da Beira. Since 2009 RUDE is responsible for the implementation of the PRODER (a strategic and financial support to rural development for the 2007-2013 programming period, approved by the European Commission Decision C (2007) 6159, December 4) that aims: - Improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry; - Promote sustainability of rural areas and of natural resources; - Economic and social restructuring of rural areas. It is a legal private entity whose scope of action covers 49 parishes in the municipalities of Belmonte, Covilha and Fundão; RUDE is a legal private entity whose scope of action covers 49 parishes in the municipalities of Belmonte, Fundão and Covilhã, has a total area of 935.9 km2 and a population of 80,471 inhabitants. Its action generates new dynamics in its territory of intervention and, through the adoption of innovative initiatives, particularly in the development of rural areas, contributes to the well-being and quality of life of local population. Geographical proximity and the common features of the three counties, particularly in terms of natural resources and landscapes, were the main reason to bring these territories, the Territory Intervention RUDE - Association for Rural Development. he intervention of RUDE has settled a logic of complementarity of objectives, the impact of which has resulted in partnerships +, + skills to rural areas, opportunities + and + rural development. The implementation of the Local Development Strategies has resulted in a set of actions that caters to the crossing of external factors and internal factors of the SWOT analysis of strategic priorities, particularly in the areas of local products development and valorization; historical heritage; tourism and environment; cross-border cooperation; innovation and competitiveness; social and territorial cohesion. Within its activities, this institution also organizes hobby courses of fruit growing and fruit farming within environmental education and professional training in schools. This institute also conducts relevant workshops in own country.

Universitatea de Stiinte Agronomice si Medicina Veterinara din Bucuresti, ROMANIA
USAMVB is a complex institution and provides Higher Education and Training in: Vegetal and Animal Production; Biology; Control and Expertise on Food Quality; Food Processing Industry; Forestry; Land Reclamation; Environmental Engineering; Biotechnologies; Management in Agriculture; Veterinary Medicine. USAMVB mission, through the 3000 students who come from rural areas, is first formed in the belief that farm production could be increased as a result of the systematic application of current technology and agricultural research findings with the participation of the farming community. Also, to carry the results to a broad range of farmers who could use them; and to train farmers, extension workers, agricultural teachers and researchers from disadvantaged areas so that agricultural production could continue to be increased on a sustained basis.

Zespół Szkół nr 1 w Kędzierzynie-Koźlu, POLAND
Vocational School Complex n o 1 in Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, consists of Secondary Technical School and Basic Vocational School. In the previous one we teach 551 technicians of: construction, logistics, computer science, hairdressing, trade, economy, feeding and catering services and 359 students in Basic Vocational School in professions: cook, seller, hairdresser, builder-plasterer and others. Our school has taken part in some EU projects such as: ‘Sport and Cooking – Polish-Czech Reconciliation’, ‘Innovative Vocational School’, ‘Student Online’, ‘Good profession – good future’ and others, however it is our first time in the Leonardo da Vinci project. We also teach the vocational subjects in multi-vocational classes from entire region. In these classes students learn construction and gastronomical subjects. Our school is also the examination centre for students who take final exams in professions of the seller and the cook of small gastronomy. Kedzierzyn-Kozle is the town in the area with well-developed chemical industry but struggling with significant unemployment. Our school is cherished in our region. Taking part in this project would give them various opportunities. Predominant part of our pupils come from rather poor social background so participating in this project could be a chance for them to get to know different culture, lifestyle and to broaden knowledge while contacting with other students from abroad.

More about partners

Romanian mobility

In the Romanian Mobility at the University of Bucharest, we participated in the international scientific conference where our team member Radim Lokoč had his contribution related to fruit growing. We also heard other lectures focused on fruit growing.

On the next day after arrival, we attended the conference at the Agricultural University in Bucharest where we learned something about growing corn, tomatoes, fruit trees, trade with soya, etc. After the conference, we visited the local open air museum with the typical architecture of old villages in Romania. Soon after, we visited the Natural Science Museum with the exhibits of local and world flora and fauna, humans, etc. In the following days, we visited the orchard of a local family; the people were very nice and helpful; they grow trees of apples, plums, pears, quince, cherries and much more. We visited the Baroque-style church in Arges County where the first and second Romanian kings and their wives are buried. The church is surrounded by beautiful gardens; there are many young people attending the church, those who are proud of their traditions. After visiting the church, we went to the local mountains where we climbed up on about 1,475 stairs. The mountains were beautiful and covered by forests. There were many rock formations and the lake called Vidraru (former communist symbol). We started the next day at the research institute for growing fruits. This is the huge area with orchards, research laboratories and the main building where we were listening to presentation about the centre and about fruit growing in Romania. The Research Institute has several other branches in the country, reflecting the widely diverging climate in these areas. We went to the orchards which are partly protected by nets against birds. There are traditional varieties and also the varieties cultivated by them. The trees are then sold to local fruit farmers. The institute conducts research aimed to response of certain varieties to the environment, climate and soil. The instrument for measuring growth of plums was very interesting. It sends the measured values to the central computer. We learned that nowadays the demand of red fruits is rapidly increasing, because it contains antioxidants and therefore it is sought after by the people. Then we visited the virology and micro-biological departments where diseases of fruit trees have been examined. There are new plants grown in tubes, these shall grow a little bit in rooms and greenhouses before they are planted into soil. In the orchards, in addition to the typical types of fruits (apples, pears, plums, cherries), there are also sea buckthorns, amelanchier alnifolia, damascena roses and various types of berries, such as blueberries, currants, etc. Then we left the Research Institute and went to the cannery where fruit, vegetables and meats are processed. Due to hygienic reasons, we were allowed to enter only in protective clothes and with hair net. Then we went to the monastery inhabited by 11 nuns. The monastery also includes the farm with orchard, greenhouses, pigs, chicken and cows. The nuns take care of this almost without any help. On Tuesday, which was the day of our departure, we visited another orchard where we learned something about fruit trade. We also visited the warehouse for fruits and then we went back home. It was a very informative, interesting and enjoyable week.

Detailed program of the Romanian Mobility:

FRIDAY, 10th of June
08:00 - Departure from Avis Hotel
09:30 - 11:00 –Participation of Conference “Agriculture for Life - Life for Agriculture” at University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest
11:00 - 11:30 – Departure to “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History
11:30 - 13:00 – “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History
14:00 - Lunch in Herastrau Park
15:00 - Thematic visit in Bucharest (Village Museum, etc.)
19.00 - Return to Avis hotel

Photos from this day

SATURDAY, 11st of June
9:00 - Departure to Arges County
11:00 -Visit to fruit farming in Bogati village, Arges County
13:00 - Lunch at Pitesti City
15:00 - Processing of Fruits – Company MGC Topoloveni (to be confirmed)
17:00 - Accomodation at Agrotourism pension – The Pension "Bear Valley", Bear Valley village, Arges County
20:00 - Coordinators meeting – schedule of the week / presentations, worksheets, discussion about curriculum.

Photos from this day

SUNDAY, 12th of June
9:15 - Departure to Curtea de Arges fruit growing region
Specific livelihoods activity in Arges county –fruit free market, fruits processing, agrotourism
11:00 -14:00 – Visit of Curtea de Arges Royal Church, Poenari Castle
14:00 - Lunch at Poenari Castle
14:30 - Visit of Vidraru Lake

Photos from this day

MONDAY, 13th of June
8:30 – Departure to Research and Development Institute for Fruit Growing Pitesti - Mărăcineni
9:00 – 12:00 – Visit of Research and Development Institute for Fruit Growing Pitesti - Mărăcineni
13.00 - Lunch
14:00 - 18:00 - Visit of fruit farming and processing units in Maracineni area
18:00 – Departure to the pension
20:00 - Farewell Dinner at the Pension
After dinner - Final project meeting – Final report

Photos from this day

TUESDAY, 14th of June
8:30 - Departure to Research and Development Station for Fruit Growing of Voinesti, Dambovita County
10:00 - 14:00 - Visit of the Research and Development Station for Fruit Growing of Voinesti
- Visit of company for storage of fruits in Voinesti - Processing of Fruits Unit in Voinesti Area (Bughea de Jos, Aninoasa)
14:00- Lunch
15:00 - Departure to Bucharest
19:00 - Dinner at Avis Hotel

Photos from this day

WEDNESDAY, 15th of June
Departure of participants

More about Romanian Mobility

Czech mobility

In the Czech Mobility which will take place on 19.-24.9.2016, we have prepared the following program for the participants:

Detailed program of the Czech Mobility:

MONDAY, 19th of September
09:30 - 12:00 - MSŠZe and VOŠ Opava (Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava) Welcoming speech, Excursion to the school, Greenhouses, Fruit orchards
13:00 - 14:00 - City of Opava LUNCH
14:00 - 17:30 - City of Opava, Walking tour in Opava downtown, Tour in Opava parks and gardens, Silesian Museum, City Hall - presentation of environmental projects

Photos from this day

TUESDAY, 20st of September
09:00 - 10:30 - Oldřišov village: Walking around the village - demonstration of alley planting, Visiting the school orchard and village’s apple juice production facility
11:00 - 12:30 - Hněvošice village: Distillery in Hněvošice - excursion to the distillery production facility, Black Cale Juicy - excursion to juice production facility
13.00 - 13:45 - Rohov village: Pub "U Komárků" LUNCH - regional specialities
13:45 - 14:30 - Rohov village: Excursions to the family farm - planting raspberries
15:00 - 16:00 - Bolatice village: Village’s open air museum - demonstration of folk architecture
16:20 - 16:45 - Vřesina village: Visit and demonstration in the gene pool orchard with genuine varieties of fruit, integrated in the rural landscape
17:00 - 18:00 - Kozmice village: Visit to the private bird sanctuary and observatory
19:00 - 22:00 - Village Lhota near Háj: Restaurant "U Vodníka Slámy" - Agro-tourism - museum of miller’s trade - nature trails, Presentation of old varieties of fruit - tasting

__Fruit Plantations in the Village Oldřišov
Samples of planting in rural areas, arising in the last 30 years in the village - the traditional cherry alley trees planted by the basic organisation of the Czech Gardening Association, solitaires in public places and the school orchard planted in 2012 by students of the local school. It is one of the gene pool orchards which preserves the traditional varieties grown in the Hlučín Region. It is also used for the purposes of the local primary school, as a place for learning - taking care of fruit trees within Labour Education, biodiversity, landscape ecology in the context of nature science. There is also a small apple juicing plant operated in the village for small growers by the local organization of the Czech Gardening Association.

__Distillery Hněvošice
The only distillery in Hlučín Region has been operated in the village Hněvošice since 2004; it is located in a former farm house. Processing fruits of growers who can deposit the sour; the whole fermentation process is controlled by skilled operators of the distillery. Technology of the distillery belongs to the most advanced ones - distillation column.

__Gene Pool Orchard of Fruit Trees in the Hlučín Region in Vřesina
Collection of old and regional varieties of pome and stone fruits which were grown in Hlučín Region. The collection was established thanks to the village Vřesina and the basic organization of the Czech Union for Nature Protection; the works were held gradually in several stages from 2013. The collection follows the process of mapping which was taking place in this region from 2012. At the present times there are 113 planted trees, which means about 100 varieties. Some of the local varieties were transferred from the last living examples growing in the local landscape. The area of the orchard shall be used as a gene pool of fruit trees as well as a place for education related to fruit farming.

__Bird Meadows in Kozmice
Group of businessmen - nature lovers - gradually buys up lands to implement an intention unprecedented in our country. In the area of 13 ha, they created permanently flooded lakes combined with periodically flooded areas, wetlands and winter places for amphibians. They provided animals living in this area with quiet retreat which is not usual elsewhere due to agricultural management and destruction of natural ecosystems. There is the two-floor observation tower available for visitors. Here they can overlook the entire territory.

__Mill of Waterman Sláma, Lhota u Opavy
The island between the river Opava and the mill-race of the former Havlíček mill. Nowadays, this area is mainly used for social and cultural events (weddings) and recreation. For this purpose, there is: riding club, museum of milling and three nature trails which include a new smaller orchard of old and regional varieties of fruits of Opava Region, built up on the place of the former orchard.

__Open-air Museum of Folk Traditions and Crafts, Bolatice
The open-air museum was built in 2002, in one of the few surviving examples of a traditional village building. It is an example of a traditional village house in the early 20th century. There is the old kitchen, bedroom, laundry room, servant room, horse stable, barn for cows, log cabin (grange), barn with old machines and other rooms equipped with various household products and tools. In the area of the open-air museum there are several traditional events with demonstrations of folk traditions, held during a year: Easter in the village, erecting a maypole, Kobzolfest (potato festival), village pig sticking, singing carols, live nativity scene.

Photos from this day

WEDNESDAY, 21st of September
09:30 - 11:30 - Town of Krnov Chomýž: Testing facility and the orchard with new varieties of fruit; tasting
11:45 - 12:15 - Town of Město Albrechtice: Observatory - view to the landscape relief of Silesia region
12:30 - 13:30 - Krásné Loučky village LUNCH
14:00 - 15:00 - Úvalno village Orchard with new varieties of fruit
15:30 - 16:15 - Holasovice village Museum of life in villages
17:00 - 20:30 - Town Opava: Restaurant "Panský Mlýn" Introduction of family business with jam production, presentation of new varieties of fruit - tasting

__Miroslav Přasličák
In his orchard, he grows pome fruits on low shapes and stone fruits. For longer period of time, he has been focusing on testing the new varieties which have already passed through the orchard in the amount of several hundreds. He belongs to the greatest experts in growing and cutting of low shapes; he organizes tastings of new varieties; he is a reputable and sought-after lecturer for fruit farming. In recent years, he has increasingly been involved in nursery activities where he is very successful.

__Jan Kolařík
Fruit farmer Jan Kolařík is one of very few fruit farmers in the Moravia-Silesia Region. He grows pome fruits in his orchard in the village Úvalno, Krnov Region. In the area of 5 hectares, he grows new varieties of pome fruits in the shape of slim spindle, mainly those of Czech origin. He sells fruit in the yard or delivers it to nearby shops. Silesian Garden - jam production

__Small business of Štěpáník family,
dealing with manufacture of home-made jams, marmalades, herbal and fruit syrups and other sweet and non-sweet delicacies. Products are manufactured by traditional home-made ways. Fruit used in products comes partly from own production. Sometimes, the fruit has been bought from local growers in organic quality. Since the spring, when the first dandelions bloom up, they have been collecting herbs until late autumn time, on meadows and in forests in the valley of the river Moravice, together with their three children. Then they finish the season with collection of wild roses. They use only natural raw materials; they do not use any extracts, colouring agents, stimulants or E-components. Each produced glass is original; glasses are fitted with written inscription.

__Black Kale
It is a small and dynamic company in Hněvošice. It specializes in production of fruit juices pressed with fresh regional raw materials. In several years of operation, the company acquired strong position and stable clients which constantly grow up. Most products are delivered directly to the customers or sold through E-shop. It carries the brand BIO and Regional Food. The company’s credo: "We want the people to realize that they are responsible for their own health and should take care of it."

Photos from this day

THUESDAY, 22nd of September
09:30 - 11:30 - Nový Dvůr village: Arboretum - tour to the park of exotic woods
12:00 - 12:45 - Žimrovice village: Demonstration of a small school and its activities
13:45 - 14:45 - Staré Těchanovice: Private facility for apple juice production and fruit drying
15:00 - 19:00 - Kružberk village: Restaurant "Davidův Mlýn", Local church, Walking around Kružberk water dam,Lecture - Bio-diversity in an orchard

__Petr and Petra Chroust
Active development of small business in the countryside, in addition to work in an office (both spouses work for the local action group called Opavsko). Small family apple juice production with drying room, built many years ago in the yard of the family house in the small village of Vítkov Region. They have chosen working with new technologies and methods of apple juice preservation, drying in a modern drying oven. However, fruit preparation is still manual. The products are sold using short supply networks in Opava Region.

Photos from this day

FRIDAY, 23th of September
10:00 - 11:00 - Neplachovice village: Visit to beekeeping facility
11:30 - 12:30 - Sosnová village: Presenting the company called "Vitaminátor", production of juices Tour in orchards

__Vitaminátor – Orchards and Apple Juice Production, Sosnová
The company Vitaminátor, s.r.o., was founded in 2008 as a family business on the foundation of the farm of Soška family; this family owned the farm in the 30s years; then came confiscation. The assets were returned in restitution in the 90s of the 20th century. They operate 102 hectares of lands in the current times; ecological orchards include 60 hectares thereof. The most widespread fruit is red and black currant; apple trees are also very popular (combination of old and new varieties); raspberries, plums, elderberry and hawthorn are less popular. They developed the mobile apple juice facility; they have it patented as well. This facility is used for production of pure apple juices in combination with other vegetables and fruits: pear, red and black currants, sea buckthorn, strawberries, carrots, beetroot, raspberries, plums, sour cherries. To produce 100% juice with no chemicals, they exclusively use fruits and vegetables that come from own orchards or certified farmers. Over the past few years, they managed to develop cooperation with many schools, hospitals, restaurants, shops of health food and many other businesses.

Photos from this day

More about Czech Mobility:

Polish mobility

In the Polish Mobility which will take place on 24.-28.4.2017, we have prepared the following program for the participants:

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, some pupils of our school participated in the well-known program of "Fruitfarming" under the European Program Erasmus+. This time we went to the northeast of Poland, near the Belarusian border. We were based in the town Supraśl and there were star-shaped excursions to surrounding farms held. There are about 4.5 thousand inhabitants; the town area covers 6 km2.

We walked through this beautiful town on the very first day in the morning. First of all, we saw the huge monastery, built in Renaissance style. There is also the museum in the monastery; unfortunately we could not visit it due to the off-season opening hours. Then we walked along the river and the adjacent park. The historical character of the town is supported by the fact that the town is not interfered by concrete buildings. All-wooden buildings, including family houses, are typical for the town of Supraśl and even for the whole northeast region of Poland. The short walk is over; we get on the coach to visit the largest blueberry farm in Europe. On the way, we see nothing but the large field or meadows, sometimes interwoven by pine forests and birch woods.

The blueberry farm covers the area of 600 hectares, which means it the largest blueberry farm in Europe. This primacy can be realized thanks to diligence and tenacity of the Wilczewski family. The first attempts to plant blueberries occurred in 1995, however without any success. So, everything began a year later. The first seedlings were imported from America and Morocco. Preparation of blueberry bushes takes time of about 2 years (once they reach the height of 40-60 cm), while in a plastic greenhouse before being planted on the field. Mr. Jerzy Wilczewscy, the family farm owner, says that a good year is when the plant gives about 4 kg of fruit. The farm owner eliminates wildlife animal damage by thorough fencing of all the hunting areas. The farm is actually used in experimental ways, due to testing of new varieties (this is not done anywhere else in Europe). They grow the following varieties, for example: Toro, Arora, Liberty, Red King, Draper. Blueberry bushes are fertilized and chemically treated - but such in the ways the pollinators are not affected by. They buy up to 300 bumble-bee hives every year to get even higher productivity. They do not process the blueberries any further; they export them in fresh state throughout Europe, Russia and even to Japan.

In addition to blueberry plantations, the family owns the deer field with the size of 400ha; the animals are grown for both meat and trophy shooting. Previously, they used to have even 400 pieces of deer; today they have only 200 of them. One animal gives about 100 kg of meat.

In winter times, the whole family travels around the world to watch what others do, focusing mainly on storage and maintenance of blueberries in their natural state. We were given some food and refreshment after finishing the presentation of their farm.

The afternoon program of organic apple tree cultivation was cancelled. Instead, we had tour of the town of Białystok where we spent 2 hours. And this is the end of the Tuesday’s program.

On Wednesday, we visited the family farm dedicated to cultivation of aronias. Aronia is a type of small red fruits currently very popular due to positive effects on human health. It mainly works against civilization diseases, eye diseases, high blood pressure and also as the total detoxication to clean the body. Like most small fruits, it is also used for making juices, jams and marmalades, wines, etc. Since it is not appealing to all people as for its taste, it is often processed in combination with other fruits, such as pears, or together with apple cider. It is very well resistant against freezing temperatures and non-vulnerable to diseases. The price of organic aronia is about 0.5 EUR / 1kg.

The farm began to grow this plant in 2005; this kind of cultivation is very popular in the northeast of Poland. The plantation was awarded with the organic cultivation certificate, applicable throughout Europe for the purpose of export. In the region, this certificate is held by only one other farm nearby, even though other farms also meet the conditions for organic farming. Well, the others have not yet asked for the certificate. Fruits of aronia are harvested right after harvesting the currants in September, using a harvester to shake the fruits out of the plants, but also manually with 8 permanent employees in the farm. Easy harvesting is assisted by properly cutting of plants which are not fertilized to prevent rapid growth. Aronia is grown at the distance of about 4 m between plant rows and 70-80 cm between the plants themselves. The total area of ​​the aronia plantation is 1.3ha. This area gives the average annual yield of 9-10 tons of fruits of aronia. However, the total area of ​​all lands, even out of the plantation, is about 10ha; the owners run Agro ecotourism, they organize workshops, such as those for cheese production, wickerwork products, etc. This is the very popular and well-known place because the farm even won the prize for the best organic farm.

Later, we moved to another agrotouristic site, that one called Gifts of Natura, focusing on organic growing and processing of herbs. In the large site there were many places interesting for tourists, up to 80 persons can be accommodated and spend their free time; there is also the old wooden Catholic church of the 17th Century; there are also the halls overall processing and production of herbal products. About 100 collectors and employees are responsible for processing, care and mainly collection.

The enterprise has been operating for 25 years and producing a wide range of products of organic cultivation on herbaceous plantations. The products include, for example, cold-pressed oils, such as hempy, linseed, pumpkin, beetroot, chia, thistle, nigella or pink oils (mainly the unprocessed residues are used during production of this oil to make cakes used as animal feed). Coconut oil is a very special product; it must be prepared separately at a different temperature and cannot be used, for example, for frying; however, it is very popular in cosmetics as balsam. Another factory hall is used for production of express teas (tea bags), using a mechanical machine. Then we saw packing workshop for spice packs (curcumin, saffron - cannot be collected mechanically and therefore it is expensive, cardamom and many others), strewn herbal teas, etc. All the products are produced as those free of sodium glutamate. In the course of 5 years, the site will be expanded by laboratories to assess safety of products (samples have currently been sent to other laboratories).

However, before the plants reach the production halls, they have to grow on large plantations which are divided into several parts, such as those for forest plants, aquatic plants, those for classic herb cultivation, etc. In the forest, we saw the very rare Lycopodium Clavatum, Athyrium Filix (young tillers are edible, those older are poisonous), Pulmonaria Officinalis (for respiratory tracts), Hepatica Nobilis (for inflammation of liver) and typical forest plants such as anemones, Aegopodium Podagraria, nettles (those young as well as those for eating) and also Oxalis Acetosella or also the invasive plants like for instance hogweed. And, of course, we must mention Hierochloe Odorata, so ​​typical for this region, which is used to prepare the alcoholic drink called Zubrovka.

Blueberry Plantations 25.4.2017 The family farm run by Mr. Jerzy Wielczewsci with his wife and two sons.

The total area of ​​the farm is 1,000ha; the area of 400ha is intended for growing blueberries - it is the largest plantation in Europe where over 4,000 people work during a season, which means 300 people per weekend. The first blueberry was planted in 1995. They buy blueberries seedlings and grow them in greenhouses. When they are 50cm high, they are planted out on a plantation and then they are cut every year to get a certain height. The best varieties of all over the world are present only here in the farm due to the fact that the seedlings would have lost their value if being in more farms. Some varieties, for example those in Morocco, give fruits only within the period of 7 years, so, conditions for growth and climate are very important because the same variety elsewhere gives the fruits within other periods of time. Blueberries are exported as fresh ones to Europe and Russia; they were even sold in Japan; the most expensive price of blueberries was 150 EUR per kilogram. They are good for eyes and therefore they are used by American pilots who need to have "four" eyes. In case of good and fertile season, one plant gives 4kg per year. Good blueberries are, for example, Toro or Red King. The farm has been drawing funds from the EU. But it is still just a small part of what they invest. In the winter times, they go to other farms to see how the things are there, but not only for operation of a farm; they are also interested in marketing. They buy their bumblebees because they are able to reach further than bees; they buy 300 hives for one year.

In the remaining area of 600ha, the family grows deer. In 2006, they had more than 380ha of pastures in the town called Ruda and 500ha of pastures in Szudzialowo a Krynki, district of Sokolski. Animals are protected by the 100-kilometre fence. This place is considered to be the cleanest area in Poland. Even the experienced farmers from Scotland, England, Czech Republic, Hungary and France come to learn in this farm. They are planning to increase the number of deer to several thousand in the next few years, which will make them the largest breeding farm of deer in Europe.

National Park of White Tower (Bialowieza)

It is the most famous national park in Poland and perhaps in the entire European territory. It lies on the border of Poland and Belarus. It also includes the Museum of the Bialowieza National Park where we can see preparations of several dozen species of animals living in the national park. At the border there is the fence dividing these two countries; tourists and animals are not allowed to go from one side to the other. The area is about 1,400 km2. The park is the UNESCO biosphere reserve. There are over 12,000 species of animals, most of which are insects, spiders, etc. There are also 32 species of fish, 250 species of birds (such as Haliaeetus Albicilla, Tetrao Urogallus, Ciconia nigra...) and 58 species of mammals (the most famous is European Bison, and also Tarpans - wild horses, wolves, mooses...). Bisons were completely exterminated in 1919. Last few individuals survived in the European ZOOs. However, Poland bought 4 bisons in 1923 and began to re-grow them. In 1939, the herd included 16 pieces of animals. Currently, 250-300 pieces of animals live in the Polish part; the park becomes crowded for them. In the Belarusian part, there are about 300 pieces of animals. So-called Zubroid is very interesting; it is the bison crossed with domestic cow. In recent years, wolves have also spread a lot; they begin to cause considerable damage in this area. For example, they attack dogs in nearby villages. Flora is also very rich here. Forests cover 96% of the total area of the national park. There are over 1,000 species of plants and trees growing here. There is also a very large number of trees reaching the trunk circumference of over 600cm at the height of 130cm. They are usually the oaks. The biggest one is so-called Big Mamamushi, having the circumference of 690cm, or also the Jagiellonian Oak under which Władysław Jagiełło was resting in 1410. All the trees which lose their lives in the national park for some reason remain in the forest; they are not taken away to be processed or used for burning. Time by time, the wood begins to decompose and can be used as a shelter and suitable place to live for various species of small animals. These are eaten by the larger ones; it means that ecosystem is completely preserved.

More about Polish Mobility

Portugal mobility

In the Portugal Mobility which will take place on 7.-13.6.2017, we have prepared the following program for the participants:

Wednesday, 8 June
8:00 - Beiraberry (Blueberries and raspberries production
10:00 - Marco Cunha (Red currant production)
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Quinta da Porta (Peaches and cherries production)
16:00 - Fundão Producers Club (Tasting of regional products)
18:00 - Dinner

Thursday, 9 June
09:30 - Visit to the Historic Center of Covilhã
11:00 - Meeting with the AGRI-URBAN International Partnership (Fundão)
13:00 - Lunch in Castelo Novo
14:00 - Castelo Novo 2.0 (Association for the Promotion and Valorization of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Castelo Novo)
15:30 - Visit to Castelo Novo (Historical Village of Portugal)
16:30 - Visit to cherry orchard and cherry picking
20:00 - Dinner in Fundão
21:00 - Cherry Festival (Alcongosta)

Friday, 10 June
10:00 - Quinta do Limite (Visit to a cherry orchard, picking and tasting)
12:00 - Lunch
15:30- Frutas Almério (Cherry, peach, plums, nectarines, diospiros, apricots and quinces production
20:00 - Dinner in Covilhã)
21:00 - Traditional Portuguese feast to the patron saints

Saturday, 11 June
09:00 - Visit serra da Estrela (Penhas da Saúde, Nave de Sto Antonio, Covão dAmetade, Vale Glaciar)
11:00 - Short and easy hike in the mountain (2,5km)
13:00 - Open air lunch
15:30 - Casa Agrícola Francisco Esteves (Peach and apple production)
17:00 - Fernando Valério da Silva (Peach production)
19:00 - Dinner Sunday, 12 June
10:30 - Quinta de São Tiago (Visit to the vineyards, winery and wine tasting Lunch at Quinta de São Tiago)
15:30 - The Biotech Plant Lab of Beira Interior
17:00 - Visit to Castelo Branco city
20:00 - Farewell dinner

Wednesday, 8 June

The first farm we have visited was the family farm called QUINTA DA PORTA with the area of 102ha, located in the Fundao region. A cherry plantation with the size of 50ha can produce about 1000t of cherry trees a year. Cherries are sold fresh and processed as jams, juices, chocolate ingredients, compotes, liqueurs, etc. There are also peaches grown on the area of 20ha. Most trees are susceptible to fruit cracking due to large amount of precipitation. Year by year there are more and more chemical sprayings. However, the amount of chemicals to treat trees is still smaller than in the Czech Republic. Treatment is usually done 5 times a year. Organic and inorganic fertilizers should be added to the trees due to the granite subsoil which makes the soil rich in potassium only. The method of drip irrigation with fertilizers is used here; it is the most advantageous method for the local conditions. The farm hires about 40 employees for harvesting; the fruits are harvested manually, while using so-called collection umbrella. Harvest takes the time of about 2 weeks (depending on varieties of the trees). Products are mainly sold to Portuguese supermarkets and shops. An average purchase price is 2 EUR / 1kg of cherries.

Varieties: cherries - Burlat, Gizela, etc.

peaches - Baby Gold, Yellow Peach, Tirrenia, Cathrin

The second farm we have visited was the agro-tourist centre of CARVALHAL REDONDO which provides accommodation in the area of old cork oaks as well as cherry, olive and other fruit orchards. Tourists may learn to make jams, cheeses, lemonades and pastries here. They may also try out picking up the fruits and take them home. The total area of the land is 7.3ha.

Thursday, 9 June

We began our Thursday with visiting the cherry plantation called QUINTA DO LINTE where production has been carried out for 30 years. The plantation area is 4ha; more than 30 varieties of cherries are grown here. Some varieties are changed every year, depending on how they look in terms of growth and fertility. This region is very suitable for growing cherries, due to its specific micro-climate. Fruits are only sold to shops in Portugal, mostly with more durable ones. The purchase price ranges between 1.50-3 EUR per 1kg. The farm suffers from leaf plague (anthracnose disease) and drosophila melanogaster which penetrates healthy fruits. The treatment of plague is carried out during the winter time, sometimes even during the rainy springs. Calcium and iron are added to fertilizers in order to maintain correct acidity of the soil. Organic fertilizers are also used, mainly sheep's excrements. The farm produces about 50t of cherries per season. There are very favourable conditions for cultivation due to rich rainfalls and temperatures (the problem occurs if the temperature falls below -5°C). Healthy trees have been bringing the fruits mostly for 15-20 years. The farm provides the wide public with the opportunity to collect and buy fruits.

Varieties: Cristalina, Brux

Then we moved to the fruit-farming conference in Fundao during which Mr. Marek Fešar and Ms. Marie Šrajerová, the representatives of NATURA OPAVA and MSŠZe and VOŠ Opava (Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava), presented the project of fruit farming to other members of the conference. The whole conference moved to the historic village of CASTELO NOVO where we visited the historic castle and saw the local rural architecture. The tour was ended by lecture aimed to organic growing of vegetables and fruits produced by farmers nearby.

In the evening, we took part in the cherry festival where various regional cherry products were shown and where traditional music and dances were performed.

Friday, 10 June

On the third day, we left the cherries for a while and visited the blueberry plantation near Ferro village. The plantation has the size of ​​3ha, growing 5 varieties of blueberries with 2,000 bushes. Blueberries are not traditional Portuguese crops; however, the local conditions are very favourable for their cultivation; the farm produces 7-10 tons of blueberries per season. The process of cultivation is performed without chemical treatment; however, it is financially very demanding. The varieties suitable for collection at different times are preferred (early and late ones). There are 25-30 employees working here at the time of harvesting; they are able to pick up even 100kg of fruits per day and person. Due to the alkaline soil, blueberries are sown in tree barks, which increases acidity and maintains the pH value of the soil. The system of drip irrigation is used here, e.g. adding fertilizers to the water. The plantation is fitted with megaphones on several places; they transmit sounds of wild birds to discourage small birds. Before exporting, blueberries are sorted into containers according to their varieties.

Varieties of blueberries: Duke, Chandler, Draper, Elliot, Blue crop

Then we visited the 2ha farm of currant called QUITA DO OURO established 3 years ago. The line planting system (70x250cm) with foil roofing is used here, protecting the plants from weather fluctuations. The time of harvesting takes only 2-3 weeks during which 10-12 tons of currant are harvested. In the middle row, the weeds are destroyed by herbicides (not at the time of harvesting); the bushes are attacked by red spider (tetranychus) before harvesting. The purchase price is about 10 EUR / 1kg. There are no problems with small birds due to acidity of the fruits. Irrigation is carried out by the drip system supplemented with water channels bringing the rainwater.

Varieties of currant: Junifer

The last farm of that day was the 130ha fruit plantation called FRUTAS ALMÉRIO growing mandarines, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches and quinces. The main export of fruits from the farm is directed to Spanish supermarkets. There are 12 permanent employees on the farm; the number increases to 40-50 employees in the times of harvesting. The disease called moniliosis is one of the most serious problems. Treatment is performed with 8-9 sprays per year. When fertilizing, the fertilizers are supplemented by sodium (potash) which maintains the correct pH value of the soil. Varieties on the farm comes from all over the world, not only from Portugal.

After the tours on the farms, we went to the town-tour of the festival called WOOL FEST based on exhibitions of modern art. At the end, after the instructive day, we took some rest at the evening celebration event in Covilha.

Saturday, 11 June

09:00 - Visit serra da Estrela (Penhas da Saúde, Nave de Sto Antonio, Covão dAmetade, Vale Glaciar) 11:00 - Short and easy hike in the mountain (2,5km) 13:00 - Open air lunch 15:30 - Casa Agrícola Francisco Esteves (Peach and apple production) 17:00 - Fernando Valério da Silva (Peach production) 19:00 - Dinner Quinta da Sao Tiago

On the last day of our stay in Covilha, we visited wine cellars in Sao Tiago located in the region of Dominguiso, Covilha. Quinta da Sao Tiago includes 75 hectares of vineyards and 25 hectares of cherry trees. 80% of the production is exported, 20% goes to local consumption. The harvest time for cherries begins in May and ends in June. There are 5 wine experts. One expert for each field. High-quality cheese is also produced on the farm.

Research institute

Then later on that day, we visited the Research Institute in Castelo Branco, located about 50km from Covilha. It is the polytechnic institute not entirely incorporated in the university; however, it is used as the center for professional training. It is aimed to production of olive oil and growing of goats, sheep, horses and pigs. The Institute is used for education of students in Zootechnics as well as for research in the fields of ecology, food-processing and nutrition.

University of Castelo Branco

Then we left the research Institute to visit the Agronomic University. The university includes fruit and olive orchards treated by students only, not the school employees.

Center of Biotechnology

The university also includes the Center of Biotechnology. The Center of Biotechnology includes 3 main areas of phytochemistry. Work starts with soil research. Laboratory of Phytochemistry = analysis of seeds, composition of seeds. Analytical laboratory = chromatography. Analytical analysis of food, fruit = direct analysis. Preparation of wine, sugars.

More about Portugal Mobility


The project management amounts were also taken to implement activities and workshop as follows:

Workshop 1 - "Fruit Processing".
The workshop was held in Oldřišov near Opava on 10.11.2015. It was aimed to processing fruits as raw materials to produce apple ciders, brandies or baking fills. Local raw materials were used both from processed fruit - marmalade, compote; and those from fruit still being processed - apples, pears. The first part of the workshop was held at the local cider shop and then in the premises of the municipal office. Participants tried out how each product tastes and what is its specific taste when using old and regional varieties combined with old recipes. Participants were acquainted with recipes and procedures for preserving fruits and products made of them. They tried out some recipes. The workshop continued in the distillery shop in the neighbouring village called Hněvošice; this distillery shop deals with processing of fruits from private suppliers. The event was attended by education providers in the branches of biology and geography, those from local Opava schools, as well as the members of gardening associations from regional villages. The event was also attended by representatives of our Polish partner (5 persons) as well as representatives of our partner from MSŠZ and VOŠ (Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava) (8 persons). In total, the event was attended by 44 persons. Lecturers: Mr. Radim Lokoč, Mr. Jakub Kubačka, Mr. Ondřej Dovala, Ms. Jana Schossarková. The event took time of about 5 hours.

Workshop 2 - "Tree Treatment in Spring, Cutting and Nursing".
The event was held in the Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava and in its orchard area, on 15.3.2016. While compared to the time schedule of the project application, the event took place a month later due to more appropriate weather. Lecturers: Mr. Radim Lokoč, Mr. Jakub Kubačka, Mr. Ondřej Dovala, Mr. Kamil Ondrušák and Mr. Petr Kořený. The practical workshop was aimed to treatment of trees, mainly spring maintenance - cutting. Participants were acquainted with the theory of cutting of different varieties of fruits - apple, pear, stone fruits, currants, etc. Furthermore, they were acquainted with the principles of cuts of old trees, educational cuts, maintenance cuts, etc. The lecturers demonstrated it on model trees and the participants could also try it out. There is lack of "experimental" trees in the campus. The special chapter of the workshop belonged to introduction of conventional treatment products and methods of tree treatment against pests in contrast to bio and alternative processes and products. The event was attended by the students from local schools as well as the education providers from schools and non-profit organizations and gardening associations. The event was also attended by representatives of our Polish partner (5 persons) as well as representatives of our partner from MSŠZ and VOŠ (Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava) (8 persons). In total there were 50 persons. The event took time of 3 hours.

Workshop 3 - "Marketing and Presentation of Local Fruit Products - Local Cuisine".
The event was held on 8.7. 2016 in the village called Bolatice, near Opava, where many different fruit recipes of local cuisine were presented in the local regional open-air museum, currants, plums, sour cherries and sweet cherries. The participants could try out baking cakes, pies or patsies or they also could conserve the fruits. They could also create side dish to meats. The event was attended by the education providers from schools and non-profit organizations and gardening associations (lecturers and students), as well as the people of general public. The event was also attended by representatives of our Polish partner (5 persons) as well as representatives of our partner from MSŠZ and VOŠ (Masaryk´s Secondary School of Agriculture and Higher Professional School in Opava) (4 persons). In total there were 38 persons. The event took time of 6 hours. Lecturers: Mr. Jakub Kubačka, Mr. Radim Lokoč, Ms. Jana Schossárková and Ms. Jitka Hartmannová from Natura Opava and also Mr. Jiří Soška from the company called Vitaminator. The second part of the workshop was also held in the village called Sosnová, Opava Region, where the participants were taken by bus. There we visited the company called Vitaminator which deals with production of BIO-ciders and snacks. Mr. Jiří Sošek, the owner, showed us round his orchards and presented the production process to us. He also introduced philosophy of the company, its history and plans for the future.

Workshop 4 - "Old and Regional Fruit Varieties".
This event was held on two genofond orchards near Opava, on 20 September 2017: Oldřišov and Závada. It was moved from January 2017 to September 2017 due to more appropriate weather and seasonality. The workshop also included tasting of many different types of old and regional fruit varieties. The workshop was also aimed to showing the methods of using the new educational material. Therefore, it was held after finalization. The workshop was attended by education providers from schools and non-profit organizations and also from gardening associations (lecturers and students), including the representatives of our Polish partner; the new educational handbook was presented. The event was attended by 42 persons - participants. The lecturers were from Natura Opava: Mr. Jakub Kubačka, Mr. Milan Kubačka, Mr. Radim Lokoč, Mr. Ondřej Dovala and Mr. Adrian Czernik.

More about Events

Outputs of the project

1. result of the project is new learning material. Here you can check the draft (curriculum) of our work.

PDF handbook

2. result of the project is brochure about the fruitfarming in the each participan countries.

3. result of the project is article about traditional pears varieties in Opava region. We participated wit this research the conference during mobility in Romania.

PDF article

4. result of the project is roll up, which we use as a adverts of our project.

PDF roll-up

"The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein."

Project "Role of Traditional Fruit Farming in Regional Development" takes place in the period 1.9. 2015 - 31.8.2017 and it is supported by ERASMUS + Program (Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training - KA2). Registration number of the project is: 2015-1-CZ01-KA202-013923. Project buget is 83.100,- EUR.