Remembering Romania…

Bringing milk to collectionA short 13 months ago, I was in Romania — a fact that was brought powerfully back to me when I opened my July National Geographic and saw a story titled “Hay. Beautiful.” about the incredibly bio-diverse, grass-growing meadows of Transylvania.meadows

Ahhhh, I spent a lot of lovely, fragrant time in those meadows…meadow

…because that’s exactly where Heifer International works: alongside the poor, hard-working, rural Romanians…shepherd3

..who generally own less than 6 acres, live on about $5,000 a year, and raise cows and water buffalo that each eat four or more tons of hay every winter. (And yeah, that’s a lot of hay.)farmer hay

Romanian cows and buffalo (and sheep & goats) raised on that transcendent Transylvania hay produce some of the most delicious, rich, soft, creamy milk, yogurt and cheeses imaginable…Cottage cheese

…but since communism fell in 1989, Romanian farmers have lacked the volume, organization and distribution to sell their dairy products on any viable scale. Dorica & goat

Yet as other economies of Europe stagger to regain their footing, more Romanians are returning home from jobs abroad to work their own hay fields, raise cows, and produce milk. Milk me

Heifer is there to help make that endeavor economically profitable with EU-approved milk collection centers, new storage and cooling equipment, and distribution channels that will hopefully save the meadows…meadow

hay stack

what a meadowsave the cows…Calf 3860

…and save the farms.hay stacksAnd personally, I think that’s a mission well worth supporting.In her garden..

Romania is romantic, lush, gloriously fertile… landscape

…and filled with people whose traditions and agricultural knowledge stretch back to medieval times. wise woman

Sarica-big sheep coat for shepherds

Lucretia It’s a country totally worth seeing – and worth saving for the next generation!Bunaziwa girl from Belin

Categories: Agriculture, Heifer International, Photography, Romania, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Remembering Romania…

  1. Judy

    Betty – I love remembering your Heifer year through your fab photos. Thank you for bringing them back for us. Judy

  2. Very interesting images. I love the horse drawn cart and the old woman in black.

    • Thanks, Kongo — I loved that horse-drawn cart, too –the two men were bringing milk into the collection center in the evening.
      You can see the silver cans in the back!

  3. Raul Man

    “Soviet departure”-I think you want to write communist not soviet, Romania was pretty much independent to URSS in 1989 and decades before!

  4. Meredith

    Just too beautiful for words!! I know our ‘advancements’ have helped many folks, but it would be such a shame to lose all the ‘old’ ways and their beauty. Thank you for sharing.

    • It’s really true, Meredith – and that NG story really brought back to me what’s at stake in the farming cultures of places like Transylvania. 50 different kinds of grasses and flowers too numerous to count?? Wowsa.

  5. Pingback: Perché gli stranieri amano la Romania – Le confessioni di coloro che hanno deciso spontaneamente e volentieri di diventare romeni | Traduzioni e culture

  6. Deb Morrow Palmer

    Thanks again Betty. I do love getting the pictures and reminder of the great endeavors heifer international is doing!

  7. hartantobimo

    Reblogged this on My

  8. Beautiful! Just one mistake though: “but since the Soviet departure in 1989…”. Actually, the Soviet occupation of Romania lasted from 1944 to August 1958. You probably meant “since communism fell in 1989” or something like that.

  9. Really glad you like the Return to Romania!! That country is so beautiful – and so is the work Heifer is doing there!!

  10. Actually, the Soviet occupation of Romania lasted from 1944 to August 1958. I really wished you’d change “since the Soviet departure in 1989…” to “since communism fell in 1989” or something like that.

    • Oh, will definitely make that change!! Thanks for the clarification, Rocky’s Dad — I was writing this on the road, and didn’t take the time to be as specific as I should have. I appreciate your close reading!!

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