Sustainable Organic Farming in Prague: An Interview

One thing that has frustrated me about living in Prague is that I haven’t always known how to find good sources of food here in the Czech Republic. My husband and I stopped eating almost all processed food almost 5 years ago, but it wasn’t until I got pregnant about 2 years ago, that we really started thinking about where even our “unprocessed” food comes from. We started learning about farming practices and the difference between organic and non-organic produce. We started reading about sustainable farming practices and how commercially raised animals are treated. We came across research about what different animals should naturally eat and how commercial farms give them foods that aren’t best for their health, or ours, just so that they can produce a higher yield more quickly. We wanted to start eating grassfed livestock and pastured chicken and only organic produce, but it felt totally overwhelming to find that here in Prague. Since I don’t speak much Czech I had no idea how to search for this type of thing.

That’s why I was so excited to learn about Bohemiae Rosa. This local Czech farm has blown me away with all that they offer grassfed beef, lamb, and goat meat, pastured chicken (which means that the chickens are TRULY free range and spend most of their time outside), eggs from pastured chickens, homemade pate, homemade bacon, homemade pickles, organically grown produce, unpasteurized honey, and so much more. They are not officially certified organic yet (the process takes 2 years), but they follow organic principles. Even better they also implement sustainable practices and think about what is best for the animal, the environment, and our own health as well.

They speak WONDERFUL English and deliver right to your door in Prague (as well as having a few distribution sites throughout the city). I’ve gotten three orders from them so far and I’ve been so happy with each of them. We’ve gotten delicious vegetables, fresh fish, tons of eggs, tasty bacon, and even some beautiful liver. I have been so excited about this farm that I decided to interview the farmer so that we all could learn more about this sustainable farm right in our backyard.

So, without further ado, here is my interview with Ingmar:

You call yourself a “sustainable farmer” what exactly does that mean to you?

Sustainable means that production methods need to include the nature of the animals, the surrounding nature and general welfare of our planet and all that live. It takes organic much further. Organic means no artificial fertilizer, no pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.

It is perhaps best to give some examples:

If you feed a cow organic feed, you can call the beef organic (it it spends a certain amount of time outside). However, the nature of the cow is that it is a ruminant: it does not naturally eat grain! Grain actually increases the acidity of the stomach, causing the cow to get ill. This can be so severe that in the US cows are slaughtered at 14-16 months, they cannot keep them alive any longer. Sustainable practices then ensure that the cows only eat grass and straw (or in winter).

Flying your lettuce or other vegetables around the world in a airplane is obviously not good for the environment, sustainable in this case means buying local (officially with 160 km of the farm).

Chickens raised in a barn with 60,000 together, on organic feed and access topasture is called organic. The nature of the chickens (bred to sit and eat all day), is that few will actually go outside the barn. Anyway, just imagine the logistics, a day has 86,400 seconds, will each chickens go out and in the barn, they would have only 14.4 seconds each to do so (7.2 seconds to get out and the same to get in). This is not something that actually happens, so the chickens rarely go outside.

Sustainable means that the chickens are raised outside in small groups of max 250 each on sufficient land and grass. They do have a chicken house where they can sleep and shelter from the rain, but they spent most of their day outside eating grubs and insects that increase the omega-3 in the eggs tremendously.

How did you become a sustainable farmer? Did you grow up wanting to be a farmer or did something happen in your life that led you to that path?

When our children were born my wife and I started looking at the labels of store bought food, and what we read scared us! We became avid readers of books and reports on how food was converted from something that was essential and healthy to something that kept long well and looked good, but did not contain anything of value. Instead we realized that much of the food available in stores was actually dangerous to eat because of the toxins etc. Along the way we also learned that the production and processing methods applied were not friendly to either human or nature in the long and short term. It was then that we decided that enough was enough and if big business could not feed us properly, we would do so ourselves. One thing led to another though and it is easy to produce too much for one family, so we decided to share our food with those people who would appreciate it.

How long have you personally been farming? How long ago was Bohemia Rosa started?

In 2003 we started looking for a farm in the Czech republic, and in 2004 we found the Statek in Otradovice. It took 2 years to finalise the purchase and another 4,5 years to renovate it and start production in earnest. So we have been farming for almost 3 years now, building up the herds and learning along the way.

What does an average day on the farm look like?

At the moment I start the day at 7 am, but in the summer much earlier than that, and finish in the evening when I lock up the hens. This is in summer at about 10 pm but in winter around 7 pm.

During the day I still spent too much time on sales and marketing, as we are still busy building our customer base. The rest of the day I organise the farm work and the food production.

How many people work at Bohemia Rosa?

We have a group of 10 very good employees that work with us permanently, and depending on need to employ a further 20-25 people, especially in summer.

What are you most proud of at Bohemiae Rosa?

That our customers love our food!

You produce your food “without using pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers.” So, I’m curious how do you control pests and produce a good yield? What types of natural fertilizers do you use and what advice would you have for home gardeners who want to grow organic produce?

Yield is a problem when you do not use chemicals. On average the yield is about 50% at the moment, but with special planting techniques, a lot of hoeing, companion planting and selection of pest resistant plants we aim to increase the yields. What we discover is that after a few years the yields actually go up because we do not use chemicals, the plants seem to develop their own resistance in absence of chemicals.

We use our own farm manure and use horse manure from a neighboring horse farm  as fertilizer. This we compost in a sustainable way for 1 year (with a minimum of heavy machinery and labor).

We actually produce sufficient volumes now that next year we will start selling our compost to the public.

You also do not use antibiotics or growth hormones on your animals and all your animals are given good living conditions. Your live stock is grassfed and your poultry is pastured. I think this is truly wonderful, but I’d be curious to hear why you personally decided to raise your animals this way?

It is a personal choice as well as concern for our health and environment and animal welfare. It is bad enough that we need meat, so we might as well make the life of our animals the best we can.

Do you ever supplement with grain for your live stock and under what circumstances?

Our sheep, goats and cows are only grass-fed, but our pigs and poultry get grain as part of their diet. We never deviate from that rule as it is bad for the ruminants but also bad for us. Grain has a deleterious effect on CLA in ruminants (this is a good fatty acid, that keeps the animal lean), and thus on us. In effect, feeding grain makes the animal obese by removing the level of CLA, great if you want to produce meat fast and are not concerned about health, but a no-no if you want the best for yourself and others.

What do you do when one of your animals gets sick?

We usually separate them from the herd or group so they have more rest and are able to feed at their leisure (but always in view of the other animals). A common problem with pigs is that they misstep and strain their ankles. In this case the vet sometimes gives them a shot of codeine to alleviate the pain. This goes out of their system within 6 hours by the way). When they get a cold the vet gives them a cocktail of vitamins, which is harmless but makes the animal feel much better.

Sometimes in summer poultry or rabbits get affected by coccidiosus, to which they will build up a natural resistance. It the worst case we will feed them medication and when better, process them into dog food.

What goals do you have for Bohemia Rosa and how would you like to see it grow in the future?

What really surprised us is that many of our customers want fruit, vegetables and dairy, all organic of course, next to their meat. So we have already expanded our gardens with an extra 1,5 ha for next year and will plant even more fruit trees in spring. Many customers have also expressed concern about the slaughterhouse we use. We know it to be a good one, but still have decided on building our own so we will be able to get organic status on the slaughterhouse as well. An additional benefit is that we can slaughter more often in smaller batches, so we can sell most of our meat fresh instead of frozen. Hopefully the slaughterhouse will be ready in spring. Having a slaughterhouse on the farm also does away with live animal transport, which is stressful to the animals. We will be one of the very few organic slaughterhouses in the Czech Republic.

I know that at this time you don’t offer dairy, is this something you might offer in the future? Do you know of any good grassfed dairy farmers who sell raw (unpasteurized) milk?

I just had a talk with the health and veterinary inspection last week about this, and they told me that we can sell raw milk, as long as we make it clear that the risk is with the customer. Having calculated the cost per liter I hope that the customers are willing to spend 50-60 kc per liter however, and this will leave only a few crowns for ourselves. Anyway we have decided that we will test the market, as soon as we have purchased the milk cows.

Cheese production requires large investments in facilities and if the milk sales come through in sufficient volumes than it is something that we consider as well.

And last, a more specific question that I’ve personally been wondering, Is your honey pasteurized? Or raw? Do you offer Royal Jelly, Bee Propolis or Bee Pollen at all?

Honey is one of the fastest selling products we have, and all the Royal Jelly etc are now used in expanding the number of bee hives. Out honey is not treated in any way, we take it out of the hives, remove the honey from the frames by centrifugal force and put it straight into the jars. The additional benefit for hay fever sufferers is that this way they build up some resistance to pollen (as these are now naturally in the honey).

Is there anything else that you would like me and my readers to know about Bohemiae Rosa?

We work hard at making good food for our customers and obviously sometimes still make mistakes when selling it. We have had issues with wrong labels, no labels, wrong prices and quantities etc. Please forgive us if we do. We offer a 100% guarantee when you complain, so please let us know when something is wrong up that we can correct it.

Our farm is open to inspection by the public and we also have a small hotel, so please visit us at least once to see for yourselves how we do things for you J

I loved doing this interview and learning more about Ingmar and Bohemiae Rosa and I hope you enjoyed it too. After my husband read Ingmar’s response all he could say was “We need to be friends with them.

Well, Ingmar, we love your philosophy about food and we’ve loved all of the food we’ve tried from Bohemiae Rosa! Thank you again for taking the time to share with us about Bohemiae Rosa. I hope that my husband and I can make it out to Bohemiae Rosa soon, to meet you in person, and see your beautiful farm for ourselves.

Personally, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

PS – I was not paid or compensated for doing this review/interview, this is just my honest opinion and I genuinely am completely excited about this beautiful farm.

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Why we’ve Stayed in Prague For Almost 4 Years

Not too long ago I wrote a post about why we moved to Prague and about how we are existential migrants. Today I want to write a little bit about why we’ve stayed in Prague for almost 4 years now.

When we first moved to Prague we both agreed that we needed to give ourselves a minimum time commitment. We knew that if we didn’t have something set before going into the move then we could very easily just move back when things got hard and we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to push through and give Prague a fair chance. We agreed that we had to stay for at least one year and I’m so glad that we did. If we hadn’t stayed at least that long we would have never met a number of people who have ended up becoming some of our closest friends.

Since that first year we have been almost constantly reevaluating our time here. There are regularly days when things are hard and we miss our family and we wonder if Prague is really the right place for us. The first few years, in particular, though, every time we asked that question we felt very assured that Prague was exactly where we needed to be.

Why did we feel that way? What made us decide time and time again to stay in Prague?

The short answer is that in an odd way Prague felt like home to us, and we felt surprisingly comfortable here from the beginning.

We felt at home amidst the foreign.

It sounds like an oxymoron to say that we felt at home amidst the foreign, but it’s true. I can’t speak for my husband and his reasons, but I can try to explain to you a little bit about why I think I felt at home amidst the foreign. This article says that most Existential Migrants “leave their home cultures because they never felt ‘at home’ in the first place.” For me, that’s sort of true. I’ve always felt a little awkward and uncomfortable in general and I think for a long time before moving to Prague I didn’t really feel at home in my home country. Being surrounded by the foreign suddenly it was perfectly ok and acceptable to be a little awkward or uncomfortable, it was even expected. With that came a feeling of freedom, I could relax into my awkwardness a little bit and that made me feel comfortable. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but it makes sense to me.

Bryan and I also really value cultures and languages, and difference. We value people having different opinions and ideas, different sets of experiences from ours and different perspectives. Surrounded by people who are very different from us and who think differently than we do, we felt at home and comfortable sharing our own ideas and thoughts. I remember so many times leaving a group of people and exclaiming to each other how much we loved the time and conversation, how much we loved so-and-so for sharing their outlook which was SO different from anything we had ever heard before. We would remark about how the people we hung out with where people we probably wouldn’t have been friends with in the states, or even had the opportunity to meet in the states, because they were fairly different from us and our normal circles, but we loved them and loved being with them.

We love how being in foreign situations, and meeting people who are different from us stretched us and in that stretching we actually felt comfortable and “at home”. Of course there are a lot of places in the world where we would be surrounded by a much more foreign culture and atmosphere than Prague, but Prague is still so different from our home country that we felt there was lots we could learn from that difference and that made us excited. It made us want to stay longer and soak up all that we could of the foreignness.

We felt at home amidst a dream.

We moved because we dreamed about living a different sort of life. We dreamed about living intentionally and distinctively. We dreamed about welcoming adventure instead of fearing it. In moving to Prague we knew we were taking an active step to pursue our dream and become the people we wanted to be, and in that pursuit of ourselves we felt at home. We stayed to continue that pursuit.

But, soon after we moved here we also connected with another dream, a dream that took us out of ourselves and, at least for me, was a significant reason why I wanted to stay in Prague past the 1 year mark.

Soon after we moved here we got involved with a church plant here. It was a church that looked different from the typical church and a group that was equally different. I loved it. We met in people’s homes, coffee shops and art galleries, often we didn’t have a set sermon but instead all interacted with scripture together. It got me excited about church again and I felt like I jumped in with my whole heart. I wanted to stay in Prague because I wanted to be a part of what God was doing here and particularly what He was doing in this group. I wanted to stay in Prague because I felt like I had a home and place within this dream/vision.

These past few years have truly been a roller coaster ride, and much has happened with this group of people and this dream. I still want to see what God will do here in the Czech Republic, but I feel less and less certain and more and unsure about my place within that work. But, that’s for another post…

We felt at home amidst the expats.

Expats are a unique group. We come from all different backgrounds and experiences, and yet we find we bond quickly because we all have one shared experience which shapes us – moving overseas. We may come for different reasons, but we all feel the pull of the foreign to some extent. We may come from different backgrounds, but we all embrace a particular openness to the “other”. I find that really refreshing.

Among expats I find a disproportionate number of people who are “like me” even though they may be ENTIRELY different from me. I find others who share my values for openness and diversity, for living creatively on purpose, for pursuing those things that really matter (because in a foreign country you quickly learn what is essential and what is not). Often expats are willing to go deeper more quickly and relationships develop at a sort of super speed out of necessity.

Expats are also a group of people with stories. They have done things, seen things, and been places. They aren’t content to just work normal jobs and raise their kids. They are often the kind of people who say yes to things instead of saying no and then see where their yeses take them. I like that. I love hearing people’s stories and I love the types of stories I get to hear in the expat community.

Bryan and I like being expats and we like the expats we meet. And so far we haven’t been ready to leave that community behind.
Staying in Prague has never really been an easy decision. As much as we may feel at home here, we also already have a home in the states and there’s a lot that we miss out on by being here. But, for the past nearly 4 years staying in Prague has always been a very clear decision. The reasons above are good, true, reasons for why we have stayed, but beyond them there has always been a less tangible more unofficial reason why we have stayed – something that can only be explained as a feeling or a still small voice saying, “Stay.”

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

A Random General Life Update

Well, it’s September and Love and Marriage month here on my blog is officially over – not that I won’t write about these things anymore, but the official themed month is done. This was the first time I’ve done a theme for a month and honestly it was hard for me. There were a lot of things I planned on writing about that I never got around to and there were plenty of times that I wanted to write about other things that didn’t fit with the theme.  I’m kind of glad that it’s done now and I again have freedom to write about WHATEVER.

So, today is dedicated to a little “whatever”. This is my random processing about a whole lot of things…

HEALTH

Yesterday I realized that the baby and I have been sick in one form or another (from Roseola, to food poisoning, to viruses, to bad head colds) all but about 6 days this month (and those days were pretty spread out). Literally it has been one thing after another. Usually this is a pretty good sign to me that I haven’t been listening to my body and that there are some emotional/spiritual issues I also haven’t been dealing with. Guess I should start listening…

RETURNING TO PRAGUE

We have now been back in Prague for 2 weeks – most of that time we’ve been sick. Not exactly the best way to return to a foreign country or ease our way through the culture shock. Thankfully we are finally starting to get back on Prague time and get Thaddeus to take naps and go to bed at almost normal hours… almost being the key word there. This has by far been the hardest it has ever been for me to come back to Prague. I miss the states. I miss English. I miss my family. I miss Bryan’s family. I miss all the conveniences of being in a familiar place.

FRIENDS

I’ve missed our friends here. They are what make coming back worth it. But, because we’ve been sick we haven’t seen very many people yet. Those we have seen have been so sweet though. One friend even made us a big batch of soup, which was WONDERFUL. What a blessing to not have to cook our first few days back. Then last Thursday we went over to dinner at some of our closest friends and it was just so nice to be with them and just relax with them. We need friends on this journey and I’m glad that I have the one’s I do.

MOTHERING

Lately I have sort of really hated being a mom. I mean most days this week I just feel like I’m not cut out for this. I can’t do it. It’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too constant. It’s the worst on days when Thad doesn’t sleep (which is often lately). I feel like I can’t even sit down and have a glass of water without being pulled on or screamed at. Bryan has been a lifesaver and so sweet through it all. He’s taken Thad for a little bit each day so that I can rest and get better. But, he can only do so much – he has to work too. Even with all Bryan’s help there have been multiple moments lately where I have SERIOUSLY wished that I never had a child. I know – I’m a terrible mom for even thinking these things. Like I said, I wasn’t cut out for this. I am not a natural born mama. It’s just not me.

ANIMALS

This is random, but I’ve realized more and more something else that just isn’t “me” – owning pets. I am just not an animal person. I mean I wish I was. I admire people who are. But, I’m not. I just don’t get the whole animal thing.

BLOGGING

I’ve been doing a lot of processing about the blog lately. I’ve been really struggling with what direction I want to take my blog and what type of place I want it to be. I’m realizing more and more than I’m actually not really “a blogger”. I mean I love blogging and have for years, I love writing and I do enjoy the people I meet through it. But, I’m not good at marketing my blog, I’m not consistent with my blogging, I don’t want to write in a specific theme or with a specific focus. I don’t want to spend hours upon hours a day working on my blog to make it into a business. I am realizing that I am not that kind of blogger. But, I also know that I’m not really just a personal blogger who just writes about her kids and she did that day. So, where does that put me? I’m not really sure. I guess I’m still trying to figure it out.

TWO FOR TUESDAYS BLOG HOP

Many of you who are regulars here may have noticed that I haven’t participated in/hosted Two for Tuesdays the past two weeks. I’ve been meaning to give an update on that and just keep forgetting – sorry. So, basically after much discussion and thought I’ve decided that the requirements for hosting are just too much of a commitment for me at this time. I just didn’t feel like I could do the event justice. In general I’ve been trying to weed through what aspects of blogging are really important and necessary for me and which aren’t – I have felt a little bit like blogging has started to interfere with my mothering and I don’t want that to happen. So, Two for Tuesdays was the thing that contributed most to my stress level and thus it was the thing to go. I do still love what the group is doing with it though and really like the other hosts who are involved. I do still plan on participating as a contributor whenever possible and I hope that you all will too. If you want to continue participating visit any of the hosts sites, for example, Alex at A Moderate Life.

FUTURE

I’ve felt very confused lately about the future. It looks so unclear. For so long even though the future was unclear it didn’t really bother me, I felt like I at least knew that I was where God wanted me and we would figure out the next step as it came at us. But, lately I want a plan, I want some stability. I am not 100% sure that we are where God wants us. I don’t know where He wants us to be. I feel less convinced than ever of my ability to discern that and more confused about where we should be and what we should be doing.

MARRIAGE

If you haven’t guessed from all that I’ve written already, Love and Marriage Month wasn’t exactly love and marriage month for us in real life. It was a difficult season, not an easy celebratory one. We loved each other well, and we aren’t fighting or anything, but it just feels like there’s a lot that’s been thrown at us both internally and externally lately. We’ve held hands and faced it all together, but it hasn’t left much time for turning towards each other. That’s been sad for me.

Well, that’s my random update for now. So, how are you all doing??

Rejoicing in the journey-
Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Mosaic House

At the end of June my husband and I had the opportunity to stay at Mosaic House. It’s a new hostel/hotel that our friends just opened up in down town Prague and it’s beautiful. I was so super impressed with Mosaic House that I just had to write about it here. I will tell you up front, in the interest of full disclosure, that we got to stay there for free thanks to the fact that we know the owners and they had some availability in the first few weeks that they were open. I decided on my own that I would love to write a review of Mosaic House here on my blog. This review will be all my own honest opinion.


Mosaic House greets it’s guests with a casual chic atmosphere that would be hard to durplicate. Out in front of the building there are a number of benches and potted plants that give the feeling of a little oasis amid the busy city streets. You come through the doors to walk across an old restored mosaic from the 1930’s into a large open room. The bar is directly in front of you with the check-in desk right next to it and off to your left. We came in with our 9 month old son and were soon greeted by smiling employees and fellow guests many of which took a quick second to coo at our “adorable” baby boy (which as a mom I of course deeply appreciated).

When we arrived it was late afternoon and the bar was already busy although not nearly as crowded as it would be later in the evening. Belushi’s Bar at Mosaic House is definitely the place to be. People were hanging out, making new acquaintances, watching the world cup games on the big screen TV’s and swapping traveling stories. It would be the perfect place to hang out with friends and grab a beer.

Since we had a baby with us we made our way to the restaurant off to the right from the front door and found a quiet room with a number of comfortable tables. This was probably my personal favorite room in Mosaic House. They had these awesome lights hanging from the ceiling and the bench that stretches throughout the whole downstairs of the hotel went up the wall in this room, which I just thought looked so cool. We hung out in the restaurant for quite a while with a number of friends from around the city. We had dinner there and each had great hamburgers with heaping servings of French fries. I only have two complaints about the restaurant: they didn’t have a high chair for babies/toddlers, and it wasn’t exactly “real” food – it was good food, but not really traditional, local, preservative free, organic, sustainable, or anything like that. The high chair may have just been an oversight since they had only been open a few days. And as for the menu, well, most restaurants don’t really serve real food so I can’t complain about that too much. But, wouldn’t it be great if more hotels and restaurants started to consider the health and sustainability of the foods they are presenting to their customers? Especially green hotels like this one?

That brings me to the coolest thing about Mosaic House and perhaps my favorite thing. Mosaic House is an environmentally friendly, green hotel.

Mosaic House features some of the most sophisticated green technology in the hospitality industry, including the first greywater recycling unit with heat recuperation technology in the Czech Republic, water heated with solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, room temperature levels and electric shutters controlled by a super computer based on occupancy, bathrooms with low-flow toilets, rain dance showers, and more.”

Seriously, how cool is that! I loved that they took an old building from the 1930’s and restored it not only into a beautiful and comfortable hotel, but also into an energy-saving, earth-friendly place to stay. I really appreciate that and wish more hotels were making these kinds of efforts.

All that’s great, but what about the rooms themselves, you ask? Well, there beautiful! Whites, burgundies, and natural woods create an elegant and comfortable feel in the thoughtfully designed rooms. The bed is super comfortable with big pillows and soft duvet covers. The bathroom is clean and fresh with a beautiful raised sink and a invigorating shower that you would never be able to tell is water-efficient.

Best of all though was the great customer service. Maybe it was due to the fact that we knew so many of the people working there, but even those we didn’t know were so friendly. I really appreciated that the employees smiled. Czech’s aren’t known for being smiley people, so I especially appreciate when someone in Prague takes a minute to smile at me. I also really appreciated how helpful everyone was. When we had a question or needed something people were really attentive to get it for us, or apologetic if they couldn’t (like the high chair).

Overall, we had a wonderful experience staying at Mosaic House. If you live in Prague go check it out – Belushi’s bar is a great place to hang out and the hotel itself is a wonderful place for a little night away from home even within your own city. If you don’t live in Prague but are ever traveling through I would definitely recommend that you stay at Mosaic House.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

Scenes From My Life: Our Neighborhood

Today I wanted to give you all a little tour of our neighborhood here in Prague, so you could catch a little glimpse of what life is like for an American mommy living in Europe. I’ll show you the street we live on, our local grocery store, our local health food store, the park nearby, and a few other little things in the blocks right around our house.

A little background which you may or may not find interesting…

Prague is made up of a number of different quarters.  We live in Karlin, which was the first district to be built just outside the walls of old Prague and is situated just to the east of city center, along the river. It was first established as a town in the early 1800’s and grew very quickly. It’s proximity to Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square made it appealing then and continue to make it an appealing district today. Industrial plants played an important part in the areas original development as well, with a number of significant factories located in Karlin. Today most of those old factory buildings have been turned into office buildings and shops.

Karlin became part of Greater Prague in 1922 and has sense then gone through many transitions. Originally it was a very nice area to live in with a lot of money poured into the beautiful buildings and architecture. One site I read said this about it, “This area was very, very interesting from a social point of view… The bourgeoisie lived here together with workers, and there were no social problems. The whole spectrum of society lived together in Karlin.” In the 1950’s the area began to decline and eventually it got a little bit of a bad reputation.

In 2002, the whole area was completely flooded. Karlin had the most damage from the flood and the whole district was two or three meters under water. This meant that after the flood there was a lot of reconstruction in the area and many of the old buildings were redone. Some are still being re-built and renovated. All this construction gave Karlin a new image and a number of new companies moved into the area.

I kind of feel like, now, Karlin has returned back to its roots of being a place where “the whole spectrum of society” lives together.

Well, here’s a little bit of Karlin for you to enjoy!

Rejoicing in the journey-
Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.