Erasmus+ international exchange funded by the EU – The Fikir Hasadi social project was aimed at the increase in the efficiency of food production in a specific region of Turkey – near the city of Mersin. The main topic of the project was the sustainable development of local agricultural and food enterprises. An additional goal was the cultural exchange of young people from 5 countries: Greece, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey.
During the week we visited 4 production plants:
- a huge strawberry plantation (the most delicious we have ever eaten) and other fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, etc.;
- distillery of local wine;
- Cukurova fide a.s. which deals with the cultivation of seedlings of various vegetables and fruits, among others 15 species of peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, melons etc.;
- greenhouses, where hundreds of species of flowers are grown.
We learned a lot about the functioning of given enterprises, the size of their production, export, working methods, etc. We also took part in the daily duties of local workers: we planted several dozen new plants, we also harvested strawberries (probably more of them landed in our mouths than in baskets). Sensory analysis of the local wine was probably the most pleasant of them 😊
In addition, we have carried out several projects related to food and agriculture production. To the most interesting ideas belong: the use of drones with sensors which control the level of humidity or contamination, biodegradable straws or the use of organic nettle and garlic fertilizer. We also considered the marketing possibilities for Turkish tea, met with a representative of the local authorities dealing with agriculture and food production, and also carried out a number of other activities which helped us to integrate with each other and find out more about Turkey.
One of the best part of the project were cultural evenings, because we could expand our knowledge about the other countries. Photos, music, national dances, food, and of course… alcohol – Serefe! (tur. cheers!). During the Polish cultural evening our friends from different countries could get to know more about Poland, try Polish food and dance Polonez 😊
We visited the hell and heaven – a huge cave located in the Taurus Mountains. We also went on a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea, from which we could admire the symbol of the region – the castle fortress Kizkalesi (the castle of the Virgin) built on the water. We visited a bazaar in the town of Tarsus, from which Saint Paul was. In Adana, we visited the largest mosque in Turkey and in the Middle East – the Great Mosque Sabanci Merkez.
Moreover, Adana is the cradle of kebap which was the most often eaten meal by us. We also tried a specialty of Mersin – tantuuni or pies with meat and vegetables and a Turkish pizza Lahmacun. We drank the whole liters of ayran, turkish coffee and chai. Then .. came the time for really sweet baklava, halva and other Turkish sweets 😊
The Fikir Hasadi project was full of attractions. We had the opportunity to admire real Turkish weddings, smoke hookah and learn about the real Turkish hospitality. It was an amazing trip, on which we learned a lot! We got to know the principles of operation of local agricultural and food enterprises, we also gave our own ideas for improving them, we got to know the culture of not only the country in which we were hosted, but also the other countries which were taking part in the project. And above all, we had a great time and made friendships for life!