Friends, family and first volunteer of 2016

The beginning of March was a bit hectic, we really wanted to get the central table in the kitchen finished before our first guests arrived. This involved a few late nights but we managed to get it finished two days before they arrived. March has seen a few visitors come and go, our first arrivals were June and George, friends from the UK. June visited us last September and loved it here so much she dragged her partner with her this time. While they were with us they helped get the new chicken shed finished and did some work for the new covered walkway to the bathroom, including removing the old box hedge, putting in the latts for the plaster board and starting work on the new wall. We did have a few days off, mainly because the weather wasn’t kind to us, it was cold and wet quite a bit of the time for their visit. It started to rain as soon as we picked them up from the airport and the sun came out the day they were leaving but there’s nothing we can do about the weather.

After they left we had two days to ourselves and then Melody our first volunteer arrived. Usually our volunteers stay in the guest house but as she was on her own and the weather was generally still a bit cold and wet she stayed with us. The main jobs we managed to get done were to install the insulation and the plaster boarding done in the walkway and we also tackled the challenge of  making 6 old  broken chairs into 4 usable ones and as a finishing touch made some cushions for them. Typically the day Melody left us the sun came out and we’ve had a week of temperatures reaching 30C and clear blue skies. We also had a visit from Jane, Steve and Molly who stayed for 3 nights before heading off to Plovdiv. We had a relaxing couple of days with them, taking in the village and a visit to Cherven Fortress before they left.

The main part of the barn roof is now finished thanks to Vic our friend who transformed a very wavy roof to a nice flat one complete with gutters  which run into an IBC for collection of water that we can use for watering the garden when we have a dry spell. The wall and framework for the first part of the walkway is now complete, just the roof to put on to make it water-tight and we can start knocking the rotting plaster off the old exterior wall.

We now have 10 new chickens ( egg layers ) that are making themselves comfortable in their new home and they are turning out to be great layers. The beans and peas are now in and so far they are doing great, because last year we were very short of peas this year I planted loads but you can never have too many peas 🙂 The garlic I planted last autumn is also doing well but the onions aren’t, I think I mulched them too early so this back end I’ll leave the mulching till later in the year when they have grown to a decent size. The mulching of the beds with straw and leaves seems to be working really well, I am getting very few annual weeds in the beds the main problem is still with the thistles but I’m slowly winning the battle with them, pulling them up out of the beds as soon as they appear and as for the rest I’m digging them up when I have the time and strimming the rest so they don’t get a chance to seed. The garden is looking really nice with all the blossom out and the trees turning green, spring has definitely arrived with the return of the storks, swallows and the hoopoes have arrived back.


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