Notes from Germany

Yesterday, on facebook, I asked my friends the question which other countries would leave goods out on the road for sale.

Not only is payment based on trust, but there is also the risk to have the whole lot stolen at the same time. This got quite a few responses, but only from areas and countries, where this kind of sale is still part of the rural norm (except for the contribution from Tokyo).

*  West coast of Ireland. Both are great places.

*  Switzerland was the same! 🙂

*  Michigan, but rarely.

* oh it happens in the countryside in England, yes. A lot. I think it’s more universal than you realise!!

* Certainly plenty of honesty boxes in the Niederrhein…. (Lower Rhine region)

* We have a place out by the ranch that sells fruit like that… (California)

* Here in south-central Pennsylvania, you see many of these. It’s nice.

* Common thing here in Japan!!

* I’ve seen many of these in Japan. (even in Tokyo!)

*  Country roads all over Canada, too.

*  In Kent…

*  In NZ on almost every corner too 🙂

* Here in the US in the country on the way to …. College.

What I thought was mostly unique to a handful of countries, seems to be common practice around the world. Interestingly enough, there were no contributions from friends where this is not done.

Roadside sale of firewood

The world seems to be a good and honest place, in many parts.

Roadside sale of pumpkins

Based on my own experience, I had seen these kinds of sale in Japan and in parts of France. Other than that, I thought it had mostly gone out of style. Good to know I was wrong. When I read about other areas of the world where people kill each other over a handful of rice, I tend to forget the normal life.

Recycled German Christmas Trees

I could not have imagined writing another post about Christmas trees, but one reader’s comment prompted me to do some more research on what happens to our biological Christmas waste.

Germany’s homes put up about 23 million natural Christmas trees a year. Denmark is our biggest supplier by exporting eight million trees to German homes.
While a fake tree can be used year after year, causes no allergies, and leaves no mess behind, scientific research shows that a natural tree is five times better for the environment. While it takes 8-10 years to produce a fully grown tree, its growth releases Oxygen (O2) at the same time. The fake one only causes Ozone (O3) in its production.

I have just called our local community to find out what happens to our picked-up Christmas trees: In good old German fashion, they get recycled. After being chaffed, the trees turn into biological-waste compost. Again, this is environmental-friendly and nurturing our soil, hence the air, as well.

Germany, the land of trees – and rainy weather at times – seems to have an abundance of wood anyway. Our local residents here in Oberursel, Germany, have a chance to gather their own firewood in the nearby forest. Of course, being orderly Germany, one needs to obtain a license to do so. This Holzleseschein (wood gathering permission slip) can be gotten at the foresters office (Mr. Mathias Brand) in the forest cottage behind the former forest range office (Altkönigstrasse 174 in 61440 Oberursel – only Wednesdays between 4:00 and 5:00). The cost is € 18.– and the permission slip owner is entitled to gather firewood (one cubic meter) in a designated area from Mondays to Saturdays, between sunrise and sundown, for a duration of four weeks.

We have had a cold spell in Germany. If I had a fireplace, I would contemplate fetching my own firewood.

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