Last year we were fortunate enough to be able to go to the Black Sea in Ramadan and take in the sights, sounds and scents of the harvest. Most of the people in the village earn their income from growing and selling tea, which is enough to sustain a reasonable standard of living for a year. Even so, there is a great culture of living off the land for the daily bread—homemade pickles, fresh corn bread, free-range eggs, cabbage, onions and the like.

The garden all around the family home is filled with vegetable and fruit crops.

The Garden

Green Beans are harvested in large quantities, ready to be topped and tailed, and turned into pickle to be consumed throughout the year until next autumn.

Green beans

Squashes recently collected from the garden.

Squash

Parsley and coriander grows in a small herb bed, protected from the chickens by a sacking fence.

Parsley

Cucumbers grows amidst the beans and corn.

Cucumber

Chickens scavenge for grubs amidst the dry corn stalks, so that every day we can have fresh eggs for breakfast.

Chickens

Once the corn has been harvested it is hung out to dry in the sun. When they have all dried out they will be ground in the small mill on the river and in time we will eat it as fresh corn bread or abur.

Hanging the corn out to dry

Red hot chilli peppers hang out to dry, ready to season whatever dish is on offer:

Red hot chilli peppers

Meanwhile, higher up the hill tea is grown as a cash-crop.

Tea fields

It takes some time to reach our family tea land, but it’s worth the effort.

Road up the hill

The tea creates lovely rounded bushes all across the hilltop.

Tea bush

Back in the garden, marrows continue to grow.

Marrow

Along with green, red and black peppers in different stages of ripeness.

Peppers

And the aubergine that thinks it is a tomato.

Aubergine

“And whatever you have, it is from God.”