At the beginning of the 20th century, agriculture was thriving in the Hungarian farmlands. The owners of self-supporting farms with huge strips of land were fairly poor, but managed to get by. At the end of the 1940s over one million people lived in the rural farmlands of Hungary. During the years of communism, the farms were sucked into the industry and the collective farms, by the early 1990s, only 200,000 people stayed, and their number is strongly decreasing. Most of the young move away to find jobs in far away cities, as droughts and lack of modern machinery hinder families with small land to live from agriculture. Each year more and more abandoned farms are destroyed, to give space for farming companies – endless fields of crops are growing where once families were raised.
Farm in the middle of the woods, near Csemő
Having no electricity and refrigerator, the Péter family cook as much as they eat each day on their farm near Nyársapát
Lambs in a barn, near Nyársapát
Tamara Kiss washes the dishes at her family’s farm, which lacks electricity, in Nyársapát, but she wouldn’t move even to a village for all the money in the world.
Hens in a corn field, near Csiffytanya
Csontos picks corn near Bicere
Fields between Kunszentmárton and Öcsöd
Seeds, near Gátér
Drought is fought every year on Sándor's Farm near Nyársapát.
Istvanné takes 16 kinds of medicine on a daily basis, near Rókabokor
Imre Verényi has high blood pressure, which is checked by healthcare workers every week in Dézsitanya
Organic farming families get together for a birthday party near Ópusztaszer
Experimental vegetable farm, near Bicere
Winter-plough, near Fülöpháza
Ambrus Pesti holds a broken legged newborn lamb in his arms on his farm near Nyársapát.
Daily worker at a vegetable plant, near Mórahalom
László Néző is one of the last residents of Csiffytanya. The once flourishing Farmland township was full of life in his childhood, now only a few houses are inhabited in its only street
Abandoned Farm near Balkány
Péter Gallai has left his village, when he was eighteen to search for his father, who has left their family long ago, and lived on a farm. Now Péter lives in his father's old farm, which lacks electricity, and earns money as a day labourer at the farms nearby
Bus stop at a plantation, near Nyirlugos
Imre, Gyuszi, Attila and Marci hang out at one of the last farms in Csiffytanya
Pigeons arrive home, near Dézsitanya
Inflatalbe swimming pool by the corn fields of Csiffytanya
Drunken biker near Kalocsa
Farm near Nyíregyháza
Three families live under one roof so they can share the work around the cows, near Békés.
Kati Kiss chops wood outside her family’s farm near Nyarsapat, in southern Hungary. “When I go to Koros town to visit my son, I feel like I’m in a prison. Only the caretaker’s hearse can take me from my farm.”
Janos Gera sits in his kitchen near Mórahalom, in southern Hungary. Janos is living with a mental disability. He had a factory job in the town nearby, but as the factory has now closed, he stays at home on his farm most of the time.
Straw bales, near Tenk
Ernone Faggyas stands by her garden well near Morahalom, in southern Hungary. Ernone’s son drowned in a nearby lake as a child, the tragedy hit her family hard.
The Sunday mass is received via an indoor antenna through a battery-powered TV at a farm which lacks electricity near Törtel
Gabor in front of his house, near Balkány
Bus stop, Törtel
Jozsef Pallagi loads dried corn to a cart, to feed the lambs he is taking care of at a farm, near Törtel
Farm dog, near Törtel
Kati Kiss in front of her farm, near Nyársapát
Tamara Kiss brings in firewood to her farm, near Nyársapát
Woods, near Balkány
Old baler machine at a farm, near Törtel
Mihalyne hangs portraits of her children in the clean room of her farm in Rokabokor. All the three children left the Farmlands and found their future in one of the nearby towns
“Do you know where I will be spending the winter? Beneath my duvet!” Mrs. Sándor Takács doesn’t have enough money to buy firewood, she gets a bit of wood from the local government and his neighbors, and heats with that as long as it lasts
Sándor Kiss is drying wood for the winter near Nyársapát
With no bathroom to speak of, Sanyi Székely takes a bath each night in a basin. As their farm near Nyársapáti lacks electricity, he does his homework by candlelight