Wild Thyme Organic Farm and Eco-holiday, Palamartsa, Bulgaria'The days when you could walk a sow down the road to a boar are more or less over.' That is a quote from the ‘Backyard Pig and Sheep Book’, which was written in 1977. Admittedly, they are talking about the UK but that practice has certainly not died out in our corner of southeastern Europe. Back in February, we led Ellie through the snow to the other side of the village. She had a hot date with Rumi’s boar. That day was one of the coldest in what was a very cold winter and it is hard to believe that since then the temperature here has risen 65 degrees. Yesterday it was 44 centigrade in the shade. As the temperatures rose Ellie produced 7 piglets, two months old today. Five have been sold to various people in the village to be fattened up for Christmas meat and we have kept the two smallest, Stumpy and Squealer to rear ourselves. In a piece of perfect symmetry one of them has gone to Capka and Petko from whom we bought our first two pigs, including Ellie, just over a year ago. 

In other news…. Claire learned how to make cheese from Anna and her mum, Baba Gana, so we are using up the milk we get from Denny. The latest recipe uses thyme and oregano. Stephan and Galia sheered their flock of sheep in June and gave Claire two fleeces for spinning yarn. In exchange she has to knit Stephan a pair of socks with the wool by next year. So far, our neighbour Hristana has shown us how to wash the fleece. 

The festival season is in full swing with folkloric dance and music events for the Palamartsa Ensemble virtually every other weekend. The final exciting word is that we have our first Bed and Breakfast guests this month and fifteen French film-makers will arrive on their Kinobus for five days to make a short film. Watch this space.