top of page
Mischkulturanbau im Landwirtschafts-Institut in Chomutov



Blank spaces in rural history: Native crops and ornamental plants as an instrument to enhance regional biodiversity

01/01/2018 - 31/12/2020

Funding Volume:
€ 161,125.60

Partner Country:
Czech Republic

Funding Body:
European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The cross-border joint project ENZEDRA is dedicated to identifying and promoting forgotten traditional crops and ornamental plants of the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) region, many of which are also economically interesting from today's perspective.

The spectrum of indigenous crops and ornamental plants as well as their specific utilisation on both sides of the Czech-Saxon border suffered greatly under the maelstrom of historical events during the Second World War and post-war period. Expertise that survived the expulsion of the German population in the now Czech area of the Ore Mountains was finally lost with collectivisation and introduction of new agricultural varieties and production directions. In many cases, the latter were not optimally adapted to the natural conditions of the Ore Mountains.

Under today’s changing climatic and political conditions, the reminiscence of these crops and ornamental plants and their possible reintroduction into the regional cultural landscape can play a significant role in increasing regional biodiversity and creating alternative sources of income for people employed in agriculture.

In the past, rural populations obtained seeds from self-reproductive varieties purely for subsistence and passed them on from one generation to the next or handed them over the garden fence. Through selection, these seeds gained in quality from year to year and were ideally adapted to the regional soil and climate conditions as well as to local nutritional habits. This cultural and genetic treasure has led to a rich diversity of varieties, which today threatens to be forgotten due to the industrialisation of agriculture.

Mischkulturanbau im Landwirtschafts-Institut in Chomutov

The German-Czech project ENZEDRA, therefore, involved the following activities:

  • studying historical sources and archive materials plus interviews with contemporary witnesses to revive dormant knowledge and create an information platform for regional crops

  • extensive public relations work, e.g. at schools, to raise public awareness

  • search for now wild species and propagation of seeds/plant parts on test/demonstration plots

  • processing and preparing the cultivated crops following historical recipes

  • Výzkumný ústav rostlinné výroby (Institute for Crop Research), Chomutov

  • Podkrušnohorský zoo park Chomutov



bottom of page