Our First Day on the Farm

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Today we made schnapps.

The morning wasn’t quite that exciting. We were tired because some Mücken (mosquitoes) kept us up for over an hour around 3 am. Breakfast was wonderful, however – yogurt (plain, full fat – just how I like it), muesli, and eggs. The eggs are from the backyard chickens, which I am pretty sure are quite spoiled. Today they got leftover lasagna for lunch. They spend their days roaming in the pasture. I have never seen such a orange before! As they were so good. Hopefully tomorrow I can share pictures!

Then we went into town to return our car and get some maps. The car drop off was farther away from the bus station than we realized, so we ended up walking about 4 miles before noon.

When we got back is when we started making the schnapps, with pears. We cleaned them, crushed them, balanced the pH, and added yeast. They will ferment for 3-4 weeks before distilling. We also spent 3 hours picking apples off the group to make into schapps tomorrow.

One Does Not Simply Go Pick ApplesThese batches won’t be ready before we leave, but hopefully an earlier batch will be and we can learn to distill.

After we put in our 6 hours, we ate a plum cake with sugar-free cream that tasted like butter. Germans don’t generally sweeten their cream, and I am a huge fan of that!

This is the first family we have stayed with, so I don’t know if this is normal for Germans. But here we have a standard breakfast (they are vegetarian, so no cold cuts – it is almost like a German version of an American breakfast), a big late lunch (today was homemade tomato soup from homegrown tomatoes, homemade croutons, and leftover lasagna), and dessert/bread in the evening.

While eating our plum cake and bread, we also played Carcassone with our fellow WWOOFer. It is a German game, and Will’s copy is actually in German. Thankfully we have English instructions. It is a fun game, and I almost won by accidentally getting 9 farms. I don’t know how it happened, but two farms in the game got joined and I got credit for way more than I expected! Here’s the board, if you are familiar with the game (and some helpful lines to show where the farm goes):

Carcassone with 9 farmsThen we talked with our hosts about schnapps (theirs are 160 proof – holy cow!) and food quality. Tomorrow we are making spätzle from scratch, and hopefully next week we will help them bake bread. They mill the grain themselves before baking it in a wood fired oven. I expected this when we signed up to work on an organic farm, but I am still really impressed with their emphasis on food quality. It is wonderful and makes me feel very good about the delicious food we are eating here. And they were impressed that we know so much about cooking. Apparently most of the Americans they get have never cooked before and just eat sandwiches!

What we are doing hasn’t really sunk in yet. It is probably because we are staying with a family and another American, rather than trying to sort out our own apartment. We decided against the one we looked at yesterday. We spent 3 hours doing something that William does at home this time of year. I’m not sure when it will sink in that we are now living here for the long term.



  1. Ann

    Sounds idyllic.

  2. Carol

    I will expect new reports until you are settled in, and nothing new to say. I really appreciate the pictures. I am pleased that you can impress your hosts.
    Thanks for giving Jim Hild a link to this as I haven’t found my copy of this address yet.


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