The other day on our way back from the compost dump where we had picked up a load of apple tree and other hard wood branches to use in our hugel beds, we stopped at one of the neighbors for a visit. He was born in Czechoslovakia and enjoys natural, farm-raised produce and animals. He encourages us in our natural gardening methods and tells us stories about how he used to raise food and eat in Czechoslovakia before he had to flee the country to escape the communist government.
Every time we stop he not only tells us stories, he gives us one of his famous Andrej's European Pastries, a walnut potica. His name is Jan, but we call him the potica man. I cannot describe to you how good these poticas are. They are rich, and you are supposed to cut them in thin slices and make the loaf last a couple of days for the family. Well, for supper, after eating half the loaf, Basswood asked me if the two of us could just finish the loaf. I told him little sister was there when we talked to the potica man and she knew he had given us the potica... she would cry if we ate it all before she got some.
Getting high quality food is very important to the potica man. He goes to health food stores and specialty shops to buy his food because it is hard to buy high quality non-GMO food at a grocery store. He was disappointed when we did not raise free range meat chickens last year. He told us again that he still remembers how good the ones were that he got from us couple of years ago.
We hope to raise some more chickens this year, along with a couple of pigs if we can find a source for GMO-free grain. We hope to raise heirloom and landrace grain for our animals this year also, but that will not be ready until fall. We plan to fence in a large field for them so that they will be basically free range, except we do want to keep them off the neighbor's property and out of our food forests, at least for a while. We are planting extra crab apple, oak, and several other trees just for our animals. After the food forests are established we plan to turn the animals loose in them to help fatten them up in the fall.
Here at Garden Seeds we are beginning to think that in order to get high quality food you have to grow and raise it yourself. We hope that we can raise more then we need for ourselves so that we can trade some with our neighbor, the potica man, for some more poticas. If you enjoy high quality food, you will want to try Andrej's European Pastries also. Walnut Potica http://poticawalnut.com/
When you see someone alongside the road with a sign that says, "Will work for food." Think of us. We WORK for our food. High quality food is worth working for.