125 Years of the horticultural district association: from pure fruit growing to ecology

125 years of the horticultural district association: from pure fruit growing to ecology

On 29. September 1893 the last founding impulses for the kulmbach district association for horticulture and land conservation were given with a fruit show in the kulmbach clubhouse, and exactly 125 years later it celebrated a great anniversary in the kulmbach town hall on saturday evening. At that time, of course, it was still called something else: the "district fruit-growing association of kulmbach city and country" it was launched by mayor wilhelm flessa in 1893. The purpose of the fruit-growing association was also different from today’s work – it was actually purely about fruit-growing, nobody thought about flowers and horticulture back then.

"At that time, in the era of enlightenment, the fruit tree was a favorite of the elite", explained gunter dippold, the district’s local historian, in his keynote speech. "Fruit trees were to be planted with long-distance trees, and so-called industrial gardens were established at schools."

The cultivation of fruit trees is still the task of the 55 horticultural associations in the district of kulmbach, which comprise just under 7,000 members. But this is by no means the end of the story. Natural horticulture, biological plant protection, village preservation and nutrition played just as important a role as the imparting of knowledge, healthy nutrition and youth work.

The members of the hutschdorf youth group "maulwurfe" showed how varied the tasks of a horticultural association can be entertaining on the stage. "Youth work is urgently needed, especially in the digital age", said district chairman gunter reif, and mayor henry schramm also emphasized how important experiences in nature are for life. "Chestnut gathering was a huge thing for us kids, I doubt you can do it with smartphone& co. Similar joy can gather." Schramm promised to plant two trees for the anniversary together with district administrator klaus peter sollner. "Where they are to be located is decided by the district association", explained district administrator sollner and emphasized the special importance of the horticultural societies for the villagers. "The district association stands for ecology, care for the garden and green spaces in the village."

That this is a real concern for the many horticultural associations in the district is something that district manager and expert advisor friedhelm haun has no doubt about.

He led the many visitors through the long history of the district association with a pictorial presentation and reported, among other things, on the necessity of self-sufficiency after the war. "In the past, everything came from the garden and was canned for the winter." By the end of the 1950s, however, the kitchen garden had changed into an ornamental and residential garden.

"Nature has existed, it was there before us and we must orient ourselves to it", the expert in fruit and nut trees pleaded. Therefore, the horticultural associations have the incentive not to slacken, so that our homeland remains beautiful and worth living in. This also includes burying the new citizens in our associations, explained the president of the bavarian state association, wolfram vaitl. "We have to stop the blatant decline of insects, we owe it to our children and grandchildren", gunter reif concluded the successful ceremony, which was solemnly framed by the tower blowers of the thurnau music association.

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