For this article, we spoke with a Bulgarian farmer about her pathway that lead her to have a farming business of her own.

Hello, my name is Antonia Georgieva. I am a farmer and the main activity I have focused on is the greenhouse vegetable production. I grew up in a family of farmers and this had a great influence on me and my choice for my future realization. My education is in line with this activity and I am already a graduate agronomist. In addition I participated in many courses that have increased my qualifications and knowledge in the field of modern and organic farming. I have a master’s degree in biotechnology from the Agricultural University – Plovdiv and now I am participating in the training on the eTOMATO project.

I started farming when I was 20 and fortunately I had the opportunity to participate in the European program for rural development “Young Farmer” and through this support I was able to expand the size of my farm. A greenhouse with an area of one decare (0.1 ha) was built and the total area of the greenhouse complex became 2 decares (0.2ha). I also cultivate open areas, which are also occupied by vegetable crops and their size is 12 decares (1.2 ha). I grow lettuce, green onion, cucumbers and hot peppers in the greenhouse, and lettuce and cucumbers outdoors. My mother and father help me in my work. During the busier periods, I hire seasonal workers so that the work processes related to the cultivation technologies can be carried out on time. I sell the products in bulk at agricultural markets. Over time, I am becoming more and more oriented towards organic production and environmentally friendly practices, and I consider the next step I should take in my life to be related to organic vegetable production.