More insider information from a Farmer.

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I bought some quinces this week because they’re now in season. My grandfather also grows the fruit in Bulgaria – but his are way more delicious and juicy than the ones I found in the UK supermarkets. Discussing the topic with him today, here are some interesting facts about growing quinces:

  • You plant the seed and the tree begins producing fruit after two years.
  • The plant very much looks like an apple tree.
  • The fruit starts to bud in May and they’re ready for picking  in October (through to November).
  • They can be stored in cool environments and thus, can last through the winter as a supply of fresh produce.

Also – I did not know that Black Radishes exist! My grandfather casually mentioned that he picked some up from his fields… and so I discovered a new variant of a well-known vegetable!

I love learning about the seasonality / production of fruits and vegetables because living in a big city can disconnect you from understanding where your food is coming from… and agriculture still is a basic building block for life.

Happy First of March.

Happy First of March.

In Bulgaria, the 1st of March is a national holiday under the the title ‘ Baba Marta’ – translated as ‘Grandma March.’ The tradition is that you put on your ‘martenitsa’ on the 1st of March and you wait until you see the first stork to take it off. A ‘martenitsa’ is made of red and white yarn to symbolise good health. It can take the form of a bracelet (the more hipster version) or a man and woman tassel that you pin to your outfit each day. The stork symbolises the coming season of Spring. And when you take it off… you can either tie it to a tree or children put it under a rock and the stork comes to replace your ‘martenitsa’ with money (one could say that this is a Tooth Fairy equivalent as there is no such story in Bulgarian Culture).

So here’s to the ending of Winter, and to a new spring. It may not be a new year, but personally, I feel like new opportunities are calling with the blossoming flowers.

Martenitsa

Честитa баба мартa, аз ви пожелавам щастие, здраве и късмет за пролетта.