Eco-features

Organic Small-holding

We grow a range of organic vegetables for ourselves and our guests.  Our animals provide us with milk, eggs, manure and meat. We avoid chemicals and use crop rotation, compost, animal manure and green manures to keep the land healthy and fertile. 

 

'We had a wonderful time and even more than that: Claire & Chris, their animals, the whole atmosphere made our trip something special...we got to know the Bulgarian rural life...Because of your hospitality and the insight into your daily life we will ...take many ideas and new inspiration with us.  Thanks a lot.' 

Nina & Benjamin, Germany 

Chooks

We usually keep about 10 Rhode Island Reds. Kids love to help gather eggs in the morning.   

Goats 

Right now, we have 3 goats - our 7 year old Monnie; her daughter Barney; and her niece Immingham.  They will have kids in spring. Once the kids are old enough, we make yoghurt and cheese from our excess milk.

Our Pig

Every year we get a piglet or two in spring and raise them through the summer and autumn. 

Eco-features

We are very happy to be one of Bulgaria's accredited 'Zelena Kushta' or Green Lodges, supported by the Bulgarian Association of Alternative Tourism.  This is an organisation which recognises accommodation for their green credentials and contribution to rural tourism.

'A huge thanks to Chris and Claire who offered us a better way to think and live.  I hope to continue the eco holidays in Paris.  Long live tomatoes and home-made rakia!'    Clemence, Paris

The Garden

We use organic gardening and permaculture methods to maintain the garden.  We grow in raised beds using manure and compost and  our own liquid comfrey and nettle fertilizers.  

Preserves

The wonderful produce from the garden gets turned into jams, chutneys, tomato pastes, and sauces.  As learned from the local women, we make it in a large pot over a fire in the garden.

Making Wine

Every autumn our grape harvest gets turned into red and white wine; the apples and pears into fresh juice; and we have been known to make a bottle or two of rakia.

Community

Our focus here is on Responsible Tourism  and the internationally recognised 'Responsible Travel' have endorsed us. We are committed to looking after our environment.  We keep a few crafts produced locally for guests to buy and have set up some activities that guests can do with friends from the village (see experiences).

Culture

The village has a traditional singing and dance group and an orchestra which host festivals through the year and travel not only within Bulgaria but throughout the region for cultural events.  Chris was a member of the orchestra for several years.
 
Guests are welcome to attend festival activities and can visit the cultural display in the village centre and meet local women who produce crafts such as hand knitted socks, slippers and handwoven rugs.

Skill share

 Volunteers - Every year we have a small number of volunteers who come to work with us for a one to two week period.  They have helped us build mud walls, plant the garden, paint murals and learn yoga.

Exchange

Over the years, we've had lots of wonderful people come to share their gifts.  These have included artists, yoga teachers, herbalists, film makers, and musicians. (See below)

 

Art

In April 2017, British artist Danny Mooney visited as artist in residence.   He created a selection of wonderful landscape watercolours; figure sketches of local characters and life on the farm; and wonderful IPAD paintings.  See http://www.dannymooney.pictures and  www.facebook.com/dannymooneypictures/.

 

 Yoga

In 2018, we created our meditation/yoga space overlooking the garden.

In 2016, two volunteer yoga teachers, Ayesha and Maria, came and offered daily yoga classes to guests and friends from the village.

 Murals

In 2012 British artist Zoe Cameron came and painted our first mural.  When it got a little bit tired, artist Hannah Hannoot came and painted a replacement, incorporating some of Zoe's original.


Festival

 From 2012-2015, we were part of the organising committee for the biannual Luna Dolina festival at a neighbouring village. The festival brought together young people from abroad and locally to play music together for a weekend in a festival setting.

 

 Herbals

In 2015, UK herbalist Frances Wright of Green Lane Herbs facilitated a Herbal course.  Frances shared her deep knowledge with our guests and members of the community.  Village women brought their skills about how to use local wild flowers.

 Film & Music

In 2012, a group of French film makers, came and worked with local people to produce 8 short films.  These were shown in the Village Hall.  An example of one is a short film about making rakia at Wild Thyme.
 
In 2011, a group of gypsy Klesma musicians from Holland came and held an impromtu evening of jamming with local musicians.