It has been a little over a week since my last post but things have been pretty busy around here. I finish work exhausted. The weather is getting better and spring is on its way. I am just going to post a few things that I did last week.
First of all, there was another donkey walk. This time almost all of the students came with us. To help keep the donkeys fit, Brigitte and Jane try to take them out at least once a week for a long walk. This walk happened on the 7th, and it was up to Longfall's guest house. The first part of the trail was also a "work out" trail with different bars and post that you can do different exercises on, such as push-ups or pull-ups. We left around 10:30 and made it to the guesthouse around 12:30, donkey speed. We all fit into the guesthouse and began ordering are meals. It was to my knowledge that there was a simple kitchen in the back so we ended up staying at Longfalls for a while but it was well worth the wait. They severed various traditional Tirolian foods, such as Schweinernes, Schweinwurst and Sauerkraut. I ended up eating half of the Schweinernes and half of the Schweinwurst, both were delicious. The overall trip was fun and the food even better. I look forward to going up to Longfalls again but would like to keep hiking.
The other project that I focused more of my attention on was the cutting of the willow trees on the farm. These willows, which Nik called Binding Willows, are cut back each year and are allowed to re-grow. The trees growth is stunted and the trunks only get about 3 feet tall. They shoot out these gold colored branches that are flexible. There were about 20 of these small trees scattered around in one area. The job was to cut all of the branches off and to collect them. They were more widely used to bind the vines until other material became available. This practice of using the willows is not used as much today because farmers use plastic. However, Brunnenburg keeps the practice alive, if only on small scale. The branches were cut, bunched together and tied for storage.
For the rest of the week I worked on two projects, digging a trench and putting up a fence. Before I came here one of donkeys killed a small lamb simply by picking it up and thrashing it around. This little incident meant that the donkeys and sheep could no longer graze together. There are a few parts in the vineyard where the sheep can get to the donkeys. It was my task to set up a fence to stop this. It was a simple fence, I dug in a few posts and then attached wood to them. The wood overlapped and I bent it to go with the curve. Hopefully the fence will do the job and keep the sheep away from the donkeys.