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Cherry Picking

July 4

Written July 9

Dear Friends and Family,


OK, the last diary was about our July 3rd Independence Day barbeque, so what did we do on the real 4th of July? First, we cleaned up the yard, barn, and house. Recovering from five-dozen visitors takes some effort.

However, we were not allowed to stop at that. Our friends Willie and Rosemarie Hofmann had invited us to join them for one of their traditions: cherry picking in the Frankish Alps. (These hills are about a half-hour away, unlike the real Alps down south.) It sounded fun when they invited us and, in the end, it was.

The orchard belongs to the Hofmann's friends, Hilda and Albrecht Pöhlmann, a sister and brother team who have been growing cherries for many decades. (Until they retired 15 years ago, they also ran a guest house and a brewery -- more on that later.)

The deal was that we could eat all the cherries we wanted and so we did. We also picked twice as much as we should have, but they were so tasty it was hard to consider stopping.


Part of the harvest
A trunk full.
After picking more cherries than we should have, Willie, Marianne and I took a break to visit a nearby "wild" animal park. It was a fun break!
This was a place for kids, four-legged ones fascinating the two-legged ones, young and not-so-young.

The hairy pig laughed at us as did the donkey (or is this a burrow -- I always get mixed up which is which).

These sheep were even hairier. On the right is a wild pig family. Wild pigs seem to be the most common "wild" animal around, even in Berlin, where they are terrorizing gardens.

We even saw a new house project we'd be willing to take on.

Back at the farm, Albrecht agreed to show us the old Pöhlmann brewery.

The village of Hundschaupfen had originally supported two or three breweries, as had our Pommersfelden, but supermarkets and changing habits had put them all out of business. Albrecht's facility looked like he had just turned out the lights one evening and called it done. The compact, four-story facility had all the machines we had seen elsewhere, just on a more modest scale.

After the brewery tour, Hilda and Albrecht treated us to a wonderful smoked-trout dinner, a special end to a special day.


John and Marianne



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