Szentábrahámi Herb Garden

No-Mad Kitchen
17.03.2020
Über den Tellerrand
17.03.2020

Area of work: Organic agriculture
Website: https://www.szentabrahami.ro/

Challenge overview

The challenge that this social enterprise addresses at the national and local context is the underdevelopment and abandonment of local villages resulting in a lack of jobs and the healthy, local food growing and processing knowledge being endangered, as well as the cultural heritage.

The governmental, donor support, and citizens’ involvement received is through the support of family and the community.

Enterprise`s Establishment

The Szentábrahámi Herb Garden has received organic certification since its establishment in 2013. It was created in response to the need for development within local villages and the preservation of cultural heritage.

Principles of work

The principles of work of the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden prioritize the sustainable practices and preservation of cultural heritage through all work. This is exemplified by using high quality products. The Szentábrahámi Herb Garden believes that the powers of life come from a bio garden, from the work of a real Szekely family, respect and gratitude for life and nature. Furthermore, it is emphasized that their work, philosophy for life, and love is “radiated in every tea and spice package”.

Scope of work/ Objectives

This social enterprise is focused on medicinal plant growing. This includes the ecological production and processing of medicinal plants, packing, and distribution of herbal teas and spices. The objective of this work is to address the national/local context challenge of an endangered cultural heritage and underdevelopment of local villages.

The bio garden is enriched with its own compost and backyard manure. The production is harvested by hand, dried, clean and packaged by hand.

Activities

The Szentábrahámi Herb Garden grows, produces, packages, and distributes medicinal plants, herbal teas, and spices. These products ensure local employment and preserve the cultural heritage of these plants and medicinal uses.

Examples of the quality of the medicinal plants preserving cultural heritage are how the leaves and flowers of herbs are packaged in whole without their stem. This ensures maximum active ingredient content. In addition, forgotten traditional spices are sued to bring their use back and encourage cultural heritage.

Target groups

The target groups for the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden include the local villagers and families, students, and the local and EU volunteers. These are all groups who are employed by the organization or involved in its activities.

Challenges

The prospective contribution of this social enterprise include the continual support and interest in the preservation of cultural heritage in the form of these medicinal plants, volunteers, and the financial support when need for the upkeep and future development of the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden.

The challenges for this project include finding the balance between time spent with family and time spent working on the business. In addition, it is a challenge to manage the business to ensure a profit that will be reinvested for further development of the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden.

Impact

The impact that this social enterprise has is firstly environmental, because the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden uses sustainable practices through organic agriculture and processing of local food and medicinal plants. The processing is zero waste and does not use any products that will poison or pollute the land, air, or water.

The social impact of the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden is through offering jobs and assuring income to local villagers, giving an example to locals on ways of using local resources and preserving their cultural heritage, and attracting tourism to their village through branding.

Lessons learnt

Social enterprises offer solutions to local problems, which continues the motivation to continue the work. It is essential to be creative, have the ability to think critically, make decisions, communicate effectively, have knowledge of foreign languages, be open minded, have a willingness to contribute to community development, and have organizational knowledge.

Conditions for potential replicability

On national level

The Szentábrahámi Herb Garden has a national level of distribution and commercialization of their herbs and spices. There are local, regional, and national level retail shops. On the national level, similar projects can be expanded and replicated through collaboration and sharing of best practices. This allows for the lessons learned to be applied elsewhere, having multiple communities benefit from social enterprises like the Szentábrahámi Herb Garden. With communication and collaboration on the national level, more work can be accomplished since more social entrepreneurs can produce and share their creative practices and help one another to be more effective.

On international level

The Szentábrahámi Herb Garden has an international level of distribution and commercialization of their herbs and spices. This includes the EU, UK, USA, and Canada with retail shops. On an international level, such initiatives can be replicated for sharing of best practices and inspiring principles of work from other countries and cultures. This promotes diversity and international collaboration and cooperation.