April means spring, and Chipka has become green in no time ! It is chill and pleasant as the shire, just missing hobbits. So it was definitely time for gardening !
Yep, authentic scythe, be careful !
We worked on hot compost, Frida has written a great article about it. http://omind.org/2022/04/29/hot-compost/
We planted trees in the fields after the machine made the holes, we cleaned the lands and marked the trees. We were helped by volunteers from Cheinovo, they are great and fast workers. Let me tell you what we did for planting !
The holes were around 40*40cm large and deep. You just have to put the tree inside, cut some roots if they are too long. Cutting them gives a little boost to the tree that wants to regenerate them. The tree must face south with more sun, and the beginning of the tree must be out of soil after covering.
You may add some dirt to help the tree to hold, but keep its roots visible. On these roots, we put fungus (mushrooms) looking like white powder that will help the tree. We also put a kind of salt around to keep humidity inside the soil. You can add compost, then fill the hole with soil and make it a little bit more compact. At the end, you aim for a circle shaped so that rain water stays around the tree.
We saw another rising beds method with Boujidar, here what we used !
Woods pieces : First element we put on the floor, the idea of these pieces of woods is that they act as sponge and keep humidity inside the soil (some pieces of the floor). Old wood, sawdust are really good for it.
White sand : even thinner than sand, its minerals for the plants (half of a small bucket).
Soil : taken in the forest under trees. Do not take it under fir trees, it’s too acid soil and only good for growing strawberries or blueberries.
Choosing the right place : under some small wild trees to prevent too much sun ! Summer in Bulgaria is really hot ! Also, wild trees are resistant to sickness and may not spread diseases, and can also be used for grafting.
It is also good to be perpendicular to the hill so rainwater will naturally go there.
Last step would be to put mulch to keep humidity in the soil. Don’t put too much if the seeds are not already a little bit grown or they will struggle to pierce through the mulch.
The first art exhibition happened in Kazanlak with 50 paintings from artists that wanted to support the Chipka community. A great work was done to prepare it and make a poster (Made in Chipka by Frida and the chitalishte team).
Art exhibition in Sofia, the idea was to present the pictures printed on glass from one hundred years ago in Chipka. We have discovered the wonderful album made by Alexander Ivanov with Polina sister and Tatyana. It was a big success as we think 100 people came and many albums, small pictures were sold. They share a lot of emotions, tell stories and you really visualize how life was before. Some were too damaged, but it created an interesting art concept !
Guillaume and I had for sure the most important job about the exhibition.
We got lost in the art building, and Guillaume lost his legs…
For us volunteers, it was a great month for traveling, we have seen many places, and even went to Bucharest in Romania.
Yes there is tourism in Chipka, even from Spain ! Frida’s family visited us for one week, they also had a big trip with Vasco as a guide. We have discovered how well they cook and how nice they are. Thinking about Aleich cooking makes me hungry.
During this time, Guillaume and I went to the black peak in Vitosha mountain. Just to mention, there is a bar at the top !
One last thing, cleaning the museum can be really fun with interesting discoveries.