Interview with János, who joined the Webkamra vegetable baskets.
How did you start growing vegetables?
I started after I moved in the countryside, 7 years ago. I wanted to give my daughter tasty and healthy food, not the one you can find in the supermarket. I also noticed that more and more people are looking for organic food from the village. So, at first, it was a hobby, but now it is what I want to do as a job, and what I want to earn a living from.
What do you grow?
I have different places where I grow my vegetables. In Harcó, where I live, I have a greenhouse and I grow tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, garlic, radishes, salad… I grow the potatoes in another land in the surroundings, because it needs more place. And I also grow vegetables in the old farm of my grandparents in Madaras. There we also have animals like pigs, chickens, goats, and rabbits. There are also grapes to make wine, plum trees from what I make palinka. This farm is totally self-sufficient.
Why is it important to grow organic?
For me, it is obvious because I want to grow like my grand-parents used to do. My grand-mother is still helping me with the crops. She has worked a lot in the garden, and she has never used any pesticides, but compost from animal wastes for instance. Now the big firms use lots of chemicals and do monoculture; everything is so beautiful and clear. I don’t do this. You need biodiversity on a farm, and you don’t have to use pesticides and to remove all the weeds. Some people would say I do permaculture somehow, but to be honest I don’t really know what it is about. I just do the same as we used to do a long time ago, this is not new!
Why did you want to join the Webkamra farmer’s market?
I always wanted to sell locally, because the money stays here, in the local community, instead of going to French and German supermarkets. When I started to sell my products, I had to find the consumers by myself, but now I don’t have time anymore. The vegetable baskets are really easier for me. Now, I know how many baskets to prepare, when to deliver it. I can organize myself!
Zsolt is a 29-year old farmer from the county of Mures. A globe-trotter, he travelled in Hungary and Germany before coming back ‘home’. He is starting a permaculture garden and wants to join the Webkamra project.