Toamna Cartofilor / Potato Fest
The 'Toamna Cartofilor' Potato Festival (literally translated as 'Autumn of Potatoes') is an annual EcoVisio event launched in 2018, from the desire to promote the benefits of this vegetable for health, but also the small producers who grow it dearly in Moldova.
The location chosen for this small festival is Rîșcova village from Criuleni district (~ 25 km from the capital), known for its generations of farmers specialized in potato growing. Local people cultivate varieties such as Irga, Early Rose (American) or Țigăncușa every year, keeping the tradition transmitted by ancestors. Even local authorities share the pride of the villagers for this type of activity, as the potato became, during the time, the "visiting card" of Rîșcova.
The village also hosts EcoVisio Training Center, which is part of the EcoVillage Moldova complex. It is also the first village in Moldova that collects waste separately, practices eco-constructions, permaculture gardening, and a place where horses saved from the slaughterhouse have found refuge in a sanctuary of EcoVillage.
Every year, local residents are very actively involved in organizing of Potato Fest, as well as the Municipality of Rîșcova village and various initiatives from the village (EcoVillage Moldova, P.A. ”Avânt”, Rîșcovan Potato, etc.).
Toamna Cartofilor is an opportunity to reunite the urban population with nature, that brings also together the villagers from the surroundings. Through this holiday, we want to highlight the beauty of Rîșcova village and to popularize the potato, a local product with tradition - Daniela Luca, coordinator of the event
Toamna Cartofilor 2019, 2nd edition
Toamna Cartofilor 2019 took place on October 13th. Cartoful Rîșcovean / Moldovan Potato, a cooperative consisting of 5 local farmers, who dared to grow ecological potatoes, joined the organizers for the second edition of the festival. Cartoful Rîșcovean was born in 2019 with the support of EcoVisio and IM Swedish Development Partner.
The ~500 visitors got to choose from over 20 varieties of potatoes, local and imported, including potatoes ecologically grown in Rîșcova. There was also be other seasonal goodies, both from the garden, and cooked with love, although potato was still be the 'star' of the day.
In addition to delicacies, the festival organized a thematic program for the little ones, folk songs and dances, contests with prizes and other activities loved by the community. On the same day there have been two guided tours of EcoVillage Moldova.
The 2019 edition is organized by the local residents and the municipality of Rîșcova village,
in partnership with EcoVisio, EcoVillage Moldova and Rîșcovan Potato, with the support of IM Swedish Development Partner and Sweden
Toamna Cartofilor 2018, first edition
Toamna Cartofilor made its debut on October 28th, 2018, the same day as the EcoVisio Training Center grand opening in Rîșcova.The participants of the event (including officials), as well as many villagers came to taste delicious potato dishes and purchase seasonal vegetables directly from the producer.
In addition to vegetables and selected dishes, more than 300 visitors could enjoy the music of Rîșcovan choir, information about various ways to use potatoes, but also an exhibition with ingenious handicraft objects made from potatoes. And of course, the sunny day was a good opportunity for interaction between those present, united by the love for potatoes and healthy food.
Photos by Olga Ternavskaia, more in the official album
The 2018 edition was organized by the Rîșcova locals and Town Hall,
in partnership with EcoVillage Moldova and EcoVisio and with support from Sweden