Cretan vegetables; from Collecting to Cooking
The operation is done in the countryside - more specifically, in chosen fields that lie between olive-trees and vineyards- and in the open-air Museum grounds and gardens.
In the 1st stage, the older people together with the young parents spot the edible vegetables, taste raw some of them, exchange knowledge on various green, discuss cooking recipes, share jokes and build a friendly group atmosphere.
In the same time, children share roles. The ‘explorers’ explore the ground, the ‘botanists’ record the vegetables found, the ‘journalists’ take down the stories narrated by the grown-ups and make photos.
In the 2nd stage in the Museum, the group wash the collected vegetables of the soil, cut them in small pieces, soak in lemon and olive-oil and then boil or fry them. Before this procedure, the group plays a game of identifying green and vegetables in the Museum’s collection and gardens. The children are involved in hand-milling to grind flour that will be used afterwards in cooking the miller’s-pie. A Cretan lady from the Museum’s staff fries the dough while the participants taste various dishes made in the open fireplace like vegetables, omelet with wild green and snails with rice. The gathering ends with dancing and music, as it normally happens in Crete.
1. Education and training in all levels: collecting and cooking
2. To build a team activity and to step back in time and comprehend the self-consuming societies of the past in contradiction to the modern urbanized food model that disconnects food from its own ingredients.
3. To offer a qualitative service and alternative to tourists
Local people benefit from the opportunity to immerse in their past life and experiences and present their traditional way of life to the younger ones. School students benefit from the new opportunity to know, learn & experience an interaction with nature that will change their nutritional habits and improve their health. The activity is tailored for young people and adults. The advantage for restaurant owners in Hersonissos comes from the higher number of clients during low season that ensures economic sustainability.
WHY is the best practice considered as good
Older people feel important as they are asked to bring forward their vegetables’ collecting experiences.
Young parents introduce the vegetables in their customary diet habits to benefit themselves and their children.
Children learn to interact with nature
WHAT are the measurable results
Number of participants
New opportunities created on the local level
Strengthening of the food/catering sector Strengthening the local market for the Cretan vegetables
The regular cost of this activity is 25 € per person ( minimum participation 35 pax ). There are also other operations in the museum, that support its sustainability.
Possibility of tansferring the best practice
The activity of collecting & eating vegetables can be easily transferred to other territories, provided that the local ecosystem and habits are taken into account.