Spring is on it’s way

The snow has now all gone and it’s been warming up quite a lot, so much so I was gardening in shorts and a tee-shirt yesterday in 24C but typical of Bulgarian weather we are now back in jumpers today.

February has been a busy month so far. Joe has tidied up the electrics in the kitchen now that we know where we want them, up until now they have been attached to pieces of wood on long bits of cable so we could move them around before committing to fixing them properly on the walls. The sink unit now has a completed worktop and we even have a small boiler so we now have our first instant hot water in the house. We don’t intend on using it all time but but it will be handy if we don’t have the pechka lit and need a lot of hot water for cleaning or washing up. Joe’s kitchen unit is now finished. Unlike mine where we could use 2 old tables for the base, Joe’s had to be made from scratch as he wanted his higher than mine. We have removed the old ceiling and plaster from the old work shop which is now our freezer room and were pleased to see the beams and cob are in a reasonably good condition so when the central table is finished for the kitchen we will start work in putting that back together.

Now that the kitchen is a bit more organised Joe’s been upping his bread production and learning to use the pechka. The bread has been good, but the limit seems to be about 6 loaves at once in the oven which last us about a week. The home brew we started has now been bottled and it sat ageing for a while. We have friends visiting in a couple of weeks so might use them as guinea pigs 🙂

We are planning on getting about 20 more chickens soon, some for meat and some more for eggs.  The house our current chickens are in is far too small for that amount of birds so Joe has started work on predator proofing one of the other out-buildings. The first job has been to remove a slatted wall and put a new ceiling in, and extend the lighting to the new room.

In the garden we have fed and mulched all the fruit trees and started work on next years compost, we have also started off quite a few seedlings. We’ve had a go at making our own seed compost from last year’s compost, sand and soil, so we’ll see how that goes. Last year we planted a lot of things straight into the ground but then when the weeds started to come through we couldn’t tell the plants from the weeds, so even though we are now better at identifying Bulgarian weeds we are starting most of our veg in pots. We have decided the beds last year were in the wrong places so they’ve all had to be re–dug so we now have twice as much growing space as we did this time last year and have got our seeds started earlier so we are pleased to be ahead of schedule.

It’s not all work we were invited to attend Trifon Den again this year. That came with it’s own set of unforeseeable problems. Last year we went to the party in the village centre and were invited again this year, so of course we said yes. Then a couple of days later some of our neighbours invited us, so we said we were already going to the celebrations in the village centre only to be told the party was to be held at the hunting lodge, ok so the party had been moved. It was only after going to another friend’s house we realised there were two parties, both to be held at the same time but by different groups of villagers, we don’t know all the details but these two groups don’t get on, we didn’t want to get in the middle of a village feud but knew that which ever party we went to would in some way show our allegiance to one group rather than the other, but a decision had to be made and it was rather an easy one we chose to spend the time with our neighbours at the hunting lodge, after all they are our neighbours and we enjoy spending time with them, time will tell if the other group bare any grudges.

  4 comments for “Spring is on it’s way

  1. Marilyn Laugesen
    February 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    hey busy you are !! That bread looks good ,

  2. Robyn Richardson
    February 24, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I agree with Marilyn. That bread really looks good! I wish I could stop by for some of your brew. 🙂

  3. July 31, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    You mentioned preditors… We are bringing our hens and wonder what wildlife wanders around the village? P.s Those loaves look great!

    • Joe
      July 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Lyndsey, our main predators of chickens are foxes, pine martens and stray dogs. Rats, stoats and weasels will also take eggs and probably chicks, so best to be well protected! Having a dog in with the hens during the day is a good idea, but we don’t trust our dogs either, so we just cross our fingers!

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