Eco-village-walnuts is an initiative that aims at creating resilient rural communities through walnut agriculture based on organic and fair-trade principles and cooperation.
We source walnuts from our village Rîșcova in Moldova (1.200 inhabitants) from small producers with up to 5 trees. The nuts are harvested and shelled by hand. The women get a better price than on the market in the capital and avoid the risks of transport to the city.
Moldovan rural areas are very vulnerable in terms of economic stagnation, migration and also social cohesion. Especially elderly people are under risk of flagrant poverty. In the same time Moldova is one of those rare 7% of the Earth territory, where walnuts grow excellently.
Eco-village-walnuts is an initiative that aims at creating resilient rural communities through walnut agriculture based on organic and fair-trade principles and cooperation. We unite small walnut producers from the village of Rîșcova in Moldova and help them sell their walnuts for a decent price right from home.
Eco-village-walnuts operated by EcoVisio NGO as a small social enterprise brings natural walnuts directly from the small farmer to those who appreciate taste, quality and social impact. .
The main focus of the initiative is to contribute to sustainable livelihoods of the locals. In a good season one mature walnut tree can provide a family with up to 1-2 monthly incomes of 200 EUR. We are working to create more local economic resilience by upgrading the walnut value chain through walnut processing and preparations of special walnut products, like nutmilk, nut butters and Georgian Churchkhella.
Another goal is to create a learning space for the village and beyond. Therefore in the village or Rîșcova we are in a process of "growing" a Training Center - hub for practical education in natural construction, energy efficiency, organic gardening & community building. You can read more about the EcoVisio training center here.
When the Eco-village walnut grows and becomes bigger its additional profit will be used for providing more educational opportunities at the EcoVisio training center. We hope that more people will also feel inspired to plant more walnut trees in our village. For now, we’re just at the initial stage of piloting, building, and fundraising. We would appreciate any support from your side: advice, volunteering, partnerships, networking, donations, etc. Especially now for the starting phase we are looking for partners in Germany that are ready to buy bigger amounts of nuts and help us distribute them.
For the start we have shelled walnut kernels in premium quality (light halves) in packages of 250g and 125g. Besides we have assortment of quarters and an smaller pieces (good for muesli) in 300g.
For the starting phase all our small producers are women from Riscova, Moldova. They have their trees in their gardens or along the street. Many of them have children in a foreign country or in the town, some take care of their grandchildren. All have their gardens with fruits and vegetables, some have animals like a cow, a few chickens or a pig but little further financial income.
Since especially energy for heating and electricity is comparatively expensive, cash becomes increasingly important for self-sustaining, especially in the winter period. Without this initiative some of our women would individually go to the central city market with their 10 kg of shelled walnuts where they get a lower price. Also the way is connected with expenditures, extra effort and risk of robbery loss or robbery.
Don't heistate to contact us if you have questions, are interested in our initiative, need walnuts, would like to get involved or just want to get in touch
We also provide the service to visit our village and our producers. We organize an annual study trip to Moldova with the focus on politics and agriculture. If you are interested, please contact us: Valeria Șvarț-Gröger & Julian Gröger