I spent great part of my childhood in the countryside. I remember those sunny and warm summer days when I was playing with my sister and cousins in the garden or when we helped our grandparents with garden jobs. After active games or work, we would always sate our hunger with fruits and vegetables which we picked from the garden. Therefore, I was very pleased when Lithuanian countryside tourism association (LCTA) invited me to join Interreg program as a volunteer in the project “Revival of old traditional fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants and their products: Heritage Gardens Tour” (Heritage Gardens).
Through my volunteering time, I broadened my knowledge about heritage gardens. It was interesting to know that the great impact for Lithuanian heritage gardens was made from trade relations with foreign countries, especially queen of Poland and grand duchess of Lithuania Bona Sforza, who also ruled the duchy in Milan. In addition to this, I found out that the “Heritage Gardens” project helped Lithuania and Latvia to restore old fruits, vegetables and plants species. Moreover, it helped to establish Lithuania-Latvia routes between those heritage gardens.
I also participated in one of the biggest Lithuanian tourism fair “Adventur 2019” where LCTA had prepared a presentation “Discover the old gardens and parks in Lithuania and Latvia”. In the fair not only did I broaden my knowledge about Lithuanian and Latvian heritage gardens which share some similarities, but I could also taste how ancient recipes were adapted to contemporary taste. I enjoyed eating different ice creams made from quinces, sea buckthorn as well as natural gummies made from apples, cherries and beetroot. After taking my first bite of an apple, I was flooded with memories of my holidays in the countryside where I used to enjoy fruits from old grown fruit trees.