Leipzig and the herbs

In Leipzig these days we engage ourselves with different herbs. In order to raise the awareness about the beneficing and variety of European herbs, the team of wisamar recently is involved in different workshops pointing out the use of herbs in the past and in our days on the medical and cosmetic area as well as their heritage within folklore.

Two herbal workshops were already carried out in Leipzig. A third workshop is in preperation and will be followed by an "European plant and herb festival" next year.

22 April 2014 the first workshop took place in Leipzig. The first of the three public workshops in 2014 dealt with planting herbs in the garden or even at a balcony. In the backyard of the senior citizen center “Inge and Walter”, the herbalist Undine from Klosterbuch and the wisamar team therefore planted different herbs in a raised bed. Among the herbs were: parsley, chives, chervil, garden sorrel, savory, marjoram, balm, pimpinella, nasturtium and also Mediterranean herbs like sage, basil, thyme, citrus thyme and rosemary.
After welcome and an introduction into the project by the wisamar team, the workshop started and Undine explained the different herbs with their characteristics and possibilities for usage. Also the cultural background played a role and a poem from Joachim Ringelnatz about sorrel as well as a fairytale about basil, the “king´s herb” told by the storyteller Peggy was of greatest interest for the visitors. After the workshop the guests were invited to taste some of the home-made herb specialties, herb bread, strawberry cake with woodruff and balm, herb butter as well as bear´s garlic and parsley pesto.  By this they could experience in which ways herbs can be used in creative cuisine. Recipes from different countries were presented and given to the visitors as examples for imitation.

The second workshop took place 17 May 2014 at the community garden Querbeet in Leipzig. The oecotrophologist Kirsten informed about wild herbs that can be used in cooking. During a walk in the garden and its surroundings she showed different wild herbs and gave recommendations what to consider when harvesting ground-ivy, nettles, ground-elder, dandelion, plantain, yarrow and other wild herbs. After explaining the characteristics, the participants could choose herbs for a tea and besides taste some creams and relishes with wild herbs that Kirsten prepared for the group. Again, also recipes from all over Europe were distributed and the visitors got some insights into the use of one or the other herb in other countries.


Hens to save our wastes

Several cities in France, including Montluçon, are having an original experience. The idea comes from the SICTOM of Domérat (organization in the region of Montluçon for sorting the wastes), which wants the habitants to produce less their wastes.

It is the new trend, having a hen as pet. Also very profitable. A laying hen, which costs between 2€ and 10€ will give about 200 eggs per year. Besides it will eat your waste, up to 140 to 145kg per year!

The experience has been made since 2013 in 10 homes of Montluçon. Before bringing their hen to home, the new owner signed a sincerity charter, engaging himself for example not to eat the hen.

If this project is successful it can be extended to the 100000 inhabitant of Montluçon agglomeration.


Meeting in Montluçon, Auvergne, France

From 12th to 16th May 2014 Montluçon was the meeting place of the Turkish (Fatih Halk Egitim Merkezi), German, Spanish and French partners of « The Food Concept for Healthy Life on the Kitchen of Europe », project from the European program Grundtvig for adult education. The project aims to promote healthy food among the participants, based on traditional recipes of the partner countries.

The first day, Tuesday 13th May, we started with a game to get to know each other. Then we organized a cooking workshop based on French traditional recipes. The participants were randomly divided in international groups. First of all the groups had to be aware of about 30 French recipes and define together, which one they thought to be healthy or not healthy. Then each group had a recipe that they had to cook and which was part of the lunch menu: Saint Germain soup, Nicoise salad, chicken with a juice sauce and carrots custard tart and tart Tatin. The workshop ended with a presentation of the French cuisine, the food habits of French people and the concept of healthy food in France.
For the end of afternoon we visited Montluçon.

The second day, Wednesday 14th May, was dedicated to cheeses. The day started with an “energizer” game “Human Bingo.” It consists in getting to know each other by asking simple question to the other participants with the support of a grid. The aim is to find people corresponding to the affirmations of this grid and to complete lines.
For the cheese workshop the participants were in eight international groups, each one corresponding to a cheese family. On each working place there was a basket with a cheese, vegetables or fruits, kitchen utensils and presentation material. The group had to think about a recipe with what they had, to be served as finger-food.  For the lunch the participants enjoyed this buffet with another look at cheeses.
The workshop ended with a presentation of the different cheeses families, its production and its nutritional intake. 

The last day, Thursday 15th May, the program was outside Montluçon. We visited the Saint-Pierre market in Clermont-Ferrand, famous for its regional products. The participants could buy some souvenirs or could prepare a picnic. In the afternoon, after having lunch at the foot of Puy de Dôme the group went to the top. This excursion helps to understand the influence of the relief and the climate on the gastronomy of the region. The bravest came down by walking from the ancient volcano.

To close the week the partners and participants met at the holiday cottage in Lavault Sainte-Anne for a certificate ceremony and a final Auvergne dinner.


Project Meeting Leipzig

3rd Project Meeting – Leipzig

From 26th to 28th November 2013 the third project meeting took place in Leipzig, Germany. 28 guests from the partner countries met to learn more about the German food traditions.  

On the first day of the meeting, the program began with a cooking presentation of the “good witch” Grit from Kräuterhof Falkenhain who showed the learners how to prepare food from regional and seasonal herbs. This program point was followed by the visit of the food exhibition “Is(s) was?! Essen und Trinken in Deutschland” and a guided tour in the Leipzig City Center. 

The second day was characterized by cooking, cooking and more cooking. An intercultural cooking game intended to foster intercultural exchange. The learners prepared dishes from the partner countries and thus could get in close contact and learn from each other. In the afternoon the participants could experience firsthand how a typical German dinner is prepared during a workshop at VHS school. The same evening presentations about the project were held by all partners.

On the third and last meeting day, the learners could visit the Susanna-Eger-cooking school and get an insight in German cooking education. After the official farewell the participants could enjoy the Leipzig Christmas market. Unfortunately there´s only one meeting left but all partners look very much forward to meeting again in Montluçon, France for the final project event in May 2014. 

It was a very interesting and productive meeting in Leipzig. 
The team of wisamar would like to say Thank you!