Update 4/22/19: I am sorry you felt attacked by this post [at least I’m assuming it was this post]. That was never my intention, and it breaks my heart you thought so. I was trying to be funny and it backfired. Up until now I was too hurt to even look at any of my Germany posts, but I am revising this one today. I miss you and wish you well.

My brother-in-law told me my 5th full day in Germany would be a “no travel” day.  I was hoping that meant a “relax day” but it was not.  He told me they [he and my sister] really needed to spend some time in their 2 gardens [land they own, about a 5 minute drive from their house] harvesting vegetables & nuts, and composting the hundreds of apples and pears that had fallen from their trees.  I volunteered to help.

Here’s the front patio of their condo – I love all my sister’s decorations:

We arrived at the first garden, where the 3 cats that live there were very happy to see us.  There’s a cat in this photo [Schreierle – pronounced Shrer-lee] but he’s very small and hard to see, even if you’re looking for him:

There’s a cat in this photo – Bärli [pronounced Bee-air-lee], who is much easier to see, if you know where to look.  The 2nd pic is a zoomed in version so you can see his adorable face better:

       

The first garden is where I got my first experience with this tool.  I called it the apple vacuum:

You have to push down hard as you roll it back and forth over the fallen fruit, so it gets tiring.  After it filled up my sister showed me how to empty it by holding the sides and pulling the wires apart so I could shake the fruit into the compost pile.  After half an hour of rolling up apples and pears, and emptying them into the compost pile, I was very tired!

Here’s one of the many wild bee hotels they have made.  The holes that are covered up contain larvae:

       

Now that I know what they look like, I noticed our neighbor Kathy has one in her garden alongside our driveway!:

Some of Daniela’s many art and creative projects.  Everywhere you look there’s something neat she’s made:

        

After all the fallen apples & pears were picked up at their first garden, we headed to their main garden.  Mietzi was waiting for us [black cat in center].  The view from their main garden is amazing:

        

I spent another hour in the main garden rolling up apples, peaches, and walnuts.  The apples & peaches got dumped in the compost pile, but we gathered the walnuts, peeled off the green outer husk, and put them in a huge bag for later use [forgot to take a pic of that]:

        

Here is Daniela’s harvest from the vegetable garden area and her hazelnut trees:

Afterwards we headed to town for a late lunch.  I had more Spätzle [Swabian egg noodles] with cheese, a side salad, and delicious mineral water:

After lunch we went on a walk and I saw this amazing mouse city – there were holes with deep mouse race tracks between them – I loved it!  And beautiful flowers growing on someone’s fence:

        

That night Joachim brought me a piece of German Black Forest cake – SOOOOOOOOOOO good:

I earned it!  I enjoyed it with some of their delicious homemade wine.  I very much enjoyed helping them work in their gardens.  I’ve never harvested anything before.  And the apple vacuum made picking up the hundreds of fallen apples so much easier than doing it by hand!

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8 Comments

  1. AnneV

    What a fascinating (although I realize exhausting) day – it was certainly different from anything you’ve ever done. And the wild bee hotels and the mouse city are really interesting – I had no idea such things existed!
    I must remind you that you were supposed to bring me back a piece of that cake. Next time!

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