Ms. Valentina Nikolaevna Elina knows all about the agricultural technologies related to cucumbers and tomatoes as she has worked in the industry for more than 39 years. She remembers how she first came to the production unit as well as the working conditions back then and why the trolleys loaded with cucumbers would creak.
"I was invited to Teplichny by my sister who had been working there for a year. At that period, I was working in construction. I came to the greenhouse, took a look and liked it there in the warmth with plants, not at all like in the construction."
"In those days teachers, medical workers and people of other occupations not related to vegetable growing at all were striving to join the greenhouse growers. However, not everyone could handle tough conditions and only the strongest stayed. It was hard labor back then, we did all the operations manually: shaping the beds, watering. Three times a week we collected the cucumbers, put them in baskets of 40 kilo each. By twos, we loaded them on a tray and they were carried away by a tractor. When the tractor could not manage to pick the produce, we loaded the baskets on a trolley, which accommodated up to half a ton and carried it to the storage: 400 meters one way. The trolleys would crack…"
"Our brigade was always ahead of others. We have worked with my immediate colleague, Ms. Vera Andreevna Pavlova 25 years together in one greenhouse. First, we were given a plan of 19 kilo per one square meter and we managed 25. Step by step the number grew to 30 kilo, and we still overdid did and made 35. Some other colleagues were not too happy as we raised the plank for everyone."
"I always went to work with pleasure. I was the first to turn up in the greenhouse in the morning, I did not wait for the bus and went on foot. When everyone came by 8, I had watered everything. I remember the enterprise sent me to a resort house, sort of forced me to take a vacation. And I was just given a new colleague. So my heart was not in the right place, I could not stop thinking how things were in the greenhouse. So in the morning I had my treatment session and then hopped on a bus, did everything in my dear greenhouse and then returned back."
"We had our own choir, organized by the union. We invited a harmonist, sewed concert dresses. We sang at farm parties and in the field, supported the growers. Gradually they started inviting us to city celebrations and to the television. We sang various songs: folk, pop."
"In 2020 there came the time of change together with the energetic and contemporary Mr. Butkov. First of all he dealt with theft, established the security and started renovating the production. He repaired everything, we were especially impressed by the service area, it was even scary to enter it in dirty boots after the greenhouses…
I cannot boast the same health as earlier, otherwise I would gladly work in such contemporary conditions, when manual labor in minimized. It is eight years now that I have retired but I have not been forgotten, my beloved enterprise congratulates me with jubilees, invites me to celebrations, etc. I am still proud. When I see the produce of the enterprise on the shelves of the supermarket, I always say proudly that it is our produce, the produce of Teplichny."