Spanak Tseluvki or Spinach Kisses

Having an abundance of organic vegetables can be a creative challenge. In winter, when everything in my garden is dead, dormant or covered in snow, the hardy Spinach does amazingly well in the cold climate. These bags of greens require occasional imagination to keep them desirable. The leaves are packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A…

Detoxing the mind, body and soul

Throughout my life I have been on restrictive diets for various health and welfare reasons, to eliminate physical problems and to care for the world around me. My first hand knowledge of dairy free, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free eating has meant we can offer all these specialist diets to our guests. The…

Gluten-free doesn’t mean missing out

A popular diet in healthy living is gluten free. It is becoming widely known that our bodies find it hard to process certain foods and the glue that holds them together is often the culprit. Gluten is a protein that helps our favourite breads and pastries stay in their risen state when baked, but it is…

2017 yearly roundup

A dramatic 2017 was the year of a very long hot summer after a dry winter, with very little rain for over 4 months and I was very aware of the forest fires that raged in Portugal and caused a lot of suffering. So when our mayor phoned me to tell me there was a…

If only they could talk

and listen and understand… I’m talking about my farm animals of course. They all have their own languages to talk to each other but I wish they could speak mine. It would make life so much easier.  Like telling me when they’re ill and what the problem is… Chickens are the most vocal of my…

Super Soup

A very basic dish that I find one of the most rewarding because its so easy-to-make and packed full of healthy nutrition without the preservatives added in processing. Also a great way to use up surplus organic vegetables, wild mushrooms and the remains of roast meat. Soup can be enjoyed fresh throughout the year but also easily freezes…

Variety is the Spice of Life

In Bulgaria the four seasons are very different.  There is a vast difference between the hot and dry Mediterranean summers and the snow covered -20°C winters. Whilst we relished the chance to experience ‘proper’ seasons in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, we had become used to the all-year-round availability of fruit and vegetables in UK supermarkets. Large…

2016 yearly roundup

After an easy winter and a dry start to 2016, the weather turned wet, with a rain shower almost every day until mid June. What followed though was the driest summer we’ve seen and our 13,000 litres of backup water storage wasn’t enough to keep us and our house low maintenance! Even now at the end…

Marrying the Old with the New

We feel incredibly lucky to have found our little piece of heaven in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, a small but strong community village, frozen in a bygone era, and have embraced the old ways of living for health and happiness. Living a more rural way of life has many benefits but we’re glad we could bring…

Breeding like rabbits

It was after reading John Seymour’s, ‘The new complete book of Self Sufficiency’, that the idea of farming rabbits was born. I had enjoyed the taste of wild rabbit meat and disagreed with the way shop bought rabbits live in the same, or worse, conditions as battery hens. With a large garden full of organic…

2015 yearly roundup

Another year has passed in the mountains and I’m pleased to report that after the wetter 2014, this summer was the expected ‘hot’ mediterranean heat that lasted for 3 months. Blue skies, bright sun and 38°C everyday. Lovely 🙂 Yes it was dry and a few times our mountain spring did not cope with the…

2014 yearly roundup

Another year on in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria, and I’m still learning something new everyday, becoming more and more adaptable and expanding my DIY skills. Here’s a roundup of a few of the things that have occurred this year… 2014 has been another year where water has been a huge issue but this time…