European Specialist in Traditional Orchards - ESTO

European landscapes are constituently shaped by traditional orchards. More than 80 percent have disappeared over the past 60 years. While modern growing and planting techniques yield to increased crops, they also lead to a significant reduction of quality, species, biodiversity and genetic resources.  Traditional growers, in possession of expert’s knowledge in orchard farming, have become rare. Throughout Europe, the loss of ken becomes increasingly evident.

Comprehensive material on different aspects of orchard farming is not yet available. ESTO takes a stake in developing new and innovative methods of teaching and learning, in order to preserve traditional orchards as a sustainable system and warrantor of bio-diversity, considering economical and ecological aspects. Orchards shall also shape 21st Century landscapes.

The project is embedded in the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme, comprising twelve partner organisations and experts in the field of traditional orchard farming, management and education from six European countries - Austria, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, France and Germany.


ESTO - The title of the project comprises all important aspects referring to

E – European

a long European tradition of pomology; many fruit varieties grown widely throughout Europe; often with the same name in different languages

S – Specialist

the expert (ancient) knowledge on which the maintenance of traditional orchards depends

T – Traditional

blooming orchards with long-living trees, many varieties of fruit species; places for work, education and recreation; providers of healthy regional food

O – Orchard

multifunctional (ecological and economical) sustainable system guaranteeing high biodiversity and creating attractive characteristic landscapes