Author: Joe

Craft beers in Bulgaria

Coming to Bulgaria can be a bit of a disappointment if you enjoy drinking real ales in the UK. The commonly available lagers are thin, insipid and mostly give me a headache. You can imagine my delight then when I discovered that Bulgaria has a thriving craft beer movement, mostly comprising microbreweries. I discovered this when a film crew came…

Stara Planina ridge

A mini break in Trojan

Almost two years and one month to the day since Julie and I started work on this house, we have finally decided that we need a holiday 😮 A last minute trawl around, and confirmation from a friend that she can come and house-sit, and we’re off to visit Chiflik, a small village in the hills above Trojan. So…

Improving the soil with manures

The transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest pre-occupation of man. man being the chosen alloy, he must be reconnected—via shit, at all cost Patti Smith, “25th Floor” from the album “Easter”, 1978 And so it is here on our smallholding. A huge amount of our time seems to be being spent collecting, storing, turning and finally distributing manure and…

Waiting for the big pond to fill up

A very different May/June

After a lovely start to this year, May and June have had awful weather. Mostly dry, but with huge thunderstorms. It’s been so wet that most of our soft fruit crops have been lost to moulds, and those that have survived are pretty tasteless. So this year we have barely any greengages, strawberries, or cherries. On the plus side,mulberries have…

Ducklings – here’s peeping at you!

We got our first ducklings today. Fifteen of them, just ten days old, and very excited about all the new things they’ve encountered today!

We’ve got them living in a large cage until the chickens get used to them, then they will have a cosy house to live in. We also want them to get a bit bigger, so the cat isn’t as tempted to try a tasty duckling snack!

Julie and our helper Michael have been busy digging a pond for them to live in, which we hope to have finished by next week. In the meantime, they are getting to play in water under our supervision. Here’s one getting dried off after his swim!

Drying the ducklings
Drying the ducklings

They are eating and drinking well, getting through 2 1/2 litres or water this afternoon, but I guess they have been pretty stressed.