The Wild Thyme Project!

It's been a while since we’ve been in touch but we’ve been busy. Dennie the goat had a kid in March. Her name is Clairey and she is growing fast. Apart from planting up the garden, we have also been finishing work on the Ivanov Kushta eco-cottage.  Shortly after we moved in we bought the derelict house next door and we’ve been working hard ever since to make it into a sustainable little ecosystem.   This is what we’ve done, with lots of help from our friends! 

To recycle water, we’ve installed six 1000 litre tanks and a few smaller ones to collect rainwater from the roof.  Greywater from sinks and showers gets recycled into mulch basins in the ground which irrigate fruit trees, bushes or shrubs.  We’ve made an odourless compost toilet which doesn’t use water. There’s also a straw pee pot.  Straw is a great mulch but robs the soil of nitrogen and pee is full of nitrogen.  So they make a good combination.  Carbon rich sawdust is thrown into the compost toilet after a poo.  Again this kills the smell and helps make rich compost that can be used on fruit trees after a couple of years.  

For energy, we’ve tried to go as solar as our budget would allow. Our solar PV system of 1000 watts is enough to run lights, an energy efficient fridge, a laptop, recharge phones and power a CD player. To heat water, we’ve installed a 300 litre water tank on the roof above the showers. The water is heated directly from the sun.      

Most waste gets fed back into the farm.  What Ellie, the pig, doesn’t like goes on the compost heap for the garden. Most of our food is grown but we can’t be completely self sufficient.  Sugar, rice etc we buy in and this creates some waste through packaging. 

In the garden we’ve rebuilt a mud brick wall and restored the barn using mud plaster finished with limewash and clay paint. There’s a herb plot by the back door and we’ve started a small forest garden. In the long term, it will be a self sustaining plot with perennial fruits, herbs and vegetables.   

The house has been restored using natural and sustainable materials. The walls have been plastered with mud and straw and painted with locally quarried clay paint and the mud floors on the first floor have been repaired. On the exterior, we’ve restored the ornate art deco plasterwork and painted it in its original striking colours.

….so what now? Well, from 1st June we’re doing bed and breakfast and from mid June, the whole house will be ready for holiday rental. If you know anyone who would like an eco-holiday on an organic farm in a little Bulgarian village or wants a peaceful place to run a workshop, we’d love to hear from you. Here’s our website: