The Felső-Homokhátság Local Action Group was founded by 38 organizations on the 18th of December 2007 in order to help businesses, civil organizations and governments of the 13 cities as a non-profit organization during the implementation of the “Leader” program. Our organization is mainly concentrating on information transfer, application consultancy, handling and processing of applications and all professional tasks connected with the EAFRD 3rd axis and EAFRD 4th axis LEADER applications between 2007 and 2013.
Between the period of 2007-2013, we contributed to nearly 200 project implementations using EUR 4.5 million development aid.
The local level planning helped us to become acquainted with problems in our region, to be aware of the development plans that are considered important and to learn about cultural and historical values of given settlements. During the implementation of HVS, the local level planning brought more success than we hoped for.
Projects that have been carried out in certain localities served as a model for other places. This way, developments based on project ideas and collected into points brought a uniform design on strands of the project. Such projects have been carried out in seven settlements of the operating area of the Upper Sand Ridge Rural Development Association between 2007 and 2013. These include construction or restoration of buildings that intended to house the Local History Collection of local museums, traditional activities and the communities working for the preservation of traditions.
Projects, implemented by communities showing good examples for each other, were mainly accomplished in relation with traditional activities. But we can also mention 1-2-day festivals on certain themes, cultural programs or the developments on local services.
Our region is located in the middle of the country, in the border of the agglomeration of Budapest, in the southern part of Pest County. The proximity of the capital, our geographical and environmental endowments defines essentially our everyday life, economic and cultural traditions and identifies our development orientations. The aim of our strategy is to create an independent area disposed with strong identity consciousness, where people have good life and their businesses are developing while protecting their environment. Our goal is strengthening the economy and the civil society and helping the reformation of the local community. We wish to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability. With our innovations we would like to contribute to the preservation of environmental and historical values, to the strengthening of tourism, economy, cultural traditions, civil society and local communities and to the national and international familiarization of the region.
Festival and folklore:
One of our first activities was to draw attention to the traditional food products that are typical in our region. We had to find the most interesting and characteristic food group, with the help of which we could create a new promotion strategy, and design a new marketing action. Based on the German minority group of Újhartyán we launched a new program in the autumn of 2009, named "Swabian Fest". The aims of the festival were the following: to promote the traditional swabian meals and to raise the interest for local traditions through the festival’s program. The cuisine of the Swabian minority living in Hungary is very distinct. In their way of cooking - despite our changing world - the traditions are still kept here in one of our cities, called Újhartyán. Luckily the community of the town was open to cooperation, thus, together with the local associations and the local government, we organized a two days festival program where the local cultural organizations, like dancers, singers, handcraft master groups or musicians had a chance to introduce their activities in the visitors’ interests. By creating the festival we have established a year after year promotion for the swabian culinary culture, interconnected with the culture and music experiences. The work we invested in the organization process seems to forge the local community together more than we have expected. This might be the key for the preservation of historical customs and traditional gastronomy.
Between the cultural performances the visitors can taste the different aperitifs, starters, main dishes and desserts. The Swabian Festival begins with a parade where the invited guests and groups march the streets of the towns dressed in traditional costumes. The locals take pride in offering the famous Swabian main dishes, like the 'bean pasta', 'onion pie' and the delicious dessert as ‘zimtkrapfen’ (cinnamon doughnut) and 'herzel'. After a few years this event started to get bigger recognition, we have increasing number of visitors and not only from our region.
The tasks of our LAG nowadays is to build bigger network with activists and volunteers, and to help them on the field of organization, ensure the high quality of the programs, and involve the local accommodation providers. The "traditional flavors" is the slogan with the help of which we can target audiences and maintain their interest in local food promotion. In this year’s festival a lot of young people joined the organizing team. The youth will take over the traditional practices of food preparation, preserve and pass on the traditional recipes, and they will help the organization of cultural programs. We created a sparkling community life, where – just as in a family - everyone can put their favorite festive dishes on the table.
Swabian Onion pie recipe:
- 2,5 dl milk
- 2,5 dkg yeast
- 50 dkg flour
- 1 egg
- 1,5 spoon lard
- 2,5 dl sour cream
- 2 onions
- pinch of salt
Raise the yeast in 1 dl lukewarm milk with a pinch of sugar in it. Slice the onions and salt them so they get soft. Mix salt, the eggs, some lard and the yeast with the flour. Knead the dough until it has a smooth, even consistency. Cover the pasta with a cloth and leave it in a warm place for one hour. Stretch it as big as the cake tin. Spread lard on the bottom of the tin and put the pasta on it. Sprinkle the pasta with sour cream, onion and bake it for 40 minutes on 180 degrees.
Videofilm of the 2013 Hartyan Festival