Last week we met Great Uncle Bulgaria in a Varna bookshop. But where were all the other wombles? We thought it would be nice if they could come and visit their great uncle so they have become the names for our garden plots. They are spread about the garden like a map of the world. Orinoco top left, Tobermory in the middle, Tomsk in the far northeast and Wellington down under.
The coming winter is going to be harsh but this is hard to believe at the moment as the sun is shining all day long. Nonetheless, we are preparing for the cold weather; chopping wood, clearing the grape vines, mending fences and sowing lettuce, onion and garlic. Hopefully the young plants will survive cuddled up under a metre or so of snow.
After the dogs of capitalism saw off most of our brood, we are left with one cockerel and a chicken, but at least we are getting some eggs. However, time is now running out for these two. We are going back to the UK in two weeks so I'm afraid the freezer beckons.
This village is a model for sustainable small-scale agriculture. Each household has its own land for growing vegetables, outbuildings for keeping animals, hay lofts for winter feed, fruit trees and grapevines. But these households are not entirely independent. Much of the agriculture is still organised communally. There is a village shepherd, a goat herd and a cow herd. Everyone with animals sends them out with the Palamartsa flocks each morning and then collects them again at night. There are also communal woodlands and fields for growing winter fodder. We are not sure whether this system goes back to soviet communism or is actually much older. Maybe when our Bulgarian gets better we may find this out. Someone has at last answered our advert for Bulgarian lessons. The first session is on Thursday at 6. Watch this space.
Finally, check out this video posted by Robin and Amanda on their web site. http://mangomanjaro.se/2010/11/12/the-bulgarian-dream-meet-chris-and-claire/
A and R have reached southern Turkey but are having trouble finding people to do the chicken dance..