pepper the cat doing quality check!
homegrown natural apples!
nannie protecting herself from apples falling from the tree!
tree climbing was no problem for michael!
lisa the dog keeping watch on the apples!!
lisa and “tree shaker kees” in the background
marleen and michael working together!
Many 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