Your best gift to me is your time. The time you choose to spend with me. The time you choose to spend for me. And the same value goes to everything in the world. For example, food. It has always been important to me. To grow my own vegetables. To talk with the hens, who give eggs for my breakfast. To look in the eyes of the lady who makes cheese. And to know meadows where my honey comes from. I have always considered it important to put my own time and energy in the things I eat. Or at least to know where this energy comes from. So I decided also to find out where the herbs for my Madara cosmetic come from…
Normally I don’t like to use all my brain potential, because when you don’t understand everything, it makes life easier and happier. At least for me. But this was not that kind of a case. My friends at Madara told me about the organic farm far away from cities, deep in beautiful Latgale, surrounded by blue lakes and wild meadows… And I tried my best to not get lost on the way there. But I did. Twice. But the place I found and the end of the road was worth all the suffering and effort. So peaceful and quiet. So innocent and clean. I felt like at my grandmother’s garden, where vegetables and flowers are waiting for the grandchildren to arrive. And Ruta is a grandmother. Besides being an organic farmer, she is also a chief to a bunch of laborers and an employee at the Ministry of Agriculture. But above all, she is a friend, a mother and a grandmother. All these qualities radiate from her in every step she makes at the pumpkin field, wild flower meadows or the garden near her house.
As a typical grandmother she also couldn’t let me drive back 225 km to the capital without having a meal together with all the field workers. Not only I discovered that the meal I had hated since childhood, I actually loved that day, but also I had a chance to sit down and ask her how difficult it is to grow organic vegetables. “It is difficult,” she answered. “But isn’t it worth it, when you know it’s all clean?” Biological farming should be hidden deep in the countryside, far away from the road infrastructure. The farmers can’t use any kind of chemistry to fight with pests or weeds. Also any kind of fertilizer is forbidden. “Yes, it asks a lot for weeding. And yes, it gives less harvest. But the quality overtakes quantity here,” Ruta says.
And when I had finished my coffee at her office, which is also a dining room for her family, she gave me her self-grown (of course) sage tea for my flu and a big cabbage head for my dinner. And she sent me to the lake for a little break before running back to the city life. I think I drowned my flu and fever in that lake. “You are not the first one, my dear, who finds health here,” she smiles and sends an air kiss. “Come back in a month to help in a pumpkin harvest!” she laughs. And you know what – I definitely will! Isn’t that a luxury nowadays to pick up pumpkins for the cosmetic products you will use?