The wanderer returns

We love hearing from you, so here is your chance. Introduce yourself and tell us what makes you selfsufficient 'ish'. Go on don't be shy, we welcome one and all. You can also tell us how you heard about us if you like.
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tosca
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:09 am
Location: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

The wanderer returns

Post: # 275751Post tosca
Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:29 am

Hello all. I joined earlier in the year, but events overtook us and in a whirlwind we looked at houses in Bulgaria, saw what we wanted, agreed to buy and were owners within a month. So notice handed in at two works, stuff bought, sold and packed, horse re-homed (mega sobs) cars sold (sob) and a dreaded 4x4 dogmobile bought for the drive out at the end of May and we are now well settled with a garden full of veg, eight chickens, two dogs and a lot of work. Early retirement? What's that?

So now we have a holding of 1,650 square metres with walnut, pear, plum, apricot, peach, fig and numerous (needing rescue) grape vines, A house with three bedrooms and two shower rooms, no heating yet and an outside staircase so have to go out and up them to go to the loo and bed, a cellar for storage and various outbuildings. The house was renovated six years ago to holiday home standard but only used for two months that year, and has stood empty since then. It used to belong to our wonderful Bulgarian neighbour's mother, and they have been using half the garden to grow over-spill veg, so has been well cultivated and was planted for us this year, so we have had masses of veg, and fruit from the trees, already. The other half of the garden was a jungle and went from tidy when we bought in March, to three foot high grass and horrendous strong vines in the two months till we arrived. It had been 'managed' by a company who came in occasionally and cut everything down, including ancient vines, fig and peach and any flowering plants which dared to appear.

So, that is us, and hopefully I will be able to contribute and share my experiences on here, as well as asking advice from all you experienced members.

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Maykal
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:36 am
latitude: 44.44361
longitude: 26.14056
Location: Romania
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Re: The wanderer returns

Post: # 275755Post Maykal
Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:34 am

Hello and good luck from neighbouring Romania. Just been looking at your blog, looks like a lovely set up you have there.

tosca
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:09 am
Location: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Re: The wanderer returns

Post: # 275796Post tosca
Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:50 pm

Thanks Maykal. It has everything we need....or will once the heating is in (wood burners) and internal stairs. We have great neighbours, ex-pats in the village if we need to know anything but can't make the neighbours understand, in fact a great village with food and DIY shops, bakery, coffee shops, restaurant, chemist. And now we have enough bottled food to keep us going in pasta sauces and fruit, as well as frozen fruit and veg for months and months. So all in all, a good start to a nearly self sufficient life. Trouble is, we will have to do all the preparation and planting ourselves next year. I have already realised that a lot of stuff is best grown in a nursery bed or pot to get them going before the real heat of summer. Hopefully in three years we will know what we are doing!

Luckily the son-in law of neighbours has a tractor. :iconbiggrin:

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Maykal
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:36 am
latitude: 44.44361
longitude: 26.14056
Location: Romania
Contact:

Re: The wanderer returns

Post: # 275797Post Maykal
Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:42 pm

Sounds like a well-equipped and vibrant village! I saw on your blog you shot a oriole. That was a good result. I've seen one flying past the house a few times, but it's never sat still long enough for me to get my camera.

I don't live at the house full time yet and I'm still doing the renovations, but I'm slowly getting things sorted out. I have a good piece of land attached to the house. Not huge, about 800m2, but enough for a good veg garden. Next year a neighbour and I will plant it out and he'll weed and water it when I'm not around and we'll share the produce. It'll also give me a chance to pick up some local wisdom on growing. My main project this year is to turn the grapes into wine. Last year I let a neighbour help himself to the grapes and he made the wine and I collected a few litres, but this year I'll hopefully have one of the cellar sorted out and enough demijohns to have a crack myself.

Do the Bulgarians have some kind of 'zacusca'? It's basically a way to use up surplus eggplants if you fancy some more stuff in jars! :)

tosca
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:09 am
Location: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Re: The wanderer returns

Post: # 275799Post tosca
Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:05 pm

I have made a load of lutinitza, which is a thick sauce made from tomatoes, peppers and aubergines which they use for all sorts of things, including pizza and as a topping for toast and bread. I added onions and garlic to mine, but I think the proportions are dependent on availability and taste. I have frozen some roasted aubergine pulp and lots of roast peppers in portion packs as they are tricky to bottle due to having no acid.

We have a good amount of growth on the grapes, and the neighbour has shown us how to butcher.....I mean prune them. If we get grapes next year we will give them to the neighbour for making his premium rakia, which we get to sample at any time from 9am onwards. We don't normally drink so have to be careful. Breakfast at the neighbours' tends to knock you out for the day.

Sounds as if you have a good neighbour too. I agree that you will have plenty of land as long as you have good growing conditions as we do here, and plenty of water for the dry spells. Because the land is so good here things tend to get planted very close to get more in. They will have more space next year. We are going to give over more land to the chickens next year too as there is too much for the two of us, and the chooks will keep the weeds down.

And thank you for reading the blog, all readers are appreciated and it gives me the push to carry on, even though there is not a huge amount to write about sometimes. :icon_smile:

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