Saturday, December 12, 2009

Farm life in Raklern

Sunday 29 Nov – Friday 11 Dec 2009

There’s too much to write about the farm so this won’t be in chronological order. The organic farm is owned by Martha Gierl, whose husband Manfred passed away a few months ago in a bike accident. Jerry’s helping her out with the operations for roughly 2 months as she needs the help, especially during the winter time.

Farm interior

The farm is in Raklern, and the farm is the only house in Raklern. Funny eh? There are a few areas around the farm with different names and some has a few more houses within the area. Nearest biggest town is Deggendorf, the first town I visited the day I arrived. Jerry took me to my first Christmas market where I drank my first Gϋlhwein. I fell in love then. It’s red wine cooked in spices -cinnamons & cloves (I got the recipe from Martha already!) – and served warm or hot. Perfect drink to warm your hands in the cold German weather. Totally love it!

My first Gluhwein in Deggendorf

Martha has bout 30 cows and 3 calves when I was there. They milk and feed the cows every morning (Jerry wakes up at 5.30am when the milk truck comes every other day and 7am when it doesn’t) and there’s tons of other stuff to do at the farm.


Jerry’s been showing me the ropes, and I’ve been helping with the feeding of silage, grass that has been sitting for a while. The cows love it but the smell really sticks to your clothes! Didn’t manage to milk the cow by hand. Nothing came out even though I tried many times! Played around with the little digger and tractor and hoed the garden with fertilizer too. Felt good to be doing physical work at the farm. I’m building those muscles! But I’m eating more too and it’s mostly meat and bread. Not much vegetables here during the winter.

Working around the farm

They have a few other animals here like chickens, a goose, ducks, pigeons, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, a donkey (Bella), a horse (Sissy) and 2 lovely dogs (Tinka & Goldie). It’s really good to have fresh eggs laid by free range chickens in the morning and fresh organic milk straight from the cow. Can’t get any fresher than that!

Other animals at the farm

I quite like the life here. It’s quiet, peaceful and so different from the hustle and bustle of the city. People are hardworking and honest, their concerns a world away from ours. Martha’s boys, Simon (10) & Basti (6), are good kids too. Very family orientated life where grandma comes to make cookies and the family sits down together for meals.

Family life at the farm

There are miles and miles of fresh air and lovely walks that you can do with the dogs, although they mostly take us for walks than the other way around. They are really strong. Took them out twice. Once to Maria’s (Martha’s elder sis) house and once to Kneippanlage, a really cold stream where you have to walk a few rounds in your bare feet. Freaking cold especially during the winter. It’s supposed to be good for your immune system.

The first week had been really hectic doing all sorts of activities but the second week was more relaxed as Jerry had to attend to the farm. Our nights were spent watching dvds by the fireplace and having dinners at the local pubs/restaurants. Went to an English do one night where everyone made a point to speak English. An elderly lady founded it and it’s the 3rd gathering when I attended. There were 4 asylum seekers from Nigeria there too. On another night, we went rock climbing with Heidi, her husband Robert and daughter Emma at an indoor gym.

My last day was spent in Therme Erding, Europe’s largest hot water spa world. It’s a huge theme & spa park divided into 3 sections – thermal pools, water slides and adult spa. You got to be 16 years an older to get into the adult spa as no bathing suits are allowed. It’s unisex too. Europeans are really not conservative ;)

We bought tix for the thermal & water slides parks. Slides are cool but seem ‘safer’ than Sunway’s slides. There are 16 slides there but only a few that are worth going more than once. Had loads of fun though and ended the day with a weissbeir at the spa’s pool bar. Jerry sent me off to the airport after that. Sad to leave Germany but it’s good to be heading back home too. Had a great time here. Everyone had been really hospitable and lovely. Was a good 2 weeks. I’m very grateful for everything.

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