VEGETABLE FARMING IN ROMANIA

in HortScience

I received an Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship (the fellowship's office is based in Philadelphia). The purpose of my fellowship was to work as a horticulture consultant on a 12-acre community development vegetable farm located in Curtea de Arges, Romania. The farm was designed to produce vegetables for market in the town or community of Curtea de Arges. Romania, a former part of the communist regime, is considered a poor country. Money was siphoned away from the people through corrupt government practices and mismanagement. The result of a political upheaval has the people now living in primitive conditions and they need help to feed themselves. Vegetable farming in Romania is still reliant on manual labor and manure fertilizer. Romania is at least 50 years behind other Western European countries or the United States in knowledge and farming technologies. Crops on the 12-acre farm were manually seeded, transplanted, watered, hoed, weeded, sprayed, and harvested. My concerns, along with those of the director of the community development project, were to advise and set up demonstrations on modern farm techniques to assist the farm manager in doing a better job. Some of the tasks that I was successful at were 1) setting up demonstrations of clear plastic and rowcovers on cabbage and potatoes to increase earliness of crops, 2) setting up drip irrigation systems in low tunnel greenhouses, and 3) determining the feasibility and profitability of crops grown at the farm.

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