The meeting of Tsevlo and Gogolevo villagers with Polistovsky Reserve officials was held in Tsevlo March 12.
There took place a discussion for preparing for the tourist season of 2020, about new products and services, and about different options for collaboration between the Reserve and local residents.
The meeting brought together those people who were ready to work with tourists this year. “Previously, we did a big job,” said Ksenia Antonova, an employee of the reserve; “we held several individual meetings in the villages and discussed public cooperation with the reserve. We talked about ideas for proposals and creating souvenirs with the desire to participate in our meetings.”
Eighteeen people gathered for the Tsevlo meeting: local residents, Reserve employees, and participants of the Bezhanitsy handicraft club “Dusha”.
People brought samples of hand-made souvenirs and it looked like a huge exhibition, there were carved wood spoons, cutting boards, vases, knitted tea warmers, cup holders, round crochet rugs, napkins, vases decorated with stones, and handicrafts made from cones and other natural materials. Each participant had something to share and show.
Participants of the meeting talked about increasing the popularity of farmers’ products – milk, cheese, butter, cranberry comfiture, herbal tea, and handmade soap. All these products are to be offered for sale by local residents directly to tourists.
Next participants discussed individual’s tours, providing excursions and workshops. There were ideas about crochet workshop, and hand milking a cow. A few years ago volunteers from Japan, Finland and other countries had a trial experience at such a workshop. It turned out that milking a cow for urban people is both interesting and unusual. And now in Tsevlo and Gogolevo there are cows with placid characteristics and with all the necessary documents showing their health, and owners are ready to show how to milk a cow.
Participants of the meeting also took a part in workshop. Vera Maximova, the head of the Bezhanitsy handicraft club “Dusha”, showed how to make a herbal doll. Bags of grass were filled with yarrow, so all the dolls had a pleasant smell from this plant. Participants agreed that such dolls can be made as souvenirs from Polistovsky Reserve and used also as a sachet. After all, how many fragrant herbs are grown on the bog lands.
There also was a discussion of plans for future workshops and meetings - volunteers from Moscow are planning to come with a scrapbooking workshop and Vera Maximova will be invited again. The meeting with children from Tsevlo and Gogolevo is planned at the end of March, which will also include workshop classes, and telling interesting stories about the nature of the reserve, and a cozy tea-party.
The meeting ended with warm teapot talk, homemade pies, and singing songs by guitarists Sergey Lubomirov. Sergey is a handy man, he knits, spins, draws and carves wood. A Polistovsky Reserve employee had already discussed with him some ideas about souvenir products for the next tourist season, as well as products for the guest houses of the reserve. (But this is still a surprise.)
Now, Polistovsky Reserve’s employees with Tsevlo and Gogolevo villagers will get to work together on preparing for the summer tourist season.