In our group, they laughed at him, but with respect, they knew that Andrei did not throw words into the wind. A friend often called me to himself, but I still could not escape. And now, finally, the long-awaited vacation. Where to spend it? There were two options - with a hoe in the garden or at sea, but for two weeks there is nothing because of the lack of finances is difficult. It was then that I remembered the invitation of a friend. He remembered how he said with ironic disdain: “The city is vanity, real life is here!”
Money on the road needed quite a bit. The village, after all, is not Sochi, the fare is cheaper, and the prices do not bite. This is a real Russian province. Came, as if on another planet. Silence, calm, where you will not look - forests and fields. The street on which my friend lives, at first seemed to me a ravine. Yes, so it was in principle. The houses in the village are mostly old, some fifty years old, few new. But the village is not abandoned - people live and live here.
Perhaps the reason for this lies in natural conditions. Here are gorgeous forests, rich soil and the cleanest river in Europe - Hopper. True, with the existing agricultural enterprises trouble - everywhere, no matter where I drove, the skeletons of collapsed farms, barns and pigsty stand. Russian paradox: the richer the land, the poorer the economy.
I thought: in Soviet times there were thousands of cattle in the collective farms, but there was no sausage. Now cows and pigs can be counted on the fingers, and sausages in stores in bulk. Another paradox.
Aboriginal people live mainly as a subsidiary farm - a garden, cattle. Of course, there are farms that are unsustainable, like all of our agriculture. Their motto is cheap and cheerful. One farmer, Andrei’s friend, bought an old combine for harvesting wheat for 35 sacks of grain. So judge by this fact about the wealth of local farmers.
Sow mainly sunflower and wheat. A meter, a unique layer of black soil allows you to collect a good harvest with minimal care.
Still, there is work in the area. You can go to work as a teacher, doctor or police officer. The salary there, of course, is small, but cash does not hurt anyone.
The first three days I rested. Bathhouse, as usual, moonshine and fishing. But then Andrew began to unobtrusively involve me in rural work. “Come on,” he says, “you can help mow the hay.” To me, a person especially urban, at first it all seemed exotic - water from a well, cutting wood, mowing grass. The further, the more I was drawn into the work, breaking away from the bustle of the city. I even felt sorry for Pushkin’s Onegin, who was depressed in the village. Of course, when you do not do anything with your own hands, you will always longing for it. The best rest is a change of activity, I was convinced of this on my own skin.
Soon I became friends with Andrei's family. She is big - father, mother, younger sister and brother. Previously, parents lived in the North, both, having graduated from the biological faculty, danced around the country and, finally, settled here. They have two houses - in one they live parents, in the other Andrey and his brother. The economy is pulling everything together. They are complete workaholics, but there is no other way.
Not everyone can cope with such an economy - a garden the size of a hectare, a lot of pigs, chickens, geese and ducks. They do not hold a cow - they say it is unprofitable. But keep an apiary - more than thirty bee colonies.
And Andrew came up with his own business. According to the book "Poultry" built a mini-incubator and grows birds for sale.
So, Andrey's working day, which was also my working day, starts at six in the morning. He turns the eggs in the incubator, moistens them with water and goes to carry the chickens out of the barn for a walk. Different types of birds - ducks, geese, chickens and indoutki walk with him in special portable pens. When the chicks pluck the grass under their feet, the corral just moves.
Then the second problem is to feed all this growing stock. To feed them you need protein food, so they grow better. This problem was solved by Andrey and I as follows: once every 2–3 days we drove out to the distant ponds in old “Zhiguli” and, putting on shoe covers, gathered a couple of bags of double-winged mollusks-toothless from the bottom of reservoirs. On this food, chickens are wonderful and growing fast. Boiled molluscs should be removed from the shell, twisted in a meat grinder with nettles and mixed with grain.
Complicated? But almost for free, and the increase is significant. We catch not all the teethless, leave a part for brood.
In general, ingenuity is developing devilishly in the village. When you need something, there is not even a thought to buy it. The first thought is where to get, what to do, what to exchange. Here barter is flourishing - today you give me grain, and in the fall I give you meat. Even in the store you believe in the word, you can open yourself a small loan.
After feeding the birds, before five or six o'clock in the evening, it is necessary to do something around the housework - fix the fence, build a pen for the chickens, warm the shed. And all this against the background of a burdensome mowing and work in the apiary. By the way, the bees bring a good salary at the lowest cost. The only drawback is when there are no honey plants nearby, you have to temporarily roam with an apiary in the fields of buckwheat and sunflower. This is engaged in the father of Andrew. He transports beehives with bees in the back of an ancient "Uazik." As a result of this trouble in a good year, one bee colony can produce a jar of honey - 50 liters.
Of course, all agricultural products are honey, poultry, and pork to dealers at a fairly low price. And it's a shame. It is necessary to enter the retail market - so much more profitable.
After you have been banging with a hammer and an ax all day, it remains quite a bit. It is necessary to mow a small mound of nettle and Jerusalem artichoke, grind the grain in the meat grinder and feed the pigs. Again, do not forget about the bird. All this lasts until seven or eight o'clock in the evening. Then there is sheer nonsense - turn over the hay in attics, shower freshly mown there and you can eat a little and rest.
And what next? It is known that youth takes its toll. I want to take a walk, have fun, because man does not live by bread alone. To go for a walk, you need to wash. For this you need a little - to get water into a two-liter barrel in a bathhouse from a distant well and chop a small pile of oak firewood.
After the bath you can take a walk. The youth in my friend's village is interesting. Many have studied or are studying in the city. They do not quite look like classic village boys. They do not say the word "chevy", they understand the words "abstract" and "correctly." Every second of them plays the guitar, independently picking up on her such songs that you cannot even hear in the city. One even writes music and plays the electric guitar. In general, the backwoods are rich in talents. It is a pity that there is little entertainment and prospects in the village - there is not even a good disco there.
Some young people are going to work in the city, some want to stay. They say that if there is work in the village, then the village will live.
... And Andrew does not expect gifts of fate, does not expect "work for a million", does not hope for manna from heaven - just sticks in 14 hours a day. I sincerely wish him good luck and I hope that no chichenkos will stand in his way.
I'm leaving. After all, I - a child of the city, I can not without the rumble of cars, without the windows of nine-story building glowing at night and the buzz of elevators. I am leaving tired, but at the same time with new forces. I am leaving to do in the city at least a third of the work that my friend Andrey does in the village.