Working Lives: Krakow

WATCH: Farmer Jadwiga Lopata helps other people grow their own food

Jadwiga Lopata was an IT consultant but she turned her back on her high-flying career to return to her roots.

Her family owned a farm just outside of Krakow where she grew up, and she now runs it. She says this is the best decision she has ever made.

Ms Lopata not only tends to the animals and works the soil, she also runs workshops in which she teaches other local farmers about the importance of maintaining traditional agricultural methods.

She is adamant that small-scale farms are good for the environment, not least because these households traditionally could not afford to buy pesticides. She makes about $200 (£125) a month, but grows her own produce.

When Poland joined the EU many farmers felt pressured to sell up so family-run farms could be amalgamated into large companies. She encourages smaller enterprises to be self-sufficient so they can keep hold of their own businesses.

Her way of life has many advocates; Prince Charles is among a number of high-profile guests to have visited her farm.


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