Dutch tulip field in Incredible Nevytske

At the entrance of the village Nevytske, in Zakarpattia region, a Dutch tulip field has come to bloom and is now a giant photobooth and tourist stop for all Facebookers and Instagrammers in Ukraine. Nevytske participated in the competition "Incredible villages of Ukraine 2018" (Agroportal.ua) and with their creative ideas and team spirit they developed plans to stimulate green tourism and rural development in their area. We supported Nevytske with a tulip field and after our joint effort of planting the bulbs in autumn 2018 we were very happy to see the beautiful result during the official opening on April 15.

Nevytske is truly an incredible village. Also during our previous visits we were impressed with the team spirit. In a region with more than 100 nationalities social cohesion is an important aspect in the different activities. The city council is very active in promoting green tourism; new plans are being developed in a strategy for 2030 which include a bicycle route and different art objects. Central in this development is the ancient Nevytske castle.

Participation in the opening with head of the city council, regional administration and representatives of the Netherlands; honorary consul in Lviv , Agricultural Counsellor and Agricultural Advisor.

The Dutch tulip flowerbed, provided by the embassy of the Netherlands and the company Stokolex is located at the entrance sign of Nevytske which used to be an abandoned landplot. The windmill and the Dutch 'klompen'  (wooden shoes) have been made by local craftsmen. The city council is planning to further improve the entrance to the village with a bicycle rent point as well.

Katya Tushynska (agricultural advisor embassy of the Netherlands) and Andriy Hrynchuk (honorary consul of the Netherlands in Lviv)

Before the official opening of the Flowerbed, local talented groups gave folk performances in the Italian garden of the clubhouse of Nevytske. The Italian garden and clubhouse is a social meeting point in Nevytske and has been supported by a different grant project to stimulate development.

Legend of the castle

According to the legend, ancient Nevytske castle was build to protect the beautiful women of the village from outsiders. The castle was first mentioned in 1274 belonging to the then King of Hungary. In 1644 the castle was ruined but the remote site of the castle prevented it from complete demolition.

View from the castle, during our visit in September 2018

Mercy farm

Mercy Farm, also located in Nevytske, is an Agricultural Social Enterprise that pursues poverty alleviation goals in Ukraine and is being supported by Norway and different companies. The idea of setting up the farm appeared in 2015 in order to provide ecologically safe food for poor and needy families, lonely elderly, homeless and Roma people, orphans and people with disabilities. It became a pilot project and officially started in August, 2016. The farm holds 25 hectares of land, a farmhouse and agricultural buildings, a kitchen with a dining hall, a bakery and a coffee and pastry shop. Even though Mercy Farms is highly mechanized it gives work to 30 - 50 agricultural workers depending on the season.

Red peppers from Dutch vegetable seed company RijkZwaan

Mercy Farm tends to specialize in the crops best suited to the Western Ukraine such as potatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, celery, beet-roots, onions, sweet (bell) pepper and cucumbers. Out of these vegetables 500-600 hot dinner plates with Lapskaus (healthy Norwegian dish) are being prepared, vacuum-sealed and taken to the target groups. Any surplus products are being sold in the local market or in the grocery stand. Read more about this initiative here: https://www.houseofmercy.com.ua/mercy-farm.html

Planting the tulips

The agricultural team of the embassy, together with a delegation of Nevytske, the landscape designer, Agroportal.ua (organizer of the competition 'Incredibel villages of Ukraine') and news media planted on 22 October 2018 in a joint team effort the tulip bulbs in Nevytske.

Teamwork; head of city council of Nevytske literally supporting the construction of the banner on the location of the tulip field.

For more information, media reports and pictures visit the Facebook page of the embassy @DutchEmbassyUkraine and check out our reports on our previous visits