The tree is in a residential area in Erfurt, one of the last neighborhoods before you hit the industrial part of town. It is located in a grove between the neigborhood and a wall of trees that sound-proofs the place from the busy street just beyond the trees. I discovered it because it is down the street from my son’s old day-care provider. Nobody really picks the apples from this tree. But I tell you, it has the sweetest, bloody-red apples that I could get for free. I used to pick apples two to three times per season, but since my son moved to Kindergarten I was only able to manage one picking. There is also a cherry tree nearby, with low hanging cherries, and I used to go there more often.
This year I decided not to go for any cherries, since you need to can cherries immediately because they don’t keep well. I made one or two cherry pastries, and that was it.
The best things in life are indeed free.
I just joined an organization more known as the Interkulturelle Garten in Erfurt. It is a part of the worldwide Transition Town initiative. Basically, we manage a plot of land with some fruit trees and plant veggies. Today was our Harvest Festival and I was really happy to meet people from the organization and also get to know the people I’ve already met a bit better.
I started planting stuff as a young girl in our garden in my childhood home, and when I moved to an apartment with a balcony, I wasted no time in planting veggies and fruits. Now I am even happier that I can do it on a bigger scale. There really is nothing more rewarding that harvesting vegetables you planted, or cooking potatoes you dug out with your bare hands.
The highlight for me was we pressed our own apple juice from apples we harvested ourselves. All the apples are organic. If you think that “organic” is something hoity-toity and expensive, you’ll be shocked that in Germany, apple trees grow everywhere, and nobody really takes care of them. However, that also means that they are also possibly exposed to car exhaust fumes. Mine comes from “my” apple tree (more on that later). That was really cool!
If this gives you the impression that I’m granola, I’m really not! (well, kind of…)