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Green Village Rural Food Action Hylates Ltd, Cyprus, 4th – 10th July 2011 Introduction: Hylates Ltd, organised an action in Cyprus about Rural food between 4th and 10th July 2011. The action was organised under the Green Village program, and it was at Trachoni village and the surrounding countryside of the District of Limassol. It comprised a variety of activities related to Rural food preparation, encompassing all the aspects of rural food, from primary production of products such as dairy and vegetables, to cooking and eating! Participants from Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria attended the action. Participants worked together in a house at Trachoni village, and they were instructed and participated in the preparation of a variety of traditional Cypriot food recipes. The group was cooking everyday for their own meals, with the guidance of local people. They also visited farmers who had animals and they produce dairy products as well as vegetable growers. They were explained all the process of the production and they were gathering vegetables and aromatic plants themselves from the farm for subsequent use during the cooking. Every effort was undertaken to keep the traditional recipe for all the food prepared, and all the participants were actively engaged during the whole process in and outside the house, always together with local people and trainers. The participants from the other countries also showed and cooked some of their own countries' recipes. Apart from the cooking, the participants visited several places of cultural interest, including the basket makers of the area, who produce baskets for traditional cheese "halloumi" and other basketry items used in food preparation, and they were also trained on the preparation of traditional cooking items and pots. Participants with a local vegetable grower
Exchange of Skills and Knowledge (WP2): The participants of the action were involved in all the stages of rural food production, and were explained in detail on the whole process and given all the details for each recipe and product they were using. Apart from the coking itself, at the farms they were taught about the aspects of the primary production with details for example about the water that each vegetable type needs to grow adequately and its importance for the dry island of Cyprus. They also spend time instructed by specialists on the preparation of traditional pots
(1) – The group at the vegetable market of Limassol (2) – At a local vegetable grower... (3) – ....getting fresh vegetables
(4) – Preparation of the vegetables... (5) – ...f or cooking "koupepia"... . (6) ‐ ...and the final product, delicious "koupepia"
(7) – Romanian participant cooking (8) – Preparations in the house (9) – Preparation of fruits for sweet making
(10) – Lighting of the traditional oven...
(13) ‐ Visit to local basket makers
(11) ‐ ...preparing the meat....
(14) ‐ Training in the preparation of traditional pots
(12) ‐ and loading in the oven
Engaging Communities (WP1): Many local people were involved in the action, teaching and instruction the participants. Food preparation attracts high interest from local inhabitants, so many people were interested to help. Food is a "personal" thing, so every family has a slightly different approach in preparing and cooking the different traditional food recipes, and it was interesting to note the disagreements between them as to what ingredients and in what quantities they were suppose to use, always in a friendly argument. Local farmers were also engaged.
Learning By Doing (WP3): The partners in Green Village program that send participants to this action were Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Apart from Green Village participants, a group of UK students from the DESIRE (Developing Environmental Skills in Rural Europe) program participated fully in this action as part of their training. A skilled local woman was employed who has deep knowledge and experience in the preparation of traditional food from primary production all the way to food cooking.
Eco‐Check (WP6): Almost all the material used either meat or plant products were locally produced by local farmers. All shopping was from traditional markets and small shops, avoiding the big supermarkets. Travelling was the minimum possible as the action was around a group of villages the one close to the other. The participants were also explained the importance of using traditional pots and items in comparison with the plastic ones.
Monitoring and Evaluation (WP5): The action was a great success, and the participants had the chance to practically work and see the outcome of their efforts. Every effort was undertaken to have a full programme, which although short was very productive. Questioners were given to the participants to evaluate the action. The oral feedback was very positive also.
Eating, and dancing traditional dances, at a local tavern up in Limassol mountains