ECOLOGICA AND ORGANIC FARM SEVER HELD AN OPEN FARM DAY!
After two successful meetings with consumers in April, on June the 15th 2008, organic farm Sever and Ecologica have organised an open farm day. Although the Sever farm in the last couple of years hosted many professional groups, this was the first time it opened its gate to those that are most important to the farm- its faithful consumers.
The visitors had opportunity to see where and how plants and animals are raised at the Sever organic farm. They also got acquainted with the Severs: a seven member family taking care for its plants, animals and producing healthy and environmentally friendly food for the consumers. The visitors had opportunity to ask the Severs about the way they grow cereals and vegetables, as well as about animal husbandry. Many visitors were interested to learn more about what kind of measures owe to be implemented in farming in order to grow crops and raise livestock without “suspicious chemicals“, resulting in delicious and environmentally friendly food. It is needless to say that such a food was served during this event to all visitors. Besides, being excellent farmers, the Severs have also proved to be excellent cooks and their catering service was up to the level of the most professional catering organisations. The members of the Sever organic farm and Ecologica would like to take this opportunity to thank to all those who attended the open farm day in Lepšić, near Ivanić Grad.
ECOLOGICA AND ORGANIC FARM SEVER ORGANISED TWO WORKSHOPS IN APRIL
How is it possible that crops can be grown without synthetic chemicals? How is it possible that your crops do well without artificial fertilisers? Why do you have flowering strips on your farm? Why organic food is healthier and better for the environment? These were just some of the questions that participants asked during the workshops organised by Ecologica and the organic producers, the Sever family on April 1 and 8, 2008. The interest for attending these seminars was considerable and all the available places were quickly filled in through the registration forms. We are very glad that we had such two good opportunities to widen your knowledge on organic farming and we do hope that you liked our presentations and slides shown. At the end of each seminar, we had opportunity to treat you with delicious and environmentally-friendly food produced at the organic farm Sever. We do hope that we were able to answer all your questions- and these were numerous, indeed. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for having taken part in these seminars.The project Green eco-box was initiated by Ecologica even in 2005 in Zagreb in cooperation with SEVER organic farm that is situated some 35 km from Zagreb. The project was funded by the Regional Environmental Centre from Hungary (REC).
Green eco boxes will soon start in Subotica
The Green eco-box scheme is a system of delivery of organically grown food directly to the home addresses of consumers. The home delivery of organic food through the model of green eco boxes was greatly improved during the project period. Also, the project significantly influenced spreading of information on benefits of organic food and farming amongst consumers in Zagreb.
Thanks to newly approved grant from REC, from the autumn 2007, the project is upgraded and extended out of Croatia. In this way, in cooperation with TERRA'S, organic food association from Serbia, Ecologica is able to continue the existing initiative in Zagreb and to transfer its experiences and knowledge to colleagues in Subotica. With this purpose, two study visits were organized during December 2007.
Firstly, at the beginning of December, a group of five organic farmers together with the TERRA'S project coordinator, a journalist and a representative of the local government from Subotica visited Zagreb in order to get acquainted with the model of green eco boxes in Croatia.
The project coordinator of Ecologica introduced the Subotica team to the main project goals and activities. Ivka and Mario Sever from the SEVER organic farm, explained and demonstrated in a very practical way the whole system of home delivery scheme: receiving orders from consumers, organizing distribution in accordance with town quarts, packaging of food, putting food in boxes, type of boxes etc. Also, they showed to all participants their facilities for processing of grains (electric mills, bakery etc). Additionally, colleagues from Subotica visited the organic shop and main open market in Zagreb in order to get acquainted with marketing of organic products in Croatia.
Mrs and Mr Sever explaining and showing to colleagues from Subotica green eco-box system
Green-boxes scheme requires good organization and sound administration, including software developed specifically for this purpose
Just a week later (on 10th December), Croatian partners visited Subotica and held a training on organizing home delivery of organic products to Serbian organic farmers, Terra's team and interested consumers. An expert of Ecologica clarified beginning, purpose and activities of the project with special emphasis on environmental, health and socio-economic benefits of the project. Mario and Ivka Sever informed the present participants about organic production on their farm and shared their practical experiences gained during organizing home delivery of organic food in Zagreb. More then 20 participants attended this training - mostly organic farmers, but consumers as well. National and local media paid great attention to the seminar and made interviews with organic farming experts and organic farmers, both from Zagreb and Subotica.
These two study visits should help partners in Subotica in applying transferred knowledge and in establishing their own green eco-box subscription system. The citizens of Subotica will be provided with healthier and fresher food produced and delivered in environmentally friendly manner.
In Zagreb, green eco-box subscription system will be further improved and strengthened. ECOLOGICA and TERRA’S coordinate the project, while organic farmers should supply the food for “green boxes”.
GREEN ECO BOXES MAKE PROGRESS IN 2008!
Second phase of the project just started! The following activities will be implemented:
Home delivery of “green eco-boxes”
After having been introduced into the “eco-boxes” scheme, the partners in Subotica will start with establishing own delivery of “green eco-boxes”. The Terras team will run a questionnaire among interested consumers on “green eco-boxes”. The outcome will be passed to the group of farmers in the vicinity of Subotica that has already expressed its interest in supplying organic food through these boxes. The delivery system will be organised both directly to the homes and also through interested shops and Terras headquarter.
In total five workshops will be organised - two of them in Croatia and three of them in Serbia. Workshops will be organised for various target groups: consumers (with special emphasis on women and elderly population), students, organic farmers, local government representatives and journalists. A special attention will paid to involving local and regional authorities, as well as other stakeholders who can contribute towards the multiplication of the box schemes to other regions. The topics of the workshop will cover organic farming, sustainable food consumption, environmental aspects, organisation of home delivery of organic products, etc.
Brochures, newsletters and Web page preparation
Two brochures will be prepared, published and distributed-one in Croatia and one in Serbia.
In Croatia brochure will be in Croatian language and will cover the most important aspects of organic farming and food, including methods of production, inspection and certification system, health and environmental aspects of organic farming, etc.
In Serbia brochure will be in Hungarian language and will focus on aspects of organic food and healthy eating habits.
Brochures will be distributed free of charge to subscribers of “green eco-boxes” and also to all other interested, especially during workshops and open-farm days.
In Croatia, newsletter will be published bi-weekly and will be distributed together with the “green eco-boxes” directly to the subscribed consumers. The newsletter will contain information about food offered at that particular moment (seasonal consumption pattern), receipts and relevant news. In Serbia, four issues of newsletter will be published as the home delivery system is in early stage of development.
Both in Croatia and Serbia a Web page will be maintained offering relevant information on “green-boxes” and the project activities.
In order to give opportunity to consumers and general public to meet organic farmers and promote organic production, open farm days will be organized. Two open-farm days in each country will be organized on organic farms participating in delivery of “green eco-boxes”. It is expected that some 100-200 people will participate at each open-farm day. Degustation of organic products, visiting of fields and stables, games for children and similar attractive activities will be organised during this events.
Number of urban consumers will have opportunity to see organic production methods directly on farms during open-farm days that will be organised in Zagreb and Subotica hinterlands.
In order to promote organic farming as well as home delivery system of “green eco-boxes”, a series of short radio broadcastings will be organised in Serbia. These will be broadcasted in Serbian and Hungarian language.
The best organic food at your door!
In July 2007 ECOLOGICA started with a new project called "Greening Urban Food Consumption''. The project will be implemented in cooperation with TERRAS, organic food association from Serbia and is granted by the Regional Environmental Centre from Hungary with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The main goal of this 18 months project is to enhance healthier and sustainable food consumption in Croatian and Serbian urban areas. The project will organize home delivery of organic “green eco-boxes” directly to consumers in Zagreb and Subotica. Organic producers will deliver their fresh, locally produced organic food in "green boxes" once or twice a week at city dwellers' home addresses.
"Green eco-box" home delivery system avoids middleman and therefore makes organic food cheaper for consumers and more profitable for farmers. In this way urban consumers support local small organic farmers, local economy and help to keep the rural surroundings vibrant and alive.
"Green eco-box" subscription system in Zagreb was established two years ago and now it will be further improved and strengthened. Experts from ECOLOGICA and organic farmers from Croatian Organic Farming Association will transfer their knowledge and experiences with ''green eco-boxes'' scheme to their colleagues in Subotica.
Consumption patterns of city dwellers have a great impact on environment and nature far beyond cities. Over the last couple of years Croatia and other countries from the region have witnessed flourishing of hyper and supermarkets. More and more consumers buy food in this shops and traditional supply channels, notably open farmers markets and small family-run food shops are in rapid decline. The link between food producers and urban consumers is lost. Food became anonymous commodity causing serious environmental problems due to its production, transport, storage, consumption and waste disposal.
ECOLOGICA and TERRAS together with associations of organic farmers from Croatia and Serbia will undertake various activities in order to motivate and encourage consumers to participate in home delivery system of organically grown food. Two organisations will organize several workshops and open farm days, publish and distribute brochures and newsletters and promote widely the model of "green eco-boxes" delivery through the media.
If you want to order your "green eco-box" you can do it here .
For more information about the activities in Serbia click here.
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