I am just going to say a little American history that is near and dear to my heart, since it is about Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Until about 1940, about 1/3 of the people in the state of Pennsylvania spoke a form of German as their first language. Not high German, of course, but a form of Pfälzisch, since that is where most of their ancestors came from. Unfortunately, many of the Pennsylvania Dutch, as the were called (Dutch is a corruption of Deutsch) were either forced or very strongly encouraged to speak English after 1940, since speaking German in or after WW2 was seen as disloyal. Now, there are very few who speak German as their first language, except for a few religious fundamentalists like the Amish and Mennonites.
But when I was growing up, there were still many that spoke it, and their English was very accented and marked by their first language. They would say things like, “Throw father down the stairs his hat,” which made them a little hard to understand, but they got used to us just as we got used to them.
It is unfortunate that there are few in Pennsylvanians anymore who are native German speakers, but they still exist.
And perhaps the German immigrants who were drawn to Pennsylvania found in it a land as beautiful and rich as their homelands—so perhaps it is no coincidence I find your farm to be somewhat reminiscent of where I grew up.
Some German immigrants ended up in western Arkansas. I say that because my grandmother on my mom’s side was German. Her parents came to the Ft Smith area about a hundred years ago.
She had blue eyes, was hard working, a great cook, and wasn’t afraid to tell you what she felt! But, she was also one of the most compassionate and generous people I’ve ever known. I still miss her even tho she’s been gone over ten years now.
My Mommie, as me and my sister called her, even tho she spoke English very well, also spoke German. When her older brother would come visit they would converse in German. I tried to learn a little of the language, but never was serious about it.
I took a year of French in high school, and two years of Latin, which was pointless. I mean, how many Romans are ya gonna talk to? I still remember some French, but hardly any Latin.
When I was preparing for my trip to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, I started to study German more. I could read it better than I spoke it. While over there, I tried to speak it, but usually ended up asking. “Enschudigen Sie, aber sprechen Sie Englisch?” Which to my relief, most of the time was yes.
@Austro_PawPaw, while in Austria, I spent two days and nights in Salzburg. It was really neat to walk in the town that Mozart grew up in. And then I spent a night in Innsbruck, it was so beautiful there. You certainly have a nice place to start your orchard. Viel Glück with your endeavors.
Here is my basic advice: Start small. First, before spending thousands of dollars on the project make sure that you are able to keep up with the maintenance. The project looks huge to me, especially since you can only get to it weekly. My little half acre home orchard is nearly overwhelming in the work it creates for me, and the furthest tree is within 150 ft of my house. I doubt weeds and vines grow any slower there than they do here in South Georgia, USA.
For fruits that don’t keep on the tree such as figs and plums, harvest has to be daily. I don’t grow paw paws but given their soft texture, I imagine that the same will be true for them. Most berries also have to be picked every two or three days or else the birds will get them all. How’s your water access? How much pest pressure you are going to get from mammals, birds and whatever other fruit eating critters you have there? How are you going to address them? How are you going to keep on top of disease and insect pests? My advice is plant some of what you want to grow in the part of it where you have the best access and slowly take in more area. That way you have a better chance to correctly gage what you can realistically maintain.
I basically live on the edge of downtown in Statesboro Georgia. Counter intuitively living in the middle of town means higher pressure from birds and squirrels. And lots and lots of people have pecan trees and people feed birds and you can’t hunt in town, so on account of the birds I have to plant several trees of any fleshy fruit for me to get any. On account of possums and squirrels I have to cover the muscadine grapes with netting. It’s a big fight with the squirrels for pears every year. Socks full of garlic powder hanging in the trees seems to help. Thankfully deer don’t come this close to the business district of downtown very often but it has happened. Out in the country birds and squirrels would not be so bad but deer, raccoons and possums would be much worse. God bless.