A Taste of Farm Life
Trip Start Oct 26, 2006
81Trip End Aug 2007
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Eva and Alan moved here to Kiskassa after living in England for most of the past 30 years (they also lived in Australia and another part of Hungary for a period of 4 - 5 years). Alan is British and Eva is Hungarian. After retiring from their jobs in Manchester, they decided to move away from the hustle and bustle of England and back to farm life in Hungary. Here in Kiskassa they have an organic "smallholding" with 2 milking goats (each with a toddler), a big, hairy Hungarian pig, 2 cute, plump Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, 9 egg-laying hens, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Aside from the animals, they grow everything you can imagine in the fields. Unfortunately this year has not been good for farming in Hungary, due to the lack of rain/snow in winter, spring and summer, so work in the fields was limited for us. Normally we would have been weeding a lot, but there was not much point since most of the crops were dead anyway.
So with no crops, what did we do on the farm? ........you may be asking
On the crops side, primarily we took care of the greenhouse by watering it in the evenings. We also picked whatever had come ripe from the tomato, paprika and cucumber plants. One project we had was to weed the greenhouse and pick out all of the nasty vineweed, or what we would call "morning glory", that was taking over and strangling the plants
Other than the animals and crops, we helped Alan with renovating the old stables that he wants to turn into more of an entertaining room for when they have dinner parties and such. So we went to work (along with 18 or more Belgian boyscouts that stayed for 3 days) with filling holes in the wall with cement, then plaster, finishing off the floor with some bricks, and just major cleaning in general.
During our stay on the farm we also celebrated my 33rd birthday! It wasn't too eventful, but we did make a fantastic dinner with a new recipe we found on epicurious.com. We of course got a great bottle of local Hungarian wine to go with it. No cake, but I plan to make one once back in the States with all the right ingredients and cooking supplies.
We were also in Kiskassa during the nearly weeklong summer festival. There was a goulasch feed up in the soccer fields, a parade, and some very good entertainment from the local belly-dancers.
Once back in Seattle and getting settled, we have vowed to make our best effort to keep our lives as simple as possible. Our goal is to support local, organic farmers, and only buy meat that we know of its origins and that the animals were treated well. It is amazing how few ingredients it takes to make a great meal, as long as the ingredients are fresh and not processed. I would like to carry on my bread making that I started in La Grave, and grow as much as possible in our tiny little garden back in Seattle. I don't know if we'll ever be able to eat a store-bought tomato again! We very much enjoyed our stay in Kiskassa on Eva and Alan's farm and hope that we were able to provide some benefit to their farm. We hope to return there one day!