Hay for the “rocks”
Advent is a time when people’s hearts are opened more… and sometimes their wallets. We would like to take advantage of this moment. Together with the volunteers of the Foundation for the Rescue of Children with Cancer, we will set off to the inhabitants of Wrocław. We would like to give them some hay which, after all, is an inseparable attribute of the Polish Christmas Eve dinner. In exchange, we hope that for our university hay, some other hay will fall into the cans of volunteers… one that will support therapies for treating children under the care of the Cape of Hope in Wrocław.
We will be distributing hay to the inhabitants of Wrocław together with volunteers from the Foundation “Na Ratunek” in the second part of the week. And it will be extraordinary hay, which we will tell the residents of Wrocław and donors supplying the Cape cans.
As our scientists from Faculty of Biological Sciences explain: Thousands years of mowing and grazing animals have resulted in the emergence of unique species of plant communities in the temperate climate of Europe. More plant species can live on a square meter of a natural Polish meadow than in tropical forests. Our relationship with the meadows is so strong that it is a Christmas Eve tradition to put a handful of hay on the table.
Unfortunately, today there are few meadows and pastures that are managed in traditional way. The animals are kept all their lives in closed barns, and the feed they import comes from artificially sown, heavily fertilized grassland. There is no place for wild plants and insects.
The hay that we will share with the inhabitants of Wrocław as the University of Wrocław comes from a unique pasture located in the Sudetes. It is not fertilized or artificially sown in any way. Plant seeds are spread by horses. They are freely grazing, so that the pasture is not overgrown with bushes. In return, they have natural fodder of the highest quality, which gives them strength and health.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Wrocław conducts research there to help in the sustainable development of pastures. They will be resistant to climate change, rich in species, without the need for additional fertilization. Profitable for farmers, they will become house for birds and insects, bind atmospheric carbon and provide water retention. We will do everything to make the meadows and pastures of our future look like this.