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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just another Farmers’ Market?

I like exploring German farmers’ markets.  They’re always more than I think they will be, but in a good way, unlike the difficulties of marriage.

Sure, you’re got the fruits and vegetables, but also a full range of goods from artisans and craftsmen, with some of the craftsmen being women.  What kinds of goods? you may well ask.  Sausages, but not just from the domestic side.  Reindeer, wild boar, deer, and others who ventured into a huntsman’s path.

And while we’re on the subject of hunting, I’ll tell you a bit about the way the Germans do it. You may not realize it, but German animal welfare laws of today are based on laws introduced by Herman Göring, who himself was a great hunter.  The laws he ushered through the legislature included a ban on vivisection, boiling of crabs and lobsters, commercial trapping, and other protections for animals.  Don’t know if you still can’t boil crabs and lobsters.

However the restrictions on hunting are still more than American hunters could bear.  First, you take a course that lasts a couple of months and costs several hundred dollars.  Then, you need a permit and those are limited in number.  And when you go out to hunt, you’re supervised.

Most hunting is done on private land and often a hunter will lease land for thousands of dollars. With the leasing comes a responsibility for wildlife management.  The leasee, for example, will receive instructions on how many deer must be killed that year.  On a large tract, that may mean upwards of fifty deer.  He may get friends or paying customers to help him, but that exact number of deer must be dispatched.  Failure to kill the assigned number of deer or wild boar or whichever will make you liable for any damages done to nearby crops by animal overages.  Sometimes this can amount to several thousands dollars.  Oh, yes, the process is complicated and probably more bureaucratic than filling out your tax returns.

But, back to the rest of the bounty of the farmers’ market.  Candles, hand made brushes, wines, jellies, flowers, cheeses, an array of food stands make your head swivel and your eyes spin.  When I say 'artisans,' I mean the people selling them, made them.

But, enough of my blather.  Let me show you some photos.  You'll see why I never pass up a German farmers' market.

goat cheeses

lavender saches 

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