Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Potatoes and root vegetables at the Faroe Islands

On 20.09.2010, the Foroyar Post issued the plant series depicted potatoes and root vegetables on two stamp with different face value.

Root vegetables are an old food on the Faroe Islands and much older than potatoes, which did not become common until the mid-19th century. 

Two types of root vegetable were grown: Faroese turnips (Brassica napus) and Norwegian turnips (Brassica rapa), which used to be commonest. Faroese turnips grew down into the soil, so far down that a spade was needed to dig them up, whereas Norwegian turnips grew close to the surface and were easy to pick by hand. The place where root vegetables were grown was called the rótakál. Root vegetables were mainly used for soup, but also for bread, as well as being cooked for dinner together with poultry, for example.


Later on the Faroe Islanders also started growing other root vegetables such as kohlrabi, different turnip varieties and carrots, as the seeds were now available in the shops. From around 1920 there was a growing interest in kitchen gardens among the population, and people began cultivating various sorts of greens in addition to root vegetables. Before the arrival of potatoes, only root vegetables were served with dinner.

Potatoes made their first appearance in Denmark in 1719. As far as the Faroe Islands are concerned, we know that root vegetables were being grown in Torshavn in 1775 and 1799, but it was not until the mid-19th century that it became common to grow potatoes. Many people on the islands can remember Hans Marius Debes's story about the first potatoes arriving in Gjógv in 1835.

To begin with potatoes were cultivated in the same way as cereals and root vegetables, but people soon started earthing them up. They used a mattock or shovel to dig a furrow a foot deep, put fertiliser in the bottom and then planted the potatoes in it before creating a ridge.

Potato cultivation on the Faroe Islands only really got going after a man from Miðvágur on Vágar discovered a new growing method. The potatoes were grown under turf that had been turned upside down, i.e. with the grass facing down. This method of growing potatoes was also called Vágaveltan. It was a very easy way to grow potatoes. They were placed on a narrow strip of grass, then the turf was laid on top, grass to grass, with the soil facing up. This is now the commonest method of growing potatoes, with just a single handful of artificial fertiliser being used between each potato plant.

After 1925, and in the lean thirties in particular, potatoes became very important in Faroese households and dinner was not dinner unless it included potatoes.

National Nature Park “Sviati Hory”


On 28th of December 2010, the Ukraine Post has issued the block sheet of stamp featured the National Nature Park “Sviati Hory” comprised of 4 different face value stamps that depicted the species Thais Polyxena Zerynthia polyxena– 1,00 UAH, Bluebird Lusсinia svecica– 1,50 UAH,True Otter Lutra lutra– 1,50 UAH and Pond Turtle Emys orbicularis– 2,00 UAH.

There are 17 national parks in Ukraine. One of them, Holy Mountains or Sviati Hory , with a total area of 40,448 ha, is located in the Krasnolymansk and Slovyansk districts of Donetsk oblast. It features hill-slope landscapes in the northern Donetsk steppe area with such rare ecotopes as cretaceous layers on the bedrock banks of the Siversky Dinets River, which are covered with ancient Scotch Pine trees.

The rich history of this area dates back to the times of The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign. According to various accounts, Prince Ihor of Novhorod-Siversk hid in these places (to be more exact, in the Holy Mountains Monastery) after saving it from the Polovtsians. The park’s natural surroundings are picturesque and inimitable. More than one-third of the phytocenotic variety of southeastern Ukraine’s vegetation is concentrated in this park. The park consists of 91 percent forest, 1.5 percent meadows, and 2.5 percent swamps. The forests mostly feature mixed oak-pine vegetation or consist entirely of ordinary pine trees (45 percent of the park’s total forest area).

The park also has a 300-ha oak grove, the only one of its kind in Left-Bank Ukraine. No less rich is the national park’s fauna. In the springtime at night and sometimes during the day, if you approach any swamp, lake, or even water-flooded gutter, you will hear the lullabies or trumpet-like cries (judge for yourselves) of European fire-bellied toads, also found in water springs and wells. The park is also home to the European pond turtle.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The bottom of the sea

A fabulous submarine world seen through Ingi Sørensen’s camera lens has been issued as stamps by the Foroyar Post on 20.02.2010. The issued stamps comprised of 4 different face value stamps depicted the submarine landscape of the Faroe Islands.


The Faroe Islands have many unique and beautiful submarine landscapes. Absolutely fantastic places where nobody has ever been.

What makes diving in the Faroes so unique is the ever-varying submarine landscape, extensive thickets of seaweed alternating with attractive “sand eyes” (patches of sand on the bottom called sandeyga in Faroese), vertical walls that disappear into the depths and a host of submarine chasms and grottoes in shapes of all kinds that are really exciting to explore. The water is crystal clear in many places and allows the sun’s rays to throw shadows on the sea floor. Plaice, flounder, dab, small halibut and angler fish lie immobile in the sand while they observe the diver gliding soundlessly through the water like a bird floating across the firmament.

The Faroes are truly a diver’s paradise that compares favorably with any other place on earth. Expressing the experience of sailing beneath the bird cliffs in fine weather before diving is no easy matter. The sun, the towering cliffs, the birds, the sea, the fish, the thickets of seaweed, the play of colors and incredible rock formations on the bottom where everything forms a synthesis are quite indescribable.

The four photos reproduced on the postage stamps were taken at Kvívík. Diving at Kvívík is like taking a walk in an enchanted grove, with the difference that you can see beautiful, multicoloured thickets of seaweed and the sandy bottom, or “sand eyes”.

Nature of Nauru 2001

The Thirtieth Anniversary and Thirty-Second Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum was held in the Republic of Nauru from 16-18 August 2001 and was attended by Heads of State and Government of the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and representatives from Australia, the Fiji Islands, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. New Caledonia participated as an observer. The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Rt Hon Don McKinnon was present at the Forum for the first time. A representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations was also present.
To commemorate this forum, Nauru Post issued the souvenir sheet featured all flags of members and nature of Nauru Island, flowers, sea birds.

Nature of Nauru

The Pacific Islands Forum (known until 27 October 2000 as the South Pacific Forum) is the key regional political organisation in the Pacific. It brings together at an annual meeting the 16 Heads of Government of the independent and self-governing States of the Pacific Islands region.The first Pacific Islands Forum meeting - attended by the seven founding members, Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa - was held in 1971 in Wellington, New Zealand. The meeting stemmed from a desire by leaders to address common issues from a regional perspective and to give their collective views greater weight in the international community.
To commemorate the 24th South Pacific Forum 1993 which held at Nauru, the Postal Administrative of Nauru have issued the four-block stamp featured the Nauru Island and their flora fauna. The species depicted are sea corals, fishes, sea birds, dolphin, and palm trees.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Yellow-Bibbed Lorry of Solomon Islands

To celebrate the Visit South Pacific Year ‘95,  The Postal Administrative of Solomon Islands has issued the souvenir sheet depicted the beautiful scene of Yellow-bibbed Lorry and specific flower of Solomon Islands.
The Yellow-bibbed Lory is mostly red with black on top of head and green wings. It has a yellow transverse band on upper chest and a crescent-shaped black patch on each side of neck. It has blue thighs and dark-grey legs. It has an orange-red beak, dark-grey eye-rings, and orange irises. Under its wings the bird has blue feathers.It is long around 28 cm and endemic only in Solomon Islands.
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