Today, we headed back to the community garden to continue with the projects we had started. We were greeted at the garden with a wealth of traditional music from the residential property next door. A Serbian Wedding!
Before part of the group became completely entranced by the festivities next door we headed up to the new fire-pit area, and we united in decorating the newly formed social area. We took inspiration from the surroundings and harvested items from the area, including creating clay sculptures on the trucks of trees with clay soil mixed with water. A visual expression of beauty and collaboration as the group became focused, collaborative and expressive.
The group came together around the fire to learn and share knowledge about the carbon issues of burning wood and the importance of having the conversation. The conversation went deeper into the uses of ash and the elements that make up soil. A flavoursome tea created from foraging from the garden.
We then went to explore the two growing shops in the village, an insight into where local small-holdings get their education from which is mainly the large corporations selling herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, and the seed options. All linking back to the conversations of the morning of balancing the soil conditions of the morning. PNK.
We returned to an invitation of coffee from next door. The friendly hospitality of the grandfather of the groom gave us a chance to further delve into the cultural differences of how weddings are celebrated in our countries. We tried a local homemade cake with a light custard-type layered filling, much to my joy.
A flurry of energy in the afternoon saw the completion of a compost area, building tables and benches, a new bar for refreshments, ready for the evening gathering of members of the garden and the growing group, as well as knowledge sharing from a couple of the leaders. The variety of opportunities to learn has been a wonderful and engaging part to this whole trip.
As the sun started to set the guests began to arrive for our garden party. It was a beautiful celebration with music and ideas sprouting up throughout not only the undercover space but by the fire and throughout the garden. The mystique of this beautiful place filled us all as we mused, sang, shared food and laughed.
The day’s activities did not stop here. A few of us returned to Cyglana to be treated to a band named ‘Queen is the Fish’ playing traditional gypsy folk. We all danced to the throaty tones of the lead singer juxtaposed against the upbeat rhythm of the songs.
A well balanced day of engaged learning, laughter and culture for all the senses.
Lauren Kendrick, UK
September 9th, 2017