Hi everyone, We are Grant and Emma.
I have worked the past 35 year in horticulture /arboriculture/nature conservation and the construction industry. Emma is a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist with a background in marketing and IT. We are restoring/ conserving a wonderful old farmhouse in the mountains of central Bulgaria using the traditional techniques, locally sourced and recycled materials combined with environmentally friendly technologies to create a peaceful eco therapy retreat for people to recover from stress breakdowns and mental health problems.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
There is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into a country that was until recently still behind the iron curtain. Plenty of evidence of this still exists everywhere you look. Many of the old ways of living day to day in these mountain villages still goes on, such as growing your own fruit and vegetables, tending livestock and living off the land. Horse and carts are still a day to day sight as is small flocks of sheep and goats being led out to pasture as they would have done for hundreds of years. For anyone interested enough to take the time to explore, the near by city of Veliko Tarnovo which was once the medieval capital of the country has much to offer both old and new. Closer to home the traveller will learn a variety of skills and techniques to do with conservation and repair of old timber buildings as well as approaches to horticulture/arboriculture and green living.
The various jobs that we will require help with at this stage of the project will include using hand tools to repair the structure of the medieval style farm house, for example, repairing cob walls/lime rendering/cleaning and treating timber doors/windows/ floors and beams. Helping in the construction of vegetable and flower beds,laying out paths, patios and ponds. Installing a grey water system. tree pruning, building a greenhouse/potting shed and compost system and share in the general day to day chores of cleaning/ tidying and cooking.
The accommodation available to the traveller during their stay will be one of the bedrooms in the farm house.
These rooms have lime rendered cob walls with earth floors and timber ceilings. They are simply furnished with a bed, single or double, a small bedside table a chair and somewhere to store clothes and personal affects. There is a shared kitchen and wet room with hot shower, toilet and basin in an adjacent building and a outdoor composting toilet. Due to the good weather most meals are eaten outdoors and most evenings spent under the stars around a fire . All meals, food and none alcoholic drinks are provided including freshly baked bread and cakes. we can accommodate most dietary requirements providing we know in advance.
We currently have a couple of bikes available for local sightseeing trips as well as a vehicle available to drop off and pick up from the local towns and city and there is a local bus that can be caught in the village to other villages around as well as linking you to buses to travel further afield. Just to the west of us in the province of Gabrovo lies the start of the Central Balkan National Park. One of the largest protected areas in europe with 9 nature reserves and is a member of the PAN parks award offering real wilderness with outstanding nature, great for climbing and hiking .
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week