Nick Truscott wrote:
We bought our first plot in Bulgaria in 2010... our second in 2012.... our third in 2014... they are all adjacent, located on the edge of a village of 500 families and we have one actual neighbour on one side of one of the plots. We started building/renovating our house (the shell was on one of the plots) in 2012 and finished it in 2015 We moved here permanently in August 2015. We are 20 minutes by bus from a well-heeled university / ex-port town of Svishtov on the Danube, and one hour from the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. The total cost of the 3 plots, each of which had a 60+ year old structure on them, was about 16,000 leva or 8,000 Euros and totals about 8,500 square meters. We also have almost sole access to 2 hectares of common land that we access from our livestock yard, on which we free graze our birds, sheep, pigs and young horse.
A range of our regular "outside" MONTHLY COSTS (roughly):
- Water: 15 Euros - we also have 3 wells
- Electricity: 60 Euros
- Mobile Telephone: 10 Euros
- Internet: 11 Euros
- Petrol/LPG for pickup: 40 Euros
- Public Health Insurance: 30 Euros total for 3 Adults
- Vehicle/Road Tax: about 15 Euros
- 3rd Party Vehicle Insurance (any driver): 18 Euros
- House Rates (municipal residency tax for things like refuse, etc): 15 Euros
We have survived 3 months at -20C or colder, 6 months of 27C summers, grass fires, crop failures, bird wipeout by pine martens, been completely locked in (unable to leave the property cos of the depth of snow) for 8 days, and most recently been forced to cull our breeding pigs due to African Swine Fever sweeping through Romania and Bulgaria, and I have also lost the use of one foot due to diabetic neuropathy in the past 2 months which has radically changed how we plan for and do work around the place.
We had no previous livestock or growing experience having lived the preceding 30 years in the Middle East. We have learned, practiced and gained experience in breeding, raising and selling pigs in our village economy; buying and raising sheep and goats for the freezer; breeding Indian Runner ducks, chickens and geese. We have had to learn how to slaughter, dress and process all the livestock; plant and grow fodder crops so we now grow 70% of our annual livestock feed stuff; we are 100% self sufficient in meat products and maybe 70% self sufficient in vegetable production. We frequently barter meat for productive labour from village people, and also with other expats for things that we want but can't make or find for ourselves.
We are not "puritan permies" but we use no chemical additives or enhancements or poisons or fertilizers on our soil and crops; we do not use chemical or pharma on our livestock and birds unless they require antibiotics as a result of an urgent or emergency situation or injury - they are not routinely dosed up like commercially raised critters. We only use non-chemical home grown/made/mixed worming treatments for all our animals. Our large mammals free-range 100% and our birds free-range from dawn to dusk.
Our Bulgarian experience has been humbling, mind-blowing, exhausting, hilarious and never are there two days the same. We are 3, and there are 2 other expats now in the village. We participate in ll the village functions, events, dances (!!!) meals (!!!) community help schemes, winter leaf collection (we take ALL the leaves from the park and cemetery for mulch), putting out fires, we give away all our excess vegetable products, only employ village people for our projects.
Best of luck on your decision making... only one piece of advice - don't evangelize your "permie" or "eco" ideas.... many of our village friends are 70+ years old and have been manually working the land and raising their own livestock and vegetables for over 60 years. We simply allow our friends and neighbours to see what we do and how we do it, listen gracefully to the advice that is freely given... and let their experience, humility, humour and hard work soak into our lives - completely to our personal, practical and spiritual benefit.
Below are some random pictures from the past few years to illustrate our wonderful, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, extraordinary life!!!
Peter Adams wrote:Hi Simon
I've been living in Bulgaria for 4 onths anf just a week ago bought a property. Very cheap and very easy to buy. It;s in the South West near Macedonia border. More about my place here Atmanna, Bulgaria
I dont know about Hungary, but a friend who also owns a place nearby says he also just bought a place in Hungary because it's cleaner and prettier.
Jan Hrbek wrote:There is one perfect e-shop called Permaseminka.cz (= "perma seeds") in our country. This young man products and sells small packets of seeds of different varieties of many vegies.. All of them are stabile hybrids, so after buying it you can produce your own seed for next seasons.. Owner of the e-shop tries them on his garden first and when he finds them to be suitable for central Europe, only then he starts to sell it. Maybe some of them would grow well in Denmark too.
Flora Eerschay wrote:I recently made contact with a woman who closed her local shop and wants to reopen with online shop this spring. She has many varieties that she developed herself, although they are not labelled organic (I think). I'm going to buy from her as soon as she reopens, because it's very local for me and I really want to support. I don't know if she's also going to sell abroad, but I could help her translate the shop to English if necessary.
Skandi Rogers wrote:
Simon Flygare wrote:Hi Skandi. I am not looking to buy huge amount of seeds for most types of vegetables. But I find the amount of seeds in crops that are sown multiple times in the season like salad greens, mustard, spinach, etc. a bit to small and to costly sometimes to buy in bulk. For comparison I get around 3000 seeds of mizuna for 0,99 GBP from premierseedsdirect and from barney.dk its listed as a min of 400 seeds for 20 kr.
Joint orders could maybe be good for the above mentioned types of greens and kale, so we could definitely sort something out. The swedish site looks promising and I will take a look at the others, thanks
How do you find a Danish site that lists amount of seeds! All I see on the packets are "enough for 10 linear meters" ARGH. You could also try going to a garden center they often sell Mr Fothergills which is a British seed company, their lettuces have 1200 seeds in a packet and carrots normally somewhere around 2000. Depending where you live you might find a place that caters to the people with vejboder. there's one near me that sells some seeds that it weight out itself so you get a ton of seeds for not very much at all. (it's in Thisted.. so probably not close to you)