Claus Kropp

A Potato Story

A Potato Story

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In our region, which is highly urbanized and industrialized, many basic connections with regard to food production have literally been lost. Many people no longer know where their food comes from and the majority of the food produced in the small town of Lorsch is not consumed there. It is produced for the “global market” and does not find any added value in the community itself. This goes along with the fact that the regional and local infrastructure has gradually collapsed. There is a lack of local processing facilities for food: often products have to be transported many kilometres before they can be processed at all.

Fieldwork Insight

Fieldwork Insight

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As part of a grant program on ecological farming and draft animal powered systems, we also cultivate agricultural fields outside Museum limits and in modern contexts. Last fall we planted a combination of four old heritage wheat varieties in order to build up a diverse and resilient wheat population. Today we used a weed harrow (tine weeder) on said wheat field for weed control and undersowed white clover. We did this with ox-power only.

Lauresham Field Day

Lauresham Field Day

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(On a recent) Sunday, a large field day was held for the second time in the surroundings of the Lauresham Open-Air Lab. The main purpose of the event was on one hand to strengthen the public awareness of animal traction systems, but on the other hand also to create a forum for professional exchange on various issues of harnessing, equipment, cultivation methods and animal welfare. In addition, there were information stands and sales booths with products that are characterized by the inclusion of animal traction in the production process.

Small-scale Peasant Farming in Transylvania

Small-scale Peasant Farming in Transylvania

South of the impressive Magura-Codlei mountain and in the southeastern part of the Transylvanian basin lies the Romanian commune of Holbav. Although only twenty kilometers from the county capital of Brasov, traditional small-scale farming lifestyles have survived in Holbav to this day, forming living testaments to a resilient and successful circular economy of the local people. Of outstanding importance are the individual farms situated on the surrounding hills of the actual village center which is located on the valley floor. Each of the hills is farmed by one of the families – and has been for several generations.

World Draft Cattle Symposium

World Draft Cattle Symposium

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When I first came into contact with the world of draft cattle over ten years ago, I would never have believed the importance that this topic would one day have for me. Not only did I gradually become an advocate for the positive impact of draft cattle in agriculture or silviculture, but I also became a draft cattle farmer and trainer myself. It is with great pleasure that I get to teach people about working with draft cattle each year, and I am pleased that the demand for this all-important traditional knowledge continues to grow. Draft cattle can be so much – working companions, community builders, and securers of livelihoods.