|The wildernes before we started to clean the land
Biljana working with the chain saw
Biljana and Frederic having a coffee brake
Anne Marit working on the stage
Some of the old walls
Marko is planting seeds
This is our work shop and office
Marko and Edmund building the stage /golf platform
As a boy I worked together with my uncle on this land, cultivating, fruit picking, sheep herding, the same as his mother and father before me.
My summer holidays were nature fascination and hard work from salt picking from the ocean to harvesting the wheat, olives and grapes. After my return to the village I visited many fields where I worked as a boy, my hart was always pulling me to this clean forest. The name of this mountain that was never devastated by fire is called “Clean Forest”.
By creating this oasis we are preventing forest fires, which last year devastated a large area around Dubrovnik and Konavle. This land which my family owns, 500 m from Mikulici was always my favor spots. My mother was telling me a story how she used to meet my father in secret in this place sometime in 1931.
I also remember many times I had to make a lean-to from the branches of the cypresses to hide from the summer rain when we were looking after animals. This land was left to the nature for over 60 years. One day I tried to make it up to the fields 75 m up from the road, this took me about 3 days. I was astonished of the wild beauty and impossible jungle. Not to get lost in the bush I tied a string from the road and up to the swimming whole at the huge rocks that were used for drying figs, to find my way way down again.
Slashing and cutting small trails to the property I recognized the old fig tree barely visible from the overcrowded jungle. I cut a branch of the tree and the milk started to drip from the wound like the old figs were crying and telling me “we were waiting for you and we knew that you would come back”. At that moment I decided to put this land back to how I remember it was.
With the help of my friends - Mujo the local baker, Frederic, Biljana, my Canadian friend Admand and his daughter and Anne Marit. As well Paul from England and Kjell Helge from Norway, who is also our Web Master. - we are after 4 years on our way to achieve our goal. This work is a life time work and also a great pleasure.
One of our big tasks was to rebuild the old stone walls to restore the field terraces. Sometimes when money was available we hired local stone workers, among them a father and son who worked very diligently on rebuilding walls. The son Pero made the best Turkish Coffee that I have ever tasted.
On a small corner we made a garden, we planted tomatoes, zucchinis, paprika, squash, onions, lathers and the harvest was very good. The tomatoes baked in the sunshine were completely different than the ones we buy in the store, just beautiful taste. Frederic planted flowers along the walls and he was a high wire operator, chopping dead limps. Anne Marit planted flowers, mint for making tea and rosemary that were blooming late in the season. I planted 12 almond seeds and they are doing very well. I also planted mint for afternoon tea and basil and boziok. My mother’s nickname, she was famous for growing and selling these plants to keep away the mosquitoes. Marko and Biljana also planted lemon trees, figs, oranges, pomegranates and olive trees. One of these olive trees was planted to Costa’s daughter Annabelle.
To help the local farmers who are making a hard living from grapes and olives I required some seedlings from South Africa, flowering plants called Protea. The plan is to establish a nursery for these flowers and to distribute them to local farmers who can cultivate and sell these flowers for a gain as an alternative to wine and oil. A local young girl, Nicolina who visits and practices golf is our future Golf Pro. She brought us a lilac tree to be planted in the park, which was an unexpected and beautiful gesture.