Kurtovo Konare Fest
Kurtovo Konare is a village in the fertile Thracian valley in Bulgaria. It is well-known because the first variety of early tomatoes was grown there in 1894 and since the beginning of the 20th century every household in the village has grown the famous local pink tomatoes.
The name of the village is also carried by the best varieties of pepper (Kurtovska Kapiya), apple (Kurtovka) and peach (Red Kurtovka). Indeed, the village is historically the origin of much agricultural innovation, but after the changes in the 1990s the agricultural sector went into decline, people become demotivated and the young did not want to take up farming.
‘Listen to your traditions!’
In 2009, a few people from the village and the community centre “Lyuben Karavelov 1897” had the idea to revive the reputation of Kurtovo Konare and to work towards making the famous local varieties and traditional foods popular again. This is how the annual Festival of the Pepper, Tomato, Traditional foods and crafts (Kurtovo Konare Fest) came to life. For ten years now the local community has been working hard to make its products known and to organize the festival. Slowly it has become a symbol of preserving agricultural and culinary traditions and the revival of traditional vegetable production.
This is an integrated project which contributes to the achievement of economic, environmental and social goals by systematically working towards:
- Positive economic effect for the farmers;
- Revival of the region;
- Construction and improvement of the infrastructure;
- Preservation of the cultural heritage, local traditions, folklore and crafts;
- Meetings, consultations and trainings.
The project brings together various local institutions, organisations and structures in partnership. It empowers local people, increases quality of life, creates employment and boosts the self-confidence of the community.