Bulgaria: ethical farm stays (Guardian, UK)

Travelers can experience rural Bulgaria’s charming traditions in style, thanks to a new breed of ethical farmstays and a hip lodge, writes Kapka Kassabova.

Kapka Kassabova at Villa Gella, 'a new lodge with positively lyrical views over the mountains'. Photograph Tony Davidson

„Who shot that?“ I point at the wolf skin on the wall while we wash down an organic beef stew with Shumensko beer.

„Mitko,“ says his grandmother.

Mitko is 14 and lives here at Wild Farm, where his scientist parents have swapped their city jobs for a radical farming lifestyle. They inherited the house and bought a few head of cattle. Ten years on, they have 500 cows and 10 woolly dogs of a famed regional breed called, like the nomadic shepherds who lived here, Karakachan. The dogs are big, and they need to be – because there is a large wolf population here in Bulgaria’s eastern Rhodopes, a mountain region with the highest biodiversity in Europe. Има още

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Mussel Farming in Bulgaria

Mussels have been a healthy source of food for thousands of years. Today they form part of the Bulgarian diet; they are extremely versatile and can be severed smoked, steamed, fried, boiled or in a batter. Mussels should be cleaned efficiently and checked to ensure that they are alive because they quickly become toxic when dead and can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning due to the concentrated toxins. The way to check if a mussel is alive is to study it when it is exposed to the air; if it is alive it closes tightly when disturbed. Има още