Published: August 20th 2009August 19th 2009
The Love Parade takes a wrong turn into Green Acres
Near Koenigsberg, Germany
Wednesday, August 19 2009
OK, so I know the last entry was somewhat half-assed. I've been trying to make up for it the past few days, but just haven't had either the opportunity or the words until now. My apologies, loyal readers, I will make this one a bit better. And I'll even throw in some bonus pictures from the party. What a party it was...
Well, life here on the horse farm is quite stable nowadays (rim shot). Perhaps I didn't mention it, but Bubenrod gets most of it's revenue from either renting out land to neighboring farms or from raising horses. Unfortunately, in the switchover from sheep to horses, they have had to replace a lot of the fencing around here. Sheep fencing is no good for horses, as it has holes large enough for a horse's hoof to run through and potentially injure the horse. So this week we've been doing a lot of work on fencing, tearing out old fences and putting in the new horse fences. They're more eco-sound (made from recycled plastic), lower maintenance and make for a cleaner line than cutting down trees to make cross-beams on
The front of th apartments/dorms in Bubenrod
railroad ties. This week has been tiring, with lots of heavy lifting and fun injuries (more on that later...nothing serious).
I'm now the old man of the helper group. We're back up to four, with a couple from France and a girl from England in the mix. There is supposed to be another girl showing up from the US tonight, but we shall see. As such, Philip and I have developed a good working relationship, with him trusting me enough to just say "go do this" and to know that it will be done. The French couple...not so much. You see, they're very clumsy and quite bad at working around here. They're entusiastic, and definitely hard-working, but they don't have much common sense. As one of the people who lives here said, "I think they're borderline retarded." And the Brit just arrived last night and is still in a bit of a daze with the concept of farm work. I think she'll work out fine, though. She's a bit scrawny, but seems happy to be here. I kind of feel bad always being put 'in charge' when there's a situation where Philip must leave us all alone, but I
suppose it's for the best.
One thing you might notice if you ever go to work on a farm is that it's dirty and somewhat dangerous work. As such, I definitely recommend that anyone who come WWOOFing get a DPT booster shot and perhaps even the typhoid vaccine. The DPT should not be optional, they is entirely too much rusty metal lying about a farm to risk lockjaw. The typhoid...well, I'm just a safety guy. Anyway, you should certainly expect some cuts and bruises along the way. I've cut my hands to hell a few times, cut my leg yesterday, and the day before had a 50kg railroad tie dropped on my foot by the French fellow. Nothing broken, thank goodness, and I do have medical insurance just in case something were to happen, but you should definitely expect to come out if this with a broken nail or two. Just yesterday, Philip had his finger smashed by a railroad tie, was nearly impaled by the French girl and was burned while trying to start a fire in the oven.
Speaking of the oven, I've definitely enjoyed it here. Martin had been wanting to put together a stone
Philip & Martin engaged in a game of beer pong
oven for a while, and this year he had the chance. It's my first time baking in a real one, and it's been a joy. We've made pizza twice (my crust recipe has gone over well), and last night I made two loaves of honey wheat bread. I had a smile today when we took a loaf over to Martin's for brunch, and Martin's mother (Philip's grandmother for those of you keeping track) told me in German that she would buy this bread. Just kind of a good feeling knowing that my cooking has translated well here. Thusfar I've been doing a lot of the cooking for the WWOOFers, as well, and tonight I'm going to go cook with Philip's cousin Max. We're making a mushroom goulash with noodles. Should be tasty.
You may wonder where the title of this post comes from. It was at the party on Saturday, when some of the old crew from Bubenrod showed up. I was talking with this woman who was from the US and who lived here years ago. She told me that it's hard to leave this place, that you always keep coming back. "You're here now and it's hard
The stone-fired oven...I love it so
to leave, but you'll come back" were her words. And you know, I could see it. Heck, I could even see myself renting the little house that we're renovating in the village. I wonder if I could work remotely from Germany...
Anyway, I think this post has been a bit more substantial, and certainly more upbeat. I need to get ready, as we're heading out to Braunfels. Yes, OLD Braunfels. Martin wanted to take me and the rest of the crew because he heard that I lived near New Braunfels, and he said I should see the real thing while I'm here. It's an old castle that's supposed to be amazing. I'll take a few pictures and add them...
Old habits die hard. I've become the confidant of a few of the girls here because they've found that I listen to what they say. It's just who I am.
If you don't use a chainsaw normally, please don't take the initiative to use one without supervision when you're working on a farm.
Cancer is a horrid disease that affects far too many people. Hugs go out to Susan's mom, my uncle Ronnie, my uncle
Just a large beautiful patch of sunflowers you get to enjoy on a daily basis
Frank and Neela's grandfather, who are all fighting it right now.
Organic doesn't mean "working without tools". Sometimes, if you need a jackhammer to get through 5" of solid rock, you use a damn jackhammer. Maybe you just plant a tree in exchange for using the fossil fuel.
There are more photos below