Fruit growing

A program that we realize in Centre Veronica Hostětín in the White Carpathians for many years.

Hostětín has been one of the centres of the Traditions of the White Carpathians association of NGOs since 1995. The association has been focussing on the preservation and exploitation of old regional fruit species and promotion of traditional fruit growing. In autumn 1998, an old wooden fruit drying kiln was restored in the garden of the farmstead purchased by the Veronica Foundation (the last drying kiln that remains of the 10 kilns that once existed in the village). Residents of the village dry about 4.5 tons of fruit in the kiln per season. A juicing plant producing unfiltered juices from the regional fruit species has been operating in Hostětín since autumn 2000. It has a production capacity of about 300 tons of apples a year. The investment was made possible thanks to financial and technical support of our Luxembourg partners - Hëllef fir d Natur Foundation and the Luxembourg Ministry of Environment. The juicing plant is owned by the Veronica Foundation and run by the Traditions of the White Carpathians, Ltd.

Most of the juice production supplied to shops and supermarkets across the Czech Republic is of organic quality („BIO - product of ecological farming") and the range is enriched with other interesting blends (beetroot, mint, green tea) and syrups (elderberry, mint, cannabis, rooibos). Veronica Foundation enhanced the capacity of the juicing plant by investing into a new pressing plant, juice pasteurization technology and storage in 2007.

Dried fruit

In the past the most common way of fruit processing was drying. First mentions of fruit drying kilns in eastern Moravia date back to the 17th century; the greatest bloom occurred in the second half of the 19th century. Unfortunately, out of thousands of fruit drying kilns existing in the past just a few that persisted up to this day are still functional. One of these is a fruit drying kiln in the village of Hostětín, which has probably been standing in the garden behind the juicing plant since the beginning of the 19th century. In this timber house local people dry fruit for their own consumption in an old fashioned way: wood is used for heating and fruit is dried spread over 12 wooden crates that can be loaded with 300 kg fresh fruit at once.

Even modern fruit drying kilns can be heated with wood: the drying air is heated by heating registers or electric heating elements and is forced by fans to circulate.

In order to utilize heat efficiently, it is beneficial to use the heat recuperation which can decrease heat consumption.

Sliced apples and pears, and split plums without stones are dried most often. Dried cherries are very tasty but their preparation is elaborate. The easiest way of drying fruit is at a constant temperature of 50°C, which favourably influences the preservation of taste and smell of dried fruit.

Fruit Drying Kiln in Hostětín

Since 1995, one of the centres of the Traditions of the White Carpathians civic association is based in Hostětín, with a focus on protection and use of old regional fruit species and promotion of traditional extensive fruit growing. In autumn 1998 an old wooden fruit drying kiln was restored in the garden of the farmstead belonging to the Veronica Foundation (the last one of former 10 drying kilns in the village). There used to be three thousands fruit drying kilns in the White Carpathians. In one season, 4,5 tons of fruit are dried in the kiln for the citizens of Hostětín and neighbouring villages and towns.

More about  Drying Kiln in Hostětín

Leaflet about Hostětín (PDF)

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Last updated: 14. 12. 2018  |  webmaster

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