In the Czech Republic most every family has a cottage. It’s often in a different town than where their home is. It’s common to spend weekends at the cottage, especially in the summer. This is where Czechs grow their gardens, because the majority of people who don’t live in villages live in apartment buildings and have little space there to grow things. During the communist times, a garden was especially important because there was no depending on supplies of fresh food in the grocery stores. Even if you knew which day the fresh delivery of carrots would arrive, there was no guarantee you’d be in line early enough to get some for your family. Your own garden, and that of your granny from the village, was your main source of fresh food – and some other things. In our recent semi-frenzy to furnish our home, I asked Tom which would be a good store to buy pillows. He responded “Buy pillows? Nobody buys pillows. Your grandma makes them for you with the feathers from her flocks.” Oh, of course.
My husband’s parents are lucky enough to have a cottage big enough to live in comfortably, which they did for many years after they retired from jobs in the city. Now they live mainly in Prague in an apartment to be close to their kids. They now travel the 150km (about 90 miles) to their cottage in the village of Království (Kingdom) regularly enough to keep a thriving garden going. Tom is looking forward to trips to Kingdom to help his dad with the harvest this year, and of course, to have a couple beers with him as Czechs like to do quite regularly.
Here are a few shots of our last trip to the cottage in Království, including one of Tom and his dad waiting for the train to take us back to Prague.