• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Participation of Organic.Balkanet in Training Course

altThe Organic.Balkanet project will actively support and participate in the "Joint School on IT-Enhanced Organic & Sustainable Education for Teacher, Trainers and Agriculture Professionals" that will take place in Mesta village, Chios island, Greece between October 5-11, 2011.

More specifically, the project coordinator Prof. G.V. Roman will present topics on OA, as they have been identified and described in the Organic.Balkanet project, while Lecturer Ms. Maria Toader will present the case study of the Organic.Balkanet project. In addition, Ass. Prof. S. Sanchez Alonso will present the Organic.Balkanet Web portal and the GRNET team (Dr. V. Protonotarios and Mr. Ch. Thanopoulos) will present the concept of training scenarios & pedagogical aspects (such as Participative Techniques) and their implementation in the training course.

The training addresses all teachers, trainers and professionals interested in the field of Environmental & Ecological Education, aiming to provide a better understanding of the current advances related to Organic Farming, Sustainable Education, Blended Learning and Modern ICT tools. During the event, the participants will also have the opportunity to attend the GREEN FEST, an international event on environmental issues and establish a dialogue with fellow teachers and professionals.

Joint School on IT-Enhanced Organic & Sustainable Education for Teachers, Trainers and Agriculture Professionals

5-11 October 2011
Agro-Know Technologies, Mesta, Chios island, Greece

Reference Number: GR-2011-163-001 in the Grundtvig database      

Download here the announcement of the Autumn School.
Download here the brochure of the Autumn School.


The Autumn school "Joint IT-Enhanced Organic & Sustainable Education Training Course" will take place from Wednesday, October 5th to Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 in the beautiful medieval village of Mesta on Chios island. 

The training addresses all teachers, trainers and professionals interested in the field of Environmental & Ecological Education, aiming to provide a better understanding of the current advances related to Organic Farming, Sustainable Education, Blended Learning and Modern ICT tools. During the event, the participants will also have the opportunity to attend the GREEN FEST, an international event on environmental issues and establish a dialogue with fellow teachers and professionals.

The training course is organised by the sub-programme of Grundtvig of Lifelong Learning programme (LLP) and supported by four European projects: CerOrganicOrganic.MednetOrganic.Balkanet and ISLE.




Full description of the Autumn School


  • the detailed agenda of the training programme & activities with information on all the mandatory and optional sessions
  • slides of the presentations that will be delivered during the training
  • recommended literature and other relevant documentation
  • guidelines for travelling
  • invitation to participate to the project’s user group


With the key slogan “Organic farming. Good for nature, good for you” the European Commission (EC) in its 2004 European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming highlights the importance of consumers’ awareness and information on the principles and objectives of organic farming and its positive impact on the environment. The Plan further mentions that in order to facilitate the expansion of organic farming and to increase production capacity, new information is required which can be best carried out with the use of new technologies. 

In order for the consumers to be correctly and timely informed, it is essential for the potential advisors/trainers to be properly educated. At the moment, both the consumers and the agricultural professionals are not always confident about what Organic Agriculture is, its benefits, challenges and restrictions. They should be provided with a wide range of information related to Organic Agriculture, its theories, methods, practices and its social/economic/environmental impacts. Additionally, both the agriculture professionals and the consumers should be offered the suitable technologies that allow them to both educate themselves and pass on the information in the most efficient manner.

This training event focuses precisely on the Organic and sustainable education/training, combining traditional teaching methods with the adoption of ICT methods and digital teaching resources, encouraging dialogue between experts and consumers and innovation in the way that Organic Agriculture resources are used. 


The training will not only educate and train the participants on topics of Organic Agriculture but it will also give participants the chance to establish a dialogue and future collaboration with fellow teachers and professionals in the field of Organic and Sustainable Education and will include presentations and practical sessions on: 

  • Organic Agriculture methods & practices
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Comparison with Organic Agriculture
  • Organic Agriculture principles – Indicators of sustainability
  • Organic Farming Legislation/ Certification and Standards
  • Approaching, training and supporting farmers & rural professionals
  • Farm management basics: Sustainable management
  • Pedagogical strategies and best practices for using digital teaching & learning resources
  • How to design your own learning resources using e-Learning methods & tools
  • How can you find other people with similar interests making use of Web2.0 tools and practices

The event will include 4 days of training course and 3 days of Workshop. The training part of the course will be held in an auditorium equipped with a data projector and wireless Internet access for all participants. 


During the weeks following the training course the participants will have the opportunity to further apply what they have learnt by searching and finding educational resources following the learning objects paradigm and sharing them through the establishment of a community of practice. The training team will provide to the participants all the necessary guidelines and support to implement the proposed approaches in their professional context. 

Programme of the Training

Access to the Draft Agenda of the Training


About Chios Island

Chios Island

Chios island beach.jpg

Chios is one of the Northeastern Aegean Islands. It is just a few miles off the coast of Asia Minor and about midway between the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The distance from the port a Piraeus is about 165 miles, though you can reach Chios by air in less than 40 minutes.

The island has and area of about 840 sq. kilometers, and it is the fifth larger island in Greece, after Crete, Evoia, Rhodes, and Lesvos. The length of the coastline is more than 200 kms. The Prefecture of Chios (905 sq. kms) includes also two smaller inhabited islands, Psara and Innousses (Source:

Chios (Greek: Χίος, pronounced [ˈçios]; alternative transliterations Khíos and Híos) is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, seven kilometres (five miles) off the Asia Minor coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. The island is noted for its strong merchant shipping community, its unique mastic gum and its medieval villages. The 11th century monastery of “Nea Moni”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the island.(Source:

The Medieval Village of Mesta

New old street mesta chios.jpg

Mesta lies on the South-West part of Chios, on the wider expanse of Masticochoria (Masticochoria means villages that produce mastic). One can reach Mesta by following two routes:
  • From Chios, the capital of the island, by taking the road to Armolia, Pyrgi, Olympoi and arriving at Mesta (this is the shortest and easiest way).
  • From Chios, by following the road to Aghios Georgios, Vessa, Elata and ending to Mesta.

Most of the visitors arrive at the village through one way and return through the other. Mesta is mostly chosen as a place of sojourn. That is because in spite of its location in the south site of the island, it is a village from which all the historically and touristically significant spots are easily accessed. The capital of Chios, Castrochoria (the villages that are built like castles), Nea Moni, Anavatos, Volissos, Aghia Markella and other sites of Chios are connected with Mesta through roads that are in a very good condition.

Mesta in old medieval texts is mentioned as Amista, Amistae and Lamiste. Perhaps in Greek it was named Amistha (source:
According to another view the name derives from the Byzantine word "mesta" which means "hard" (the opposite of "tender").
A third view is based on the shift of the initial letter of the word Vesta - Mesta. "Vestas" was the one responsible for the emperor's clothing. "Vestarhaton" used to be a feud given by the Emperor to "Vestas" in order to honour him.

Unverified tradition quotes that Mesta was founded by the dwellers of Meskia, a village in Peloponnese and by the natives that used to live in various small settlements up to then. They constructed the village by bordering it with a great wall.

Nowadays Mesta has 500 residents approximately. Many more are those who dwell in Athens, Thessaloniki and in the USA. Associations have been established by the communities of Athens and of the USA, whose primary concern is to be in direct contact with the manners and customs of their native land.

Many embellishment works have been taking place due to the villagers living abroad. In the past the communities of Egypt and Russia made great offers to the village whereas these days the communities of the USA and Athens contribute essentially to the promotion of the village.

The villagers themselves are vividly interested in the maintenance of their cultural heritage as well as in the environmental conservancy. As far as cultural issues are concerned there is the "Cultural Association of Mesta" and about the environment issues the Association of Amateur Fishermen "The Friends of Limenas".

Traditional and Local Products


Chios Mastic.jpg


Mastic is the resin which is shed by schinos. A lot of labour is needed for its production. The "pricking" of schinos (= the piercing of its trunk) should take place very early in the morning before the sunrise, so that during the daytime and due to the rise in temperature the tree will shed the mastic. In the past people used to go to their trees from the previous night and sleep there so that they would save time in the morning. For the youngsters this nocturnal exodus was a special occasion for singing and dancing, while the setting was appropriate for several idylls. Is there, indeed, any equivalence between the young people's present ways of entertainment in basements full of smoke and noise and that of those days in nature and smell of schinos?

Mastic played a serious role as far as the fate of Mesta is concerned. The pirates' raids and a number of occupations the villagers underwent throughout history are caused to the production of mastic. Their better conditions of living in comparison to residents of other occupied areas were because the conquerors needed them for the production of mastic. It was so important that since the Roman times the penalties for stealing mastic were extremely severe. The Genoans though established the most strict penalties. Stealing a least piece of mastic was enough for the loss of the thief's one ear, hand, his nose or even his life.

Nowadays mastic is produced through the same traditional way regardless of the modern means of cultivation and production. The visitor should remember to buy some mastic before he leaves the village.
In Mesta the very well known "Ariousios Oinos" is produced, which, according to Greek mythology was proper for the gods. The wine of Mesta is mentioned in the French Winology as "vin de Mesta". Those who want to taste this famous kind of wine can ask for it in the taverns and restaurants of the village and Limenas.
Souma (Raki)
Another alcoholic drink that is produced in Mesta is souma. It is a kind of ouzo produced through distillation of figs. Souma is a very strong drink, it is pure though since it is made through a traditional way and does not contain preservatives. It is served with a variety of dried nuts and titbits. One can get it from the producers themselves.

Kourmades are also very famous in Mesta. They are olives which ripen on the tree because of a particular kind of fungus which thrives in the area. They can be eaten without any further elaboration. 


Climate in Chios

The climate in Chios (and the other NA Aegean islands) is a typical Mediterranean climate. The major characteristics are hot, dry summers and cool, relatively short winters.

There is plenty of sunshine throughout the year.

In fact, Chios is third in Greece in terms of hours of sunshine, while it has more hours of cloudless weather than any other part of the country.

Because of the "meltemi", the north-northeast winds that blow steadily during the summer, the temperature seldom exceeds 28 degrees (C). It doesn't rain during the summer months. 


Connections to Chios

Chios can be reached either by sea or by air. The main connections are with Athens and Piraeus, and the islands of Samos and Lesvos. There are also regular connections with some other major Greek cities, including Salonika, Kavala, Alexandroupolis, and the islands of Kos, Rhodes, Patmos, Lemnos etc. Most connections are served by both sea and air.

Chios is also one of the few places in Greece from where you can visit Turkey. There is a year-around boat connection with the Turkish city of Cesme on the Asia Minor Coast, though it is more frequent during the summer period.


Summary of scheduled ferry services and ferries offered to and from Chios.

  • Connections and ferries to Piraeus, Thessalonica and major islands served by NEL Sea Lines
  • Connections to nearby islands served by GA FERRIES & NEL Sea Lines

For routes and timetables please contact Chios Port Authority at: +302271044434

Summary of flight services and airplanes offered to and from Chios.


How to move inside Chios Island?

Mesta village is located around 45 minutes by car from Chios town. You can reach Mesta by:

  • Public transportation

Search for the Green bus station, on the waterfront near the ferry docks. Tickets can be bought at the station or on board. There are five buses per day heading to Mesta village.

Check out the bus schedule here and find out more about bus services in Chios.

  • Taxi

Taxis are available on Chios and constitute an ideal solution to reach places unreachable by bus. The main taxi rank of the island is located near the central square of Chios Town. Taxi Station: + 30 22710 4111/ 43312

Read more about transportation on Chios island


Course Fees

For EU participants:

  • The total fee of the course is 1600 euro, including accommodation and meals (850 euro), and the course fee (750 euro).
  • Cancellation Fee: 300 euro

    Cancellations before 25 September 2011 will receive a full refund. On or after the 25 September 2011 a non-refundable cancellation fee of 300 euro will be charged.

For Greek participants

Please contact the organizers for information about the course fees.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Training Course Organizers:
Dr. Vassilios Protonotarios, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel: 0030 210 68 97 905
Mrs Mădălina Ungur, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel: 0030 210 68 97 905
Mr. Charalampos Thanopoulos, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel: 0030 210 68 97 905 

Local Organisers

Agro-Know.jpg Grnet-logo.jpg



Sponsoring Projects

Cerorganic.jpgCerOrganic: Quality-Certified Training of Farmers on Organic Agriculture


OrganicBalkanet.gif                      Organic.Balkanet: Developing the skills of Organic Agriculture Trainers for the Balkans


Organic mednet.JPG           Developing the skills of organic agriculture for the Mediterranean


Isle.jpg                        I.S.L.E.: Innovation in the Teaching of Sustainable Development in Life Sciences in Europe


ECOTOOL logo.png                  eCOTOOL: eCOmpetences TOOL


RI logo low res.jpg         Rural Inclusion


Bulgarian (Български)GreekRomână (România)Slovenian (SI)English (United Kingdom)


«   May 2017   »

Who's online

We have 24 guests online