Farmers Jolanta and Robert once tried to overtake the Poles – they laugh and tell how it all ended

Farmers Jolanta and Robert once tried to overtake the Poles – they laugh and tell how it all ended
Farmers Jolanta and Robert once tried to overtake the Poles – they laugh and tell how it all ended

Farmers began to notice more and more often that buyers, instead of buying sauerkraut in bags as before, are asking for the finished product.

One, says J. Navickienė, people don’t have time, and secondly, after renovating houses in the city, they have nowhere to store sauerkraut. “Many people mention that even pickled cucumbers don’t help, and temperature is very important for cabbage. Even if it’s warm in October and November, we don’t ferment ourselves because it rots,” explains the farmer.

Only the fermentation of the cabbage itself takes several months in winter. Everything else is growing vegetables.

“This year we are late – if the working year usually started at the beginning of February, then this year we are behind”, says Robert, and Jolanta mentions: the seedlings of early and medium cabbages have already been sown, now they will start sowing the late ones.

But the working year for the Navicks begins with onion leaves, which they grow in greenhouses covering more than 10 acres. Peppers, chili peppers, and tomatoes are also sown here. It sells both seedlings and vegetables themselves. After that, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are sown. Then zucchini and pumpkins start. “Zucchini is a great buy – we don’t ask for much, and they are very productive. Buyers are very much looking for greenery. In May, we already have fresh cucumbers”, says J. Navickienė.

“One year in January, we added onion letters – no one needed them. Too early. It was still 15 degrees cold. We say – we will overtake the Poles. We actually overtook the Poles, but no one needed it,” laughs Robert.

The Navicks grow a wide variety of vegetables. They say, with one species, you would go bankrupt very quickly. And always discovers something new. “Parsnips, parsley roots have proven themselves. These are very healthy and oh so good for meat stews! There are buyers who will take even five kilograms,” says the woman.

“And you slice the parsnip thinly, put it in a single layer on a pan, fry it until it turns brown, sprinkle with salt – it’s suitable both as a dessert and as a snack. People also do it with mashed potatoes. It’s suitable everywhere – it wouldn’t spoil the taste anywhere”, R. Navickas gives his advice.

Jolanta and Robertu are helped by their son to work on the farm – they manage it in such a way that, as the woman said, everyone has a job and something to live on. Everything they grow is sold in the markets of Dusetai, Zarasai and Visaginas. If there was demand, it would be possible to hire workers and expand the farm. It’s just that the number of diners is decreasing.

“We also pickle cucumbers – we tried a little. We have ideas, but will there be eaters? They are decreasing every year”, the farmer shares her observation.

Robert adds: “There’s nothing to strive for anymore – nothing to buy, not enough people. Compared to how many there were when we started trading, it has decreased significantly. Everyone escaped.”

Their attitude has also changed: the most difficult time in their work is now, when they have to get up at night to make sure that the furnaces heating the greenhouses don’t go out, so that they don’t smoke. “But we’re always late everywhere, we don’t make it anywhere, and we always get what we get.” But we are no longer nervous about it. In the past, we really survived a lot because of this – will you make it here, or won’t you make it? And now we think – do as you want, and it will be as it should be – nothing depends on you”, says R. Navickas.

The couple moved to the Zarasai region gradually. At first, he bought two hectares of land here. “Although we didn’t care about her at that time,” continues Jolanta. And Robert laughs: “Father told me to buy it – very good price, good land, take it.”

Thus, while still living in Panevėžys, the Naviks started farming little by little – when they came to Zarasai on weekends, they grew vegetables for themselves. After some time, Jolanta’s father decided to give up the land and transferred it to his daughter. This became an incentive for the couple to keep thinking about how to escape from the city where they lived for almost three decades.

All the more so, as vegetables grew quite well on those two hectares, purchased by themselves. “That’s where the thoughts started – why can’t we grow more?”, says the woman.

Not long ago – maybe five years – Jolanta and Robert used to travel from Panevėžys to Zarasi. Little by little, he found out what vegetables to grow, he understood what the buyer needed, and that it is not entirely correct to think that people in the village already have everything. This year will be the tenth anniversary of the Navicki farm. His mistress does not hide it – the first three were very difficult.

Driving between Zarasai and Panevėžys was not enough, I had to learn how to grow vegetables.

“She is from the village, I am from the village – we thought, we know everything, we understand everything. And when we started growing vegetables, it turns out we don’t know anything. We read and studied. After all, you need to know everything about plants: how to grow each one, how to look after them, how to cultivate the land for them. After all, agronomists study for many years,” says Robert.

Nevertheless, those five years did not deter. “We are very stubborn”, R. Navickas smiles, and his wife adds: “And we really wanted to live in the village. I wouldn’t go back to the city, although we can do that now.”

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Farmers Jolanta Robert overtake Poles laugh ended


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