Driving through the Orawa region of Poland, you notice two things fairly quickly: first, the fields are long and narrow. That’s really nothing special about the region: such is the case throughout Poland. There have been efforts to help people consolidate their various fields through land reform laws (in essence, trading land with neighbors to have one large field instead of half a dozen scattered through the village), but the efforts have met with little effect in the south. The second that that you notice is that many of these fields are filled not with crops but with large stacks of thick, rough-sawn boards. Because of the nature of land ownership, there are often six or seven stacks about three meters wide, five or more meters tall, and probably eight to ten meters long.


“Nie martw się,” Babcia replies. “Deska nigdy nie marnuje się.”

“Don’t worry. Planks never go to waste.”

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