Thursday, 23 July 2009

Good Sliva In Town - None In The Country

Good Sliva In Town - None In The CountryImage via Wikipedia

Today I went to collect the sliva to make the first batch of rakia of the year. Previous to this I missed the cherry harvest. Time was the essence and what with all the chores on growing crops this year it was missed, shame as this year’s cherry harvest was very good, maybe next year.

In the village it is a poor year for sliva, just like last year. The many sliva tree that lay around the village are almost bare with the lack of fruit. Locals just accept this as one of those things that happen in nature. Next year is another year and maybe a bumper crop. There is no secret to good sliva crops, it is a good or a bad year and that is accepted. No real disappointment but the looking forward to next year. Beside which the grape crops this year are looking very good indeed.

This weekend we had a call to say that the sliva in Yambol is particularly good and I was welcome to shake a few tree to gather sliva there for this year’s rakia. This was an offer I couldn’t refuse. So this week it was off to the location of the sliva trees that had been offer for picking. They were full of sliva but only one tree was ripe enough to crop. Plastic sheeting was laid out beneath the tree and the tree shaken violently as the juicy sliva fell showering the sheeting and myself.

The fallen sliva were laced in a 240-litre barrel and put to one side. There were many green sliva that had fallen as the rips fruited tree impinged the space of another. These unripe fallen sliva were not wasted and put out to ripen in the sun to be collected a few days later along with other trees to be cropped. There should be enough for at least 80 litres of rakia judging by the amount of sliva I saw. Half will be given to the owner who offered the crop as barter for the gathering.

So, in the village there is no sliva and in the town a great crop. No explanation as to why. It is a case of going along with nature and not trying to interfere by using artificial ways to produce bigger harvests. There is no greed involved here just picking what nature provides –a beautiful concept within the culture of rakia making from sliva.
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