Losing a job these days isn’t some weird news. On the contrary, every year Croatia has a decreasing number of inhabitants who seek their place under the sun outside the country.
However, sometimes the braver, more courageous ones also appear; those who, despite difficult living conditions and stories, decide to stay in their country and “roll up their sleeves”. Some of them are members of the Šipek family. After losing their jobs in 2003, they decided to write their own, authentic story, a story that comes from the land, and this is our story about them:
Knowing that their new job does not have working hours or a guarantee, but also that it brings with it many challenges, did not prevent the Šipek family from investing all their effort, knowledge and time in agriculture. The decision initially fell on conventional farming, but with experience, knowledge is also gained, so realizing the importance of organic farming led them to the first major milestone in the business. They redirected all their knowledge and experience to organic farming. Although organic farming, due to the ban on the use of herbicides and pesticides, involves a lot of manual labour, which also increases the cost of production, and thus products, they believe that they did not make a mistake by switching to this type of cultivation.
When we talk about the products, it’s time to find out what exactly is in the assortment of OPG Darko Šipek. If you walk through the Varaždin market, you will find homemade tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, kale, cabbage, leeks, spring onions, carrots, beans, spinach, kale, celery, parsley, strawberries, black oil, but also what they are most proud of. – pumpkin oil from Varaždin. That it is worth trying is evidenced by the gold medal from the oil exhibition in Austria in 2020 and the silver medal from the exhibition of Varaždin pumpkin oil in 2018/2019.
Firstly, pumpkin seeds must be ground. Secondly, from the gained mass we should make a dough that is fried at a certain temperature until we get a mass for pressing. Thirdly, the mass goes to the press under high pressure, after which we finally get fresh pumpkin oil, which must stand for some time to settle and mature. If just like us (before reading this procedure), you thought that the process of oil production cannot be overly difficult, you are mistaken. For only one litre of quality pumpkin oil, 3 kg of pumpkin seeds are needed (depending on the quality of the seeds).
Fortunately, Varaždin County has recognized the effort and time that needs to be invested in the production of pumpkin oil. The county thus founded the Varaždin Pumpkin Oil Association, which brings together pumpkin producers and helps them promote their products. Thanks to their help, you will find the products of the Darko Šipek family farm, apart from the Varaždin market, at various fairs and events in the vicinity of Varaždin County.
Not only they have hard-working and diligent hands, but also big hearts. In support of this, we will share their answer to the question: “What makes you better than your competition and why to choose your product next to theirs.” They replied: “Our competition are the members of the Association, but we do not consider them as a competition because we all have the same quality oil.” Well, we do not doubt the quality of oils from other manufacturers, but we are convinced of their quality just like our many consumers.
Varaždin County brought them to our door. We quickly realized the value of mutual cooperation, so the next, logical step was to list them in our online VeeMee database and assign them their own QR code. Its value, as they say, is primarily recognized by young people and it makes them very happy because if the “world stays on young people” they do not have to be afraid for the potential and future of their own products.
All the difficulties and challenges they are facing in production are forgotten when, after consuming the product, praises and compliments arrives at their address.
If your own compliments are not among the praises, and if you do not find time to visit the Varaždin market and fairs, you have no justification because, “thanks” to the Corona pandemic, the products of the Darko Šipek family farm can be delivered directly to your door!
Until the next reading,
Your VeeMee Advisor!