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 2020, 3nd edition
Potato Fest 2020 took place on Sunday, October 15. The 3rd edition was a special one, full of autumn sun and beautiful people! This year, the event took place on the territory of EcoVillage Moldova and brought together visitors of all ages from different regions of the country. In addition to the classic fair of potatoes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other goodies from local producers, the visitors could take part in various workshops and guided tours to EcoVillage, EcoVillage Farms and the first agro-food incubator, Katalyst Kitchens. Moreover, visitors had the opportunity to walk in the forest and interact with the four horses from Riscova Horse Sanctuary.
"We are glad that we managed to organize the third edition of the Potato Fest in this challenging year. Over 200 visitors discovered the 'eco' life of EcoVillage Moldova and Katalyst, were able to purchase naturally grown products from 17 producers and enjoyed the secular forest and its paths. Also, Riscova residents sold the products from their gardens along the central road, thus compensating for the absence of the markets during the pandemic”, said Daniela Luca, the coordinator of the Riscova Potato project.
Potato Fest 2020 was organized by the Rîșcova Potato team, with the financial support from IM Swedish Development Partner and SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
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.
Photos by Dan Ciubotaru, more in the official album
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