Category Archives: Apple picking

HARVESTING THE APPLES

A yearly recurring event is the autumn apple harvest, as the land of the Donkey Paradise has lots of apple trees with cider apples.

It’s not always easy to carry out all the donkey-related tasks ánd collect all the apples, but this year we were fortunate  enough to have a lot of helpers. They had to shake the apples from the trees and put them in 30-kilo bags. These bags will then  be taken to the village, where they are collected by the truck from a cider factory in Nava.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the helpers and the warm weather we were able to collect 10.000 kilos! The money is used for necessary reforms of the buildings.

The pictures below will give you an impression of this year’s apple harvest and the amount of work done by a lot of wonderful volunteers!        Marleen

Perfect weather for picking apples.

Perfect weather for picking apples.

Bert is shaking the Apples off the tree - "Stand clear everyone!"

Kees is shaking the Apples off the tree – “Stand clear everyone!”

Volunteers hard at work.

Volunteers hard at work.

Time to give Canela a hug.

Time to give Canela a hug.

Volunteers enjoy a well-earned meal.

Volunteers enjoy a well-earned meal.

Mmm, that apple smells really good.

Mmm, that apple smells really good.

Bags of apples all in a row.

Bags of apples all in a row.

Jesse and Simone piling the apples up in the village ready for collection.

Jesse and Simone piling the apples up in the village ready for collection.

Phew!  Finished at last.  This photo says it all.

Phew! Finished at last. This photo says it all.

Apples are loaded onto the wagon for transportation to the factory.

Apples are loaded onto the wagon for transportation to the factory.

Cider tasting in the factory.  It was all worth while!

Cider tasting in the factory. It was all worth while!

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MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK BY Catherina Davis

DSC_0584Many hands make light work, is the thought that comes to my mind when I think of the big apple harvest here at Paraíso del Burro. For two weeks a hardworking, dedicated crew of enthusiastic volunteers could be seen working in the orchards that are scattered throughout the six hectares of land of the donkey sanctuary.

Each day after breakfast the apple pickers would head off into the orchards with their buckets and large sacks at the ready. Amongst the team was ‘tree shaker Cees’, whose job it was to shake the apples from the trees with the means of a very long pole. No apple was left out, and if the shaking of the branches didn’t free the apples, Cees would climb up to get the rest of those that were hanging on tight.

Once the apples had fallen to the ground, Jopi, Nannie, Susanna, Ad and Michael would work together in putting them in the buckets and filling the large sacks. Michael then would carry the big, heavy sacks to the trailer. Monica, Lisa (her dog), Jack and Marleen would join in to help after feeding the donkeys and cleaning out the stables. Local volunteers would come in to help during the course of the day. Joanne, Samantha, Anuska and Meagan – who come here every week to brush the donkeys – helped in collecting the apples which covered the grass throughout the the orchard. Bob who works with rehoming dogs came in and even brought his own bucket. Thomas and Astrid, who have a natural campsite in Infiesto, also came in for a few days of helping and – not to be forgotten – their wee dog Sita. Peter and Lynn who live locally came in to join in on the fun of apple picking too. This was a total of 18 people who, throughout the two weeks, worked very hard. There was even time for Jopi to bake apple crumble to have on coffee break. A hearty vegetarian lunch and evening meal were prepared each day by Marleen, Monica and Catherina – followed by a siesta, of course! After siesta the apple pickers continued with the work while Marleen, Catherina and Monica collected the donkeys and gave them their evening food. Jack walked the dogs and fed them.

Each day the team built up a good rhythm and in turn naturally worked in harmony. A lot of hard work, but also a lot of laughs and fun was had by all. 13.000 kilos of apples were harvested in total and they were delivered to the cider factory. The money which was made is being put to use for all the animals who live at Paraíso del Burro. Gazpacho the mule will be given a new raincoat. Also some of the money will be used on the construction of a new emergency stable, which is being built by Juanma.

A big THANK YOU to all the people who took the time to help. An apple tree grows from a seed. If Paraíso del Burro is the apple tree, the volunteers are the seeds, because without the seeds the tree couldn’t grow …

By Catherina Davis

Apples, apples, apples……………………..by Marleen

Cider barrels are ready and waiting

The apples are loaded onto the lorry

One of the October tasks at the donkey paradise is harvesting all the apples (the ones the donkeys haven’t eaten, that is). Fortunately, they leave enough for us to sell them to a cider factory in Nava. The money is always used to improve the living conditions of the animals.

Sadly, the apple trees produce fewer apples each year, as they need regular pruning. This year we harvested only about 4000 kilos, whereas last year we had more than twice this quantity.

If you are a good pruner, why not hop over to Asturias as a volunteer for a couple of weeks??
Your presence and your work would much be appreciated!!

VOLUNTEERS WITH PRUNING SKILLS NEEDED – FOR THE APPLE TREES