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Fragrant, colorful and famous, the “Frumosul de Voinesti” (Beautiful of Voinesti) is a Romanian apple variety developed 50 years ago at the Voinesti Fruit Tree Growing Station in Dambovita county.

Photo credit: (c) Ioan ROSCA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

The Voinesti inhabitants boast of this variety and of the fact there are foreigners, especially Hungarian and Polish people, expressing interest in this variety.

Although the “Frumosul de Voinesti” is appreciated and famous, the locals often complain that it’s a difficult apple to grow, which is why many of them have opted for disease-resistant varieties.

”It is a medium to large fruit, bearing red stripes over a yellow background. It’s a tasty and fragrant fruit. It ripens in early September. Unfortunately it is very sensitive, especially to scab, which is the biggest problem in apple plantations that is why this variety became less popular. For the same reason, the locals gave up growing this variety. It is a scab-sensitive variety, it is necessary to apply a large number of treatments, which are expensive, financially speaking, it’s no longer cost effective,” Director of the Voinesti Fruit Tree Growing Research and Development Station, Daniel Comanescu said.

Neither the station cultivates the Frumosul de Voinesti anymore, it can be found only in the variety collection. The Voinesti tree growing unit includes a collection of over 70 apple varieties, being Romania’s most important genetic base for fruit varieties.

”Frumosul de Voinesti is no longer used either in our plantations, because there is no interest, it’s not cost—effective. And because of climate change, the scab spreads widely due to humidity. Given the high rainfall amounts this year, believe me, tress are very affected. There are a few who remained nostalgic, me included, I still have about 100 apple trees of this variety, I like them a lot, these apples are really flavoured and tasty. I don’t believe the name Frumosul de Voinesti was registered with the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks. The station deals with big financial problems, so we cannot do much about it. We were not able either to register the apple varieties developed by the tree growing station after 2000,” Comanescu also said.

He argues that many fruit growers have replaced the Frumosul de Voinesti with new disease-resistant varieties.

”It was replaced by the locals with new varieties, such as Florina, Golden, Real, which are developed at the same station, Remar, other Golden varieties. The Ionatan variety is also near extinction, because it’s a difficult to grow variety,” says Comanescu.

To promote the Frumosul de Voinesti and their organic apple juices, each year the locals organize the Apple Fair in the autumn. They put up for sale fruit varieties, cars and agricultural equipment, organic apple juices and traditional products.

The local producers tried to promote the Frumosul de Voinesti in partnership with a retail chain interested in selling the apple varieties grown in the region. Talks have so far concluded with no clear outcome.

The Voinesti fruit growers are known for their products in the big agri-food markets across the country. They sell their apples especially in markets from Targoviste, Bucharest and Brasov.

Photo credit: (c) Ioan ROSCA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

Fruit growing made Voinesti stand out for decades, especially apple cultivation. Almost every household in Voinesti includes an apple orchard.

Last year, the Voinesti fruit tree growing station got an ownership title for a 91 ha area. When founded, the area stretched over 580 ha, but a large part of the land was returned to its rightful owners.

More than 60 years ago, when it was founded, the Voinesti fruit tree growing station covered an area of about 580 hectares, but in 2000 a large part of the land was given back to the former landowners. Last year, the property title of the Station was drawn up for an area of 91 ha. AGERPRES

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