Blackforestfarms
Blackforest

The Black Forest

A Unique Landscape

Without us farmers the Black Forest would still be an impenetrable, pitch-dark forest in the middle of Europe.  It was us farmers and the people working in the forest who formed the unique landscape.  About a thousand years ago we started clearing the land in some valleys.

On this land we built our farms and raised our cattle, creating the lovely mixture of forest and pastures.

Our trees have bee exported to many countries in the world.  For example we have rafted the mighty tree trunks down the River Rhine to Amsterdam, Netherlands.  There the tree trunks from the Black Forest were used for many sailing ships in the 16th to 18th century.

There is an annual festival of rafting tree trunks. You will find many other traditional festivals in the Black Forest area.

 

Black Forest Farm Buildings

black forest

An Outstanding Performance by Our Ancestors 
Winter used to last long and there used to be lots of snow.  So our ancestors built everything they needed under one roof: An apartment for the farmer´s family, a little apartment for the farmer´s elderly, rooms for the milkmaids and farm-workers, the stable for cows and pigs and a huge place for storing hay.  Even the well was next to the farm building or under its roof.

The cattle had to be fed with hay only from about October until June.  The steep roof enabled a large storage room and it let the snow glide down, so its weight would not damage the roof.

Fire protection was another important issue.  A fire pond belonged to every farm house.  Why not use them for fishing or bathing nowadays?

It was important for the farmers to be independent from the rest of the world and to be able to care totally for themselves on their own. That is why farms were mostly built near a spring and next to a forest.  The wood was needed for the tile-oven between kitchen and living room.  Garden, chapel, baking-house, water-mill, and a shed for storing rye and tools are still part of many farms today.

Each big farm in the Black Forest had its typical bakehouse.  Some of those are still in use.

Black Forest Cattle

Vergrö�?ern

 

This is a unique, well-adapted breed raised by Black Forest farmers.  The Black Forest Cattle is small, light, and prepared to eat about almost every quality of grass.  The cattle climb steep mountains and still keep the turf undamaged.
They are famous.  They inhabit many zoos.

 

Famous Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks

The invention of imitating the cuckoo's call by the clever use of bellows was fantastic.  Scientists still do not know who was the first inventor.  In the late 18th and early 19th century the clock industry developed rapidly in the Black Forest.  With their inventive genius and cleverness and the necessity to earn additional income, the inhabitants of the region used the long winter months making cuckoo clocks.

Black Forest People

Well-Adapted to Changes - for Generations
Black Forest people had to be clever.

  • 500 years ago, the silver mines were no longer profitable because Christopher Columbus imported too much cheap silver. Black Forest people then found a new source of income: rafting tree trunks for the many shipbuilding companies.
  • Glass, a very delicate and expensive article in the Middle Ages was produced by many tiny glass huts in the Black Forest. This happened along creeks.  Many farms and meadows
    prove the former production of glass as they carry the name "Glashuette".  But, of course, glas production was no longer profitable after  the industrial revolution started.
  • About 200 years ago the rafting of lumber was no longer profitable due to the industrial revolution.  A lot of energy was needed in the expanding towns of the Rhine Valley: charcoal was good to sell.  And it was comparatively lightweighted.  So rafting lumber was replaced by producing charcoal.  And the cuckoo clocks were a great invention as you have read above.
  • 130 years ago, the production of charcoal was put to an end.  The railroad brought cheap coal to the Rhine valley. Tourism came up slowly.  The clocks remained important.
  • 50 years ago, much of the watch industry closed down due to cheap Asian products.  Manpower and knowledge was used in a different way: A highly specialized mechanical industry increased.
  • 30 years ago the very last farms were electrified!!!

Guess, what will happen within the next 50 years?
Just come and see us and try to figure it out yourself!!

Nowadays many travellers admire:

  • the wonderful peacefulness of the Black Forest
  • the marvellous views to the Alps during day-time
  • the sight of the clear sky and the sparkling stars during the night
  • the wide variety of activities (hiking, biking, skiing during winter, ...)
  • the friendliness of the inhabitants of the Black Forest
  • the fresh and healthy air of the Black Forest
  • the specialties and great restaurants: Black Forest ham and bacon, fresh trout, the famous cherry gateau and the cherry brandy, the tasty honey

Sometimes people from the Black Forest celebrate a party wearing their festival garment.  Each valley or village has its own style.  Usually married women, spinsters, and widows can be distinguished by the colours of their traditional costume.

 

If you want to read even more, we recommand to you

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Forest

 

 

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