On our journey throughout Eastern Europe we quickly fell in love with the haystacks that dotted the landscape. We knew our timing was poor for learning about food preservation, as that aspect of living off the land usually takes place in the fall. Nonetheless, the timing was ripe for learning the ways of cutting, curing, and preserving hay, and as it turns out preserving the hay is possibly one of the most vital aspects of food preservation for these people. Currently in Eastern Europe, and even in the western cultures many years ago, the haystack was the true symbol of agriculture, some say even more so than the pitchfork. It sounds and looks romantic, but don’t be mistaken it is very hard work. All of the hay is cut, cured, stacked and sometimes even transported by hand often with handmade tools. It takes far more skill to handle a scythe and know how to properly stack a haystack then it does to drive a tractor.