Tuesday, September 2, 2014

new beginnings - carpentry apprenticeship

the workshop of a very nice woman i met who is restoring old furniture
now it is only a week from now that i will start going to school to learn how to be a carpenter. it will be a year of school with a practical part and internships at carpenters workshops and then two years working with a carpenter. that is the first stage. then i could go on to master school if i am good enough and choose to do so. or work under another carpenter who is a master. 

i cant decide if i am excited or horrified. i will be spending a year in school again with about 20 16-year-old boys who where send there by their parents. 
the german school system
in germany you have three different schools you can go to after you finish elementary school (4th grade): "Gymnasium"(12/13 years), "Realschule"(10 years) and "Hauptschule"(9/10 years). 
at the archaeological center in hitzacker
if you go to the "Gymnasium" and finish it with the "Abitur" you can go and study at a university or do whatever else you feel like.

if you finish "Realschule" you can go on to the "Gymnasium" and make the "Abitur", go to a specialised school that teaches you a profession or start an apprenticeship. or a mix of those three (sort of like what i am doing: going to school one year and then apprenticeship two years and if you wanted to you could also, after you do the masters go and study at a uni.). 

if you finish "Hauptschule" you can go on to the "Realschule" and possibly then the "Gymnasium" (that is not very common as it is hard to switch between the different schools) or go to a specialised school. when some people finish "Hauptschule" they are only 15 or 16 years old, but have to be in school until they are at least 16 and as you cant study at uni if you only finished "Hauptschule" most parents send their kids to a school similar to the one i am going to go to. this results in not many people actually finishing their apprenticeship. 

of course this is a simplified version. as you can see on the picture of the school system it is a bit more complicated than that but this is the basic structure.
at the archaeological center in hitzacker
at the school i am going to they told me that out of the about 22 students only 12-5 will finish even the year in school. i put that down to the lack of interest in the topics. if you don't want to be a carpenter why would you want to learn about it? now i am sure it is not like that everywhere and for sure some of the kids going there really want to learn carpentry, but that is the picture i got from the teachers...
the workshop of a wheel maker at the rundlingsmuseum lübeln
as i have the "Abitur" i could go and study at a university; but you cant study carpentry there and right now i anyway feel like doing something with my hands, creating something more then something abstract. so i am looking forward to learning how to use all these different tools, kinds of woods and methods a carpenter uses.

how does the school system work in you area?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

hella and roxy

so now we finally got our chickens =)
 we drove for about 50min to a local amrock chicken breeder to choose two to take home.
when we arrived home we opened the carton and released them.
  the one with the red face (in the front) is roxy, the other one is hella. they were really scared of us, the wind, the cars....everything.
the first thing they did was climbing the compost and escaping into the garden. so we had to fence it off for now until we make the fence around it higher. we want them to be able to forage on the compost heap in the future.
over time they became much calmer and even findus did not scare them anymore.
they did make some noise when he was close though, but even walked towards him to check him out. we were a bit afraid after findus initial reaction (running towards them when they escaped into the garden) but now he seems to be friendly and only nosy and interested.
the first evening they did not go into the coop by themselves so we had to catch them and take them there. they are much friendlier today and explore their new home with a lot more confidence.
we will see how they will react to all the changes in their lives over the next days...

we had a visitor

when we were preparing the chickenrun and removed a pile of grasswe suddenly saw this little fellow. in fact he was not little at all. i have never seen such a big hedgehog.
he was so scared and we did not want to leave him in the chicken run as it is fenced in... the whole garden is fenced in and we have a cat, so we decided to give him a new home in the garden of the big house next to ours. the garden there is a bit wilder, they have a big compost pile and a lot of bushes where he can hide. when we relesed him he just sat there for a moment and then went straight for the pile and dug himself in. i hope he'll be happy there. good luck mr. hedgehog!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

lisbeths scones

this is a delicous recipe for scones lisbeth, our host at the small farm in wendland, germany made for us several times. 
they are so simple yet so tasty. 
you have to give them a try!
i made them with spelt flour and blueberries, very tasty.

Friday, July 4, 2014

compost and imaginary chickens

some weeks ago we got some free wood from a roof renovation. 
first we wanted to use it to build raised beds but then we decided to build a composter.
we just started building with a general idea in our heads. 
the front and middle should be removable. the front: so our (at this point still imaginary) chickens can easily jump inside to help themselves to whatever they like.
and the middle: so flipping the compost into the other compartment will be easier.
now that it is finished we just need some chickens =)