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An interview with Anja

Anja Fiedler, Apfelschaetze, Stadt macht satt © Anke Sademann
We are very excited to welcome Apfelschätze as part of the WeShape family. Anja Fiedler rescues apples with her initiative and supplies them to Kitas and schools. In addition, they plant new trees, care for the old ones and impart knowledge about sustainable nutrition and environmentally conscious behavior.
Today, Anja introduces the organization in a little more detail.

Dear Anja, please introduce your organization to our readers in a few sentences.

I am Anja from Apfelschätze and I have been saving tons of apples from rotting every year for over a decade now. Although Germany has more apple trees than inhabitants, more and more apples are imported and only a fraction of the domestic fruit is harvested. This leads to monocultures and the disappearance of more and more apple varieties and with them disappears a piece of culture, biodiversity as well as habitats for animals.

At Apfelschätze I bring together tree owners and city dwellers in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. This way, the work is shared and the city dwellers can be self-sufficient for weeks or months in a climate-friendly and local way.
In this way, everyone benefits: the city dwellers, the tree owners and nature.

With tree pruning courses and plantings, we cultivate local varieties. One of our main focuses, however, is educational work. With one tree, we change the landscape for about 100 years. With the educational work, we give the next generations the means to vision our cities in a grandchild-friendly and edible way.

How did the idea of your project come about, how did it develop?

About 17 years ago I was in a village in Brandenburg. Hardly anyone harvested their apples because both the apples and the juice were so cheap. The effort was not worth it in their eyes. At that time, I wanted to do a campaign. "Jam Session," it was called. I wanted to harvest the apples together with young people and then process them with older people in retirement homes and everyone would have produced their year's supply easily. But the logistics were complex and expensive. I couldn't find any supporters for the idea.

What drives you every day, what are you passionate about?

Good food makes us happy and keeps us healthy.At the same time, food is our greatest power to act (three times a day!) to change our world: our food decides what our landscape/world looks like. Food and trees are our greatest leverage in climate change. Food connects people. Food is identity and culture.

And the apple has a very special symbolic power worldwide. I have been reading and learning about apples for over 10 years and am still learning exciting things about them. It captivates me, as it did on the first day.

I am driven to show people in a very concrete way how enriching and enjoyable it is to "do good for oneself and the future with food".

At the harvest events, people from the most diverse backgrounds come together. Everyone has fun, eats their way through the apple varieties. Adults remember the apples of their childhood, children marvel at the worm, the sunburn spots and the sizes of the apples because they only know supermarket apples. Almost all of them come back every year. Almost all eat more apples afterwards. Almost all of them see the world and what they can do differently in their everyday life.

That makes me happy.

If you had to name in 3 to 4 key words, in which areas you change the world for the better, what would these three words be?

  • Climate protection
  • Preserving natural spaces and cultural assets
  • Sharing economy

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

What I have noticed over the years with myself and many others: Living sustainably is usually enriching and a benefit, not a sacrifice.
Therefore, eat and cook well for yourself and for others and thereby protect nature.

 

Thank you for these exciting insights. We are happy that we can support you together with the staff! If you want to know more, you can find detailed information here on the website of Apfelschätze.