The seminary "For pros, by pros" of the Põlvamaa Eco-Festival


The fourth seminary "For pros, by pros" was an integral part of the Eco-Festival of Põlvamaa. It was a place where professionals shared their thoughts and knowledge with people interested in their field.

The seminary took place on 16 August 2011 in Piusa Visitor Centre, Orava Municipality, and in the Koidula border station.

The goal of the seminary was to provide an overview of the issues and environmental impacts that remain outside our reach, i.e. those which transcend countries and national borders.

What affects Lake Peipsi as an ecosystem? What rides in with the wind from our neighbours and how are we affected by the events in the rest of the world? The discussions held were focussed on cross-border cooperation and impacts. Together, solutions were searched and suggested for influencing the situation and thus improving the environment.

The place of the seminary was the Piusa Visitor Centre and the participants had an exclusive opportunity to visit the just-completed Koidula border station.


Põlvamaa Eco-Festival "Greener Life"

Family day of the 2010 festival. Photo: Reeli Kork

The Eco-Festival "Greener Life 2011" took place in Põlvamaa County on August 15-20, 2011.

This year's Eco-Festival was the sixth of its kind; it introduced conserving and environment-saving ways of activity and taught how to utilise those in daily life.

This year's festival was dedicated to the forest. The festival week included several study classes and field trips to learn about the role of forests as a natural habitat and about the use of various forestry products – a well-known nature photographer taught people to photograph nature, study classes were held for restoration and for making stick furniture, and a mycologist led people to a joint mushroom gathering. People were also taught how to can food and how to use various plants and herbs for cosmetic and health purposes.

The famous nature man Aleksei Turovski led people on trips to the nature of Põlvamaa. As there have already been two events this year – in the Piusa Valley and at Postitee, the Eco-Festival also makes its contribution towards the preservation of the natural environment. The breaking of old thought patterns towards a greener way of thinking took place in evening lectures around a bonfire.

The family day of the Eco-Festival invited everyone to the Põlva Folk Farm Museum in Karilatsi on 20th of August. A large fair of natural products was held, with main focus on domestic production. The programme also included a seminary on mini-scale agriculture, forest trips took place, people were able to try environment-friendly means of transportation, etc. Cultural entertainment was provided by the band "Jäääär", the youth folk dance group "Kagu Kabujalakõsõ" and the folk orchestra "Tuulelõõtsutajad".

The Eco-Festival was organised by the Põlvamaa Development Centre together with the Põlva County Government, Europe Direct and Põlvamaa Association of Local Governments, and aided by the Environment Department. The Festival was supported by the Environmental Investment Centre and sponsored by AS Värska Vesi.

More information:

Kaire Mets,

Põlvamaa Development Centre

Tel 506 6568

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Külaoru houses a big folk day of wooden figures

A big folk day of wooden figures, called "Puukuju 2011. Suur rahvapäev" took place on 2nd of July in Külaoru Village, Vastseliina Municipality.

In addition to meeting with wooden figures and their makers, the evening included a cultural programme.


Urvaste houses a goat cheese study class

On 12 July at 16:00, the Urvaste community building housed a study class for goat cheese. The participants were taught to make cheese from natural goat milk with herbs and fennel seeds, and people could also taste ready-made cheese. The study class was headed by Helina Kärgenberg.


Results of the manual hay scything competition at Plaani

The manual hay scything competition at Plaani, Võrumaa County on the Midsummer Day of 2011 had 17 participants who cut the hay off a large swath of a Haanjamaa hilltop. Every competitor was assigned a 25 x 7 metre piece of land by a draw, and had two hours to cut the hay there. The participants included thirteen men, and also three women and an 11-year-old youngster.

This year's competition was the 14th already; the competitors showed various scything styles, speeds and skills. The competition rules state that every participant must have his or her own scythe, sharpening stone and scythe repair tools. The rules also allow the competition to have an aid who marks soil heaps and tufts and can help the competitor with sharpening and repairing the scythe. The aid must not scythe the hay on the competition land and must not order the hay swaths already cut.

After the two-hour competition, the best scyther turned out to be Ero Lukk who achieved a barely better score than his father Ülo Lukk who got just three points less than Ero. Ülo Lukk has been the most experienced winner of the competition. Another member of the Lukk family, participating in the competition, was the daughter Eda Lukk who reached the second position among women and the sixth among all competitors.

As a surprise (at least for the men), an honourable third position was taken by Aili Sarik who also won the title of the best female scyther; one of the prizes that she received was a live cock. The youngest scyther was 11-year-old Martin Tuusis.

Years ago, the local sheep farmer Sulev Kraam had an idea of organising such a competition. The reason was the difficulty of using large machines for cutting hay between the hills of Haanjamaa, on slopes and along trenches. And the city-dwellers together with the younger generation have a good time watching how the country folk and ancestors have cut their hay in days of yonder.

The first competition took place in year 1998 and it was won by Mati Udu from the Haanja Municipality. The last year's competition was won by Ülo Tulik, nowadays a member of the Parliament.

In addition to the scything competition, a workshop was held for attaching a handle to a scythe and about scythe sharpening; people were also taught to make slapping bundles for sauna.

Simultaneously with determining the best hay scyther, the organiser MTÜ Plaani Kotus also marks the start of the haymaking season with the event.


The winner, Ero Lukk

Making a slapping bundle

IV place, Ats Mee