‘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 Sep 2012
We are a small organic farm and 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 our land fertile.
We grow a range of organic vegetables, soft fruit, fruit trees, herbs, green manure, animal feed and flowers. We practice seed saving and incorporate permaculture practices. Operating on a small scale means we are involved in every aspect of the work. We have tried to create an integrated system in which our animals eat our waste, turn it into farm manure and create a natural fertilizer for the garden. They also clear the land of weeds and cultivate it in autumn and winter.
Our garden is very fertile and provides us with all our vegetables. Most women here are accomplished at making preserves over open fires in large pots in the garden. We have learned from them how to turn our luscious red tomatoes into traditional tomato sauce, ketchup and harissa; and fruits into jams and compotes. We jar preserves in the garden in the traditional way. Everything from aubergines to courgettes to green tomatoes provide a range of chutneys while one of our summer favourites is courgette fritters.
Most gardens have a few grape vines and the climate is perfect for growing sweet and juicy grapes which make wine or rakia, the local home-made spirit. Rakia is a favourite at any village celebration or party and each brew has a distinctive flavour depending on what fruit it comes from. We make our own white and red wines, rakia and elderflower champagne. You will have an opportunity to do a quality test during your stay.
Our chicks, goats and pigs are a vital part of farm life producing meat, milk and eggs and of course manure for the garden.
We have 9 Rhode Island Reds who produce tasty eggs everyday. They were bought from the market in Popovo where each Friday it is possible to buy chickens, ducks, geese, sometimes even pigs. The hens live in the animal yard but sometimes in winter they wander around the garden.
Our pig has her own little house and play area in the garden. Many villagers buy a piglet in spring and kill it for Christmas, turning it into an endless variety of ham, bacon, sausages, chops, salamis, brawn and roast pork.
Denny and Monny, our two goats, spend their days in the surrounding hills with all the other village goats, looked after by the village shepherd. In Winter, when there is lots of snow, they stay inside and keep warm. In summer, we grow alfalfa to feed them during the winter months. They get pregnant every autumn and have their kids in the spring. We turn their delicious milk into yoghurt and cheese.