Friday, January 6, 2012

An Orchard in the City

Amazing! I  LOVE that our family can rent an orchard from the city of Frankfurt.  Through the Umweltamt (environmental office), various city-owned orchards (Streuobstwiesen) can be rented by private persons.
We found / discovered this information this past September, and immediately asked to rent an orchard that was 10 minutes by car and 30 minutes by public transportation from our house.  It also is in the same area as our rented garden (Schrebergarten), which makes it even more convenient to stop by.
In October, we ate/froze/canned many apples and much applesauce.  We also delivered over 200kg (almost 500 lbs) of apples to a local "kelterei" (where they also make wine) to be made into apple juice and apple wine (Frankfurt speciality).  Igor also spent a week's vacation time battling the many brambles that had grown in the main part of the orchard.  After the second day, he told me he had learned his enemie's weakness (using a motorized weed whacker with a heavy-duty plastic cord) and he was ready to do battle.  He took his work seriously but really enjoyed being outside and actually seeing progress!

In our orchard we currently have apple, pear and plum trees.  The plum trees have grown to form a "pflaumenhein" - a thicket or labyrinth, which is a great place for the kids to play.  There's even a swing, where all three of them can sit!

We have loved seeing our kids be able to run in an overgrown field/orchard, pick apples from the tree, see trees with holes for birds and bats to have shelter and just experience being outside in God's Creation!  And all of this in the city - amazing!

We have greatly enjoyed beginning to care for this orchard and are looking forward to this Spring.

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