Daniel Cismas: While on a quest to find purpose and identity for ourselves, we decided to become farmers and work the land.
Since 2009, Daniel Cismas has been managing, together with his wife Tincuta, the Topa organic farm in The Saxon Villages Area of southern Transylvania. The land belongs to the Foundation for Cultures and Ecology, and the Cismas family manages it as a family farm.
Daniel & Tincuta view organic farming as a necessity. It is the way to produce healthy food, and it protects soil quality.
Ferma Ecologica Topa is a family affair, managing 40 hectares of certified land, a well-kept balance between grasslands, gardens and arable land, growing not only grains, fruit and vegetables but also producing fodder for the dairy cows, pigs, chickens and other small animals they raise here.
The family also cultivates one hectare of Damask roses, renowned for their fine fragrance, to make jam and tea. 25 % of their income comes from a rose jam.
Working with healthy and traditional recipes, the farm produces and sells, mostly directly from the farm to the consumer, a wide variety of products such as dairy products (semi-hard and fresh cheeses, simple or with garden herbs, milk, sour cream, yoghurt), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic etc.), dried plants for teas and various preserves (jams, syrups, pickles and vegetable spreads).
The family cooperates with other organic producers like beekeepers from the village of Topa. Thus they use an integrated business model based on simple yet effective principles.
From the very first day, the Cismas family’s main objective was to keep and enhance the land’s diversity, adapting traditional farming practices, and keeping the land in small parcels of a few hectares each.
One of their primary methods of maintaining the rich biodiversity is to keep the rotational grazing as seasonal as possible and only do so on some small dedicated parcels.
Grazing parcels and the ones destined to be used as hay meadows are located on the slopes of the hills, while arable fields are in flatter areas near the right Tarnava Mare river bank.