Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Ah, Strawberries are ripe, and right now in the bazaar they are selling for about $1 for 2.5 pounds. Needless to say I have been eating strawberries - small, sweet, yummy strawberries. I've made shortcake for them, eaten them plain, eaten them with slightly sweetened yogurt (which is a drink here) and with a yummy bread pudding I made today. I'm surprised I haven't turned red and seedy. Interesting fact I learned last week in my agricultural seminars about strawberries: they are a false fruit. The real fruit of the strawberry plant are the seeds on the strawberry!
Last week and half of the week before I went to seminars on sustainable agriculture. They were put on by the EU for potential ag professors who will take part in developing the sustainable agricultural textbooks, teach, and take part in an exchange program in other EU countries. It was all taught in English (except for one Bulgarian who lectured in Bulgarian) which was lucky for me! Listening to them I realized all the things I did incorrectly on the farm - oh, well... But the nicest thing about the seminars were the fabulous people I met. We met aquaculture students from Tirana in Albania, a variety of people from Elbasan in Albania, and a number of students and professionals from Kosovo. Many spoke English, but some of the Albanians didn't, so I got some Albanian practice. But all were welcoming, sweet, and interesting people. The picture above is of me and my counterpart, Luli, in front of a giant aphid.
The second best part was having my hand kissed by the very dashing, adventurous professor from Portugal who taught about aquaculture. He was very charming, and I think it's the first time I ever had my hand kissed!
Luli and I are planning a 10K run to coincide with a sheep festival in Gostivar in the fall, so I signed up with some of my friends to do the 5K part of the Skopje marathon. Yep, that's actually a picture of me running! I would like to say I ran the 5 K, but actually I walked the 5 K and ran about the last 300 meters - well, walked and ran it. But it was fun and I felt very accomplished! I also visited with some people I had met on-line who were part of the ecological society, because I've been trying to find some sort of bird field guide for the Balkans. There's a stork nesting just outside of Gostivar, and it's the first stork I've ever seen. I want to start identifying birds here, and may take part in a bird count next year.
And if anyone asks you about managing manure in a sustainable way, just have them call me!
Posted by Candice Wiggum at 10:03 AM