The "Hazel Village Field Trip" during the Second European Nyéléni Forum for Food Sovereignty (Cluj Napoca October 25 -30, 2016), will take place at Friday afternoon October 28, 2016.
Hazel Village, or Alunisu for the Romanian inhabitants and Magyarokereke for the Hungarian inhabitants, is a small (100 inhabitants) rural community at the foothils of the Apuseni mountains (or Western Carpathians), 60 km West of Cluj Napoca, the capital of Transylvania.
Provision is the host of this field trip, due to it's involvement in the Romanian and European Food Sovereignty movement and it's participation in the Nyéléni forum in Cluj.
The Field trip:
After a bus ride of a little over one hour, we will reach Hazel Village. Here we will divide into 3 groups. Each group will have a chance to explore the village and make the following stops:
1) Provision, The Transylvanian School of Self Sufficient Living. Lars (dutch) and Robyn (american), live since 2009 as peasants in Hazel Village and founded in 2012 Provision, a place where people from all backgrounds and directions come to learn the skills and qualities of a peasant life style in which simplicity, agroecology and food sovereignty form the main ingredients. You will visit Lars and Robyn's farm, which serves as the living example and home of their school and hear about their sustainable living project. Lars and Robyn are typical 'newcomers' (new peasants with no background in farming), who found their home in Transylvania. www.provisiontransylvania.com
2) Szilard, the minister of the Hungarian Calvinist church. Szilard helps the local peasants to keep their cows by buying their milk every morning (except on Sundays) and transforming it into delicious hard cheese, previously unknown in this region. He also keeps pigs, chicken and sheep and maintains a 4 hectare fruit orchard. You will hear of Szilard's story and get to taste some of his amazing cheeses, and, perhaps, some of his home made plum, apple or grape Palinka (local brandy)…Szilard is a strong example of how peasantry can be combined with another job: half farmer/half X. Szilard's "X" is minister, someone else's could be carpenter, nurse, teacher or doctor.
3) Marioara, a sincere, fun, proud and elderly peasant woman. Marioara lives on a small farm with her cow, 2 pigs, chickens and a few cats. She will invite you to visit her farm while entertaining you with her irresistable joking and laughter. Marioara does not have a fat bank account, but her rootcellar is well filled at the end of the growing season and her knowledge and stamina are vast and bountiful. She is one of the many elder peasants in Romania who keep working hard for their sustenance, while wondering how long she can continue this lifestyle to which she is so deeply connected.
4) Adi, a young shepherd with his flock of sheep. Adi is not from Hazel Village, but comes down from a village higher up in the mountains with his flock of sheep from April through November. Here he uses the common lands of the village to let his sheep graze. He also takes care of the sheep and goats belonging to the villagers of Hazel Village, which are added to his own. He milks twice a day and sells the milk and cheese he makes. He is a young, hard working and enthusiastic shepherd, finding dificulties in 'acces to land' and limited financial aid. (photo by Vera Duivenvoorden; http://veraduivenvoorden.nl/)
For this field trip there is space for 50 participants. Registration at the Forum. Costs are 10 euros, of which half is for transport to and from the village and the other half for all the villagers who will welcome you in their homes and lives. Provision is happy to donate their time freely to the hosting and organizing of this event, since Food Sovereignty is one of the main pillars of it's existance and we believe in sharing and moving forward together. We are happy to be able to reward local peasants financially as a result of their efforts for this visit. We are also glad to provide a possibility for cultural exchange; to allow those foreign to Transylvania to have a snapshot of the village life here and also that the people who live in Hazel Village will have a chance to feel some of the energy that is building as a result of the Forum.