Name of the initiative? Brick Oven Association (Kemence Egyesület)
What kind of initiative Farming/Production, Marketing, Education/Training, Environmental, Biodiversity, Landscape, Community.
Briefly describe what your initiative is about A community farm with a focus on tradition – traditional cooking, traditional arts and crafts. We employ people with various special needs and disabilities, and we serve kindergartens, schools and anyone else. Kemence Egyesulet offers activity programmes, but people are also welcome to just come and walk around the farm – many people live in flats so they want to spend their free time in nature. The door is (almost) always open.
Why did you start it and when? We already had a sports organization since 2011 that focuses on experiences with horses, but we couldn’t serve all the demand from our community. Many kindergartens have a small vegetable garden but the one in our street couldn’t, so they have their garden on our farm. Our farm is open six days a week and we host birthday parties, and team buildings. In 2016 we made this new traditional cooking and craft organization so the two organizations work together and support each other as a team.
Who did you connect with? We had connections with people who had used Szőnyi Lovas Sportegyesület (our horse organization). We also spoke to the local government who knew that we had helped the community through Szőnyi Lovas Sportegyesület. We also advertise what we offer on social media, but it takes time for people to realize we have potential.
How did you establish it? We started with birthday parties and team building but we’ve kept adding new projects including a real-life history class, environmental protection, training, a biological class so the kids can come out of the classroom and learn about seed life. We run summer camps for children during the holidays. We’ve become an official place that supports women by looking after children; and have begun networking with twelve other local providers.
At Christmas we hosted a fayre with other local organizations: a fishing organization, the church etc. We wanted to give everybody who came a chimney cake to bake themselves at the event. To make the cakes we used 40 kilograms of flour! – and it wasn’t enough!
It’s grown big in a very short time.
What enabled collaboration? It’s a family-friendly workplace. We have already achieved a lot. We don’t have a website; we have a Facebook profile and people who come talk to their friends about us. They have trust in us.
What challenges did you face? Were you able to resolve them? How? There are many big challenges. Sometimes time is the biggest challenge – the pressure to finish some paperwork by two o’clock tomorrow, but it’s Christmas eve tomorrow!
There are always other people who want to break you. It’s very hard work.
It can be a challenge to convince people to come to our programmes – to come out of their bubble. It’s so important to show kids that a chicken doesn’t grow in a plastic bag in the shop. We put a lot of pictures on our social media so people can see if you come for a birthday you can see farm animals – pigs, chickens, goats, rabbits, pheasants, try arts and crafts or horse-riding or be driven around the village in a horse-drawn carriage.
Numbers can be challenging – to begin with we invited hundreds of people and maybe only one came. Now we have the trust of the people, we don’t invite everybody, and more than six hundred people come!
What were the lessons learned? We applied a lot of the lessons we learned from our first organization. Now these two organizations can work together to make a stronger team.
Never give up. To be successful you have to be determined, focused and know what you want.
We open to the community 8:00-16:00 six days a week. With the horses we are out every day anyway, but we try to keep Sunday as a kind of rest day. You have to get some self-time.
Get a good team – people who are creative and who are willing to learn.
Make a good plan, and a plan B and a plan C!
What did it change in your life and the life of your community? Orsi – I’ve found my dream job. My hobby is my job! I raise my child alone and to work in a family-friendly environment is very valuable. My son loves all the programmes.
Mark – Our family started the first project in 2011 – we wanted to build a place for my sister and I to do our hobby – horse riding – close to our home. After 3 months I actually left Hungary and lived in the UK for 4 years working in retail, both sales and management, in hotels and pubs, and with racehorses. I supported the project in my free time but at the end of 2019 I joined it full-time. I learned a lot in the last nine years – about communication, organization and how to build up my own team. Sometimes it can be useful to see our association as an outsider, because I bring a different point of view.
Our community has started to become more open to the new.
Choose 3-5 key words Open farm, gastro-cultural, traditional, family-friendly, supporting women
Facebook – Kemence Egyesulet https://www.facebook.com/kemence.egyesulet
Facebook – Szőnyi Lovas Sportegyesület https://www.facebook.com/ szonyilovassportegyesulet
Repository compiled by: Orsi Imhof and Mark Schmelcz
E-mail contact: Kemence.firstname.lastname@example.org