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An ancient Bulgarian tradition for sustainable farming



This is what sheep and goats eat during the winter, the so called “listnitsi”, made of trimmed and bundled oak branches.


To prevent rotting and animals` attacks they must be stored somewhere high.

IMG_4174 While still on the pasture, the shepherd puts the oak branches on the meadow so the animals can eat off the green leaves. After that the branches are left to rot on the ground, thus fertilizing the soil. IMG_42231 Making “listnitsi” on tree trunks is an ancient Bulgarian tradition, which is preserved to this day. It is a symbiosis between humans and nature, which is increasingly rare these days. IMG_4227 Older shepherds say that trimming the branches gives strength to the root system of the tree and it becomes more resistant to dry seasons.

The landscape location is in the Malashevska Mountains near Kresna, in Southwestern Bulgaria.