Along the river Vah, an hour from Slovakia’s capital city Bratislava, lies the small village of Dlha Nad Vahom. Susanna Pastorkova spent her childhood summers here, staying in her grandmother’s communist style bungalow, before leaving to work on luxury yachts around Europe.
When Susanna came home seven years ago, she wanted to grow food that carried the flavour and traditions of the vegetables she remembered from her youth and she set about creating a market garden and running a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project from the seeds and cuttings given to her by the local community.
Despite her family’s protestations to find a job better suited to a woman, Susanna now cultivates 40 different varieties of vegetables, 10 herbs and many different types of fruit, all of which she packs into boxes and sends to sixty families in Bratislava.
Around 70 per cent of the food she grows from seed has either been handed down to her by the village elders or she has sourced from her travels. Her quarter of an acre garden now boasts beans from Ireland, herbs from Hungary, onions from Romania and pumpkins from Cyprus.
Susanna puts the success of the garden down to the way everything works together.