Vasyl Mandzyuk, a 60-year-old farmer from Lviv region, calls his farm small. However, on the farm, there are nearly a dozen fields with a total area of two hectares, a tractor, hives, pigs, cows, goats, and chickens. A man is sure that there will be no Ukraine if a single farmers disappeared. An “Agro-Center” correspondent talked to the farmer and saw the life in a Ukrainian village.
“Animal farming is the future”
“I am convinced that animal farming is the future. Especially cattle breeding,”
– says Vasyl.
His family bought a young cow “Milka” less than a year ago, and two years ago – a goat “Bazka”.
The cow does not give milk yet because it is still young. A goat can give up to four liters of milk per day. The man says it’s a lot compared to his neighbor’s goat. Vasyl feeds his animals only with natural food.
Younger family members – grandchildren, often take the animals toa pasture. Vasyl’s wife Eugenia or his daughter Maria milk the goat.
Vasyl Mandzyuk says that ten years ago, they even had two bulls on the farm. They were almost only ones to keep bulls in the entire village with a population of 2000 people.
Before Eugenia and Vasyl got married, they had five cows. The farmer jokingly adds: “It was a milk reception laboratory.”
About organic honey
Three years ago, the farmer began to keep bees. He says that they just fell into his hands.
“Shvagro was watching the cows on the pasture. He saw a bee swarm on one of the trees. He called me. I had some empty hives. It is possible that the insects flew here from afar,”
– says Vasyl.
In winter of 2017, the farmer had ten bee families. After cold weather passed, only three remained. Vasyl’s son-in-law Marian helps with bee keeping.
One hive was stolen. Today Vasily Mandzyuk has five hives he made himself. The man placed them on his parents’ farm, where nature is amazing. Now the family can eat some fresh, organic honey.
Also, the man plans to construct a bee pavilion: “There will be a trailer on wheels to carry bees to buckwheat and other herbs.”
Fields, greenhouses, and “bubophonia”
On the day when we talked to Vasyl, he had slaughtered a two-year-old pig.
“It’s a pity that you did not come a few hours earlier. You could see the whole process “,
the farmer laughs.
The man has bought two small pigs. By the way, the farmer feeds his pigs only natural foods. For this purpose, he grows vegetables and grains on an area of almost two hectares. There he grows potatoes, corn, wheat, beets, and pumpkins. Near the house, a man built two greenhouses.
In greenhouses, the farmer grows strawberries, radishes, pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers. And in the yard, he grows grapes.
“Last year, pepper grew faster. Also after May 1, 2016, we already ate strawberries,”
– says Vasyl.
The man wants to install a special heater in the greenhouse for the winter. He calls it “bubophonia” and plans to construct it himself, just as he did with a cultivator, a mill, and many other things.
A tractor “from a past century”
Vasyl also reconstructed his old tractor. The man says that the tractor is old, “from a past century”.
The farmer regularly repairs his tractor. Almost every week he has to buy new parts for the machine. Moreover, the tractor works without energy-saving technologies and needs fuel. However, difficulties don’t upset Vasyl. He continues to do his favorite work.
The farmer thinks about buying a special press, which will make hay and straw bundles right away. After all, cows and goats need hay for winter.
Vasyl also used to grow buckwheat. He says it is difficult because you need a particular machine.
How foreigners took pictures of nutrias, and buffalos trampled the fields
Vasyl says that he had a few muskrats and 50 nutrias on his farm. “Once, guests from Israel came to the village. Tourists came to take pictures with nutrias because they haven’t seen these animals before,” recalls Vasily Mandzyuk.
Nowadays, to keep nutrias, you need to have access to water – a lake, a river, or a basin. The man used to bring a bath for the animals. The farmer also had turkeys, quails, rabbits, and ducks on his farm.
At the moment, Vasyl’s family has three chicken, a rooster, and forty small chickens. The latter are often stolen by cats, dogs, and even foxes. Foxes are not afraid to run into the center of the village! The man claims that on the way to the field you can meet buffalos in the forest! Once made their way through a wheat field.
This story of the whole family involved in the development of agriculture leaves no doubt that that the village should be one of the main directions of state policy development. That is why Vasyl Mandzyuk and all his relatives ask young people to start small farms. For “there will be no Ukraine if single farmers disappeared”.