As I brought the seedlings inside from a day out in the sunshine, to tuck them up as the nights are still cold, it struck me that I have President Putin to thank for the handy crates that are the new vogue around the villages of Poland.
With the onset of sanctions and worsening relations between Poland and Russia one of the main export markets of the Polish farmer dried up and apples and carrots were among the fruit and vegetables that no longer had a stall to go to.
Unlike Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls ‘War on Waste’ program on the BBC last year, where mountains of vegetables were discarded, the EU stepped in and redistributed the surplus foodstuffs around the villages. Large crowds gathered as the articulated lorries pulled up outside community churches (the favoured distribution point) Having a van we became distributors ourselves as we dropped off crates of apples to our neighbours. And at the end of it all we ended up with 10 crates of apples and three sacks of carrots, great food for us, the goats, the rabbits and no doubt the pigs if we have anything left before we take our next set of piglets.
On passing a tractor the other day with a trailer load of potatoes in crates, I commented that it was unusual to see potatoes in crates in Poland, as it’s normally sacks. Gosia said yes, but now everyone has free crates!
Thank you Mr Putin, we have something to put in now, but if you don’t mind can you give Crimea back?