On June 19th the volunteers of the Transylvanian Herb Garden from Cluj and Odorhei regions travelled to Iernuțeni (Reghin), where they visited the farm of Csaba Szakács, forestry engineer. Csaba Szakács started his company, the Prodplant Impex Ltd., 25 years ago and today he is growing medicinal plants and herbs on 200 hectares. Since the year 2000 he has been growing bio plants and since 2004 he has been introducing the biodynamic production gradually on his lands. Today he has 134 hectares, that have the biodynamic certification and he is the number one plant grower for the Austrian Sonnetor company.
The Transylvanian Herb Garden team did not go there with empty hands, the volunteers brought a nice bouquet of self-picked oregano, collected on the fields of Zetea and gave some delicious Szeklerfruit products to the medicinal plants grower farmer.
The program started with the presentation of the machine park: the manual labour is diminishing in our days so we are in need of machines. After this, the forestry engineer showed them how he is making the preparations ready, as the basic condition for biodynamic certification is the use of preparations. With the checking out of the high-capacity dryers, he emphasized, that quality is a very important aspect of biodynamic products, so it is important that the plants do not lose their flavour, fragrance and colour during the drying. We could see this happening right there, on the drying shelves, where nicely scenting Damascus rose petals and colourful cornflowers were laying.
There is a more than ten years old rose plantation close to the farm buildings, where the harvesting was already done. Csaba Szakács explained, that the following task is the cutting of the shoots, in the early spring in order to make it easier to work between the lines and that the stems can be easily approached when collecting the petals.
At the end of the city several hectares of cornflower splendored in different colours and were collected manually by the pickers.
At noon the group had lunch in the restaurant of the Gliga Farm, where Mureșan Cristian, an economist held a presentation about a multi-standing farm, where they are growing fruit and grains on hundreds of hectares, but they have a large number of livestock as well. The fruit garden was presented by a young horticulture, who talked with much love and faith about his work, and who is trying to work with nature-friendly methods, despite the fact that there is no organic production on the farm. In the afternoon they visited the Sonnetor store and showroom, where Thomas Weinraub, the director, held a presentation about the founding and development of the company. The sales agent responsible for Romania has emphasized that good quality products and an attracting and impressive packaging are equally important marketing aspects.