Build a local seed asset, Tenerife

What does Tenerife taste like? Fans of the island's food culture come up with a lot of different associations when asked that question. In order to preserve the special taste of Tenerife's food products commited ecotrophologists take care of the island's agricultural specialities. In a first projekt project phase 24 endangered local varities of grain and vegetables will be preserved with the support of TUI Austria.

Tenerife is the biggest of the Canarian Islands. With an area of about 2000 km2 and a varied geography, it inhabits many diversly used areas for agriculture which offer a great potential for diverse crops. The Orotava Valley is known as the most agriculturaly used area of the island which still has a unique cultural and biological diversity. Since the 1950s the valley is a popular destination with nature enthusiasts and active tourists.

But the original character of the landscape is endangered by the cultivation of monocultures: In the last 10 years many of the original crops are not only fallen into oblivion but have become endangered plants. Until recently, Tenerife's original agricultural products have been one of the island's trademarks. Many small farmers who refuse to cultivate monocultures and cultivate diverse cultures instead, are not supported by subsidies of the island's government.

Some years ago, the organisation La Trilladora has started to adopt some of these original local varities and to cultivate them. Recently, many regional small farmers attach value to ecological and sustainable farming practices. At the same time local varities are very popular with local consumers and also some spanish top chefs rediscovered them. For tourists they are also an traditonal souvernirs to bring back home.

The aim of the project ist the revalorisation of 24 diverse bean, grain and vegetable varities in order to build a local seed asset which offers the local farmers the possibility for the sustainable cultivation of original local varities. The building of local and social networks will be accompanied by seminars which teach expert knowledge about local seeds as well as the practical handling. Visitors can have a look behind the scenes of agro-ecological plant cultivation at the finca's garden. Agro-ecological excursions will make the garden a contact point for farmers and visitors.

Project goals:

Objective 1:

  • Cultivation and reproduction of the seed asset (summer varities)
  • Labelling and creation of intenary
  • Opening of the visitor's garden

Objective 2:

  • Marketing for the varities after inspection of the health authority
  • Sustainable development of original regional products of diverse beans, Gofio and seeds, in small packages, for den consumer or as a regionally labelled souvenir with eco-seal and recipe for tourists
  • Setting up of communication platform and social network
  • Summer seminar "Biological cultiation of crop diversity"

Objective 3:

  • Cultivation and reproduction of winter varities
  • Development of a booklet with seed samples, information and recipes for all varities

Project profile

Project location
La Orotava, Tenerife, Canarian Islands
Project start
19/10/2011
Project duration
2 years
Project coordinator
Sandra-José Kober
Project partner
La Trilladora
Futouris contact

Swantje Lehners

Managing Director Projects & Cooperations
+49 (0) 30 27890 182

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