Blog

Pioneer Farm: The Wild Farm

28/12/2012

The Wild Farm is located in the village of Gorno Pole in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.

370

Farm

This family-run farm is managed by Blagovesta (Betty) and Nikolay Vasilevs.

Betty

Nikolay

The family raises some 500 heads of cattle from two local breeds –the Rhodope gray and the Rhodope shorthorn cattle (both protected breeds). They also have sheep, horses and bee hives.

395

village589

Hive

Betty and Nikolay apply only traditional farming practices in their farm, and they have devoted their lives to developing the Wild Farm in a sustainable and organic manner. So far the Wild Farm is the only farm for certified organic meat in Bulgaria. How it all began... In 1995 the family borrowed money to buy a herd of 50 sheep, three cows, a Karakachan dog, and a horse. This is how the Wild Farm was founded. However it was only in 1999, after Betty and Nikolay sold an apartment they had inherited, when they managed to buy 16 cows. That very same year however, their luck turned bad and eight of the cows, Vasilevs have just bought, died. Even though this was a hard blow for the farm, Vasilevs didn’t lose their spirit; on the contrary, Betty shares that those challenges made them stronger and even more determined. The life on a farm is not easy and this was only the first of many difficulties that Betty and Nikolay would encounter on their journey. However, armed with passion and determination they have successfully managed to turn every misfortune that befell them in a lesson. Wild Farm This is how Betty and Nikolay managed to turn the Wild Farm in a beautiful oasis of the wilderness. A few years of hard work later the family managed to buy two rare local breeds – the Rhodope gray and the Rhodope shorthorn cattle. These traditional breeds are unique animals, which are adapted for permanent pasture breeding. Due to wrongful policies in the past this particular breeds are threatened with extinction and the Vasilevs have taken over the hard task of becoming their guardians.

374

Sheep In the Wild Farm cattle are grazing freely throughout the year. To protect the cattle from wolf attacks Betty and Nikolay also have a dozen Karakachan dogs. Karakachan dogs are famous for their skill in providing the best protection against wolf attacks and they have been used by herd’s men for centuries. Cows

382 The Wild Farm also offers a lovely guest house where Betty and Nikolay accommodate their visitors. Betty and Nikolay greet their guest with delicious local food prepared with the farm’s own organic produce and a number of amazing activities such as horseback riding in the mountain, or long hikes in search for honey from wild bees.

Horse

Cheese&Banitsa

Happy farmhopping!