Cattle Pastures

08_GW_WN (7)Until the intro­duc­tion of keep­ing the cat­tle in the sta­bles in the sec­ond half of the 18th cen­tu­ry, the feed­ing of the cat­tle, hors­es, sheep and goats hap­pened by lead­ing them for pas­tur­ing in the for­est, as the veg­e­ta­tion there con­sti­tut­ed the basis of all cat­tle nutri­tion. This had of course harm­ful con­se­quences for the for­est. In fact the ani­mals’ hooves packed down the ground all by dam­ag­ing the leaf and the young buds. That is why up from the begin­ning of the 13th cen­tu­ry, some for­est zones had refused access for graz­ing in order to pro­tect the wood­land. As for the Grünewald you can find edicts, reg­u­lat­ing the agri­cul­tur­al usage in the woods, dat­ed 14 Sep­tem­ber 1617, edit­ed by the Arch­duke Albert and the arch­duchess Isabelle, or 15 Sep­tem­ber 1724 by Charles VI. It is only in the sec­ond part of the 18th cen­tu­ry that the for­est was for­bid­den for all kind of graz­ing, as the mod­erni­sa­tion of agri­cul­tur­al means took forth with the cul­ti­va­tion of pota­toes and root crop used then for feed­ing.

Mulching usage

08_GW_WN (5)At the end of the mid­dle Ages mulch usage in the woods had become a very impor­tant form of agri­cul­tur­al exploita­tion. That is why the Anwen Farm did not only own the right to fat­ten the cat­tle with acorns and pas­tures and the use of fire­wood, but also the right to use the for­est mulch.

08_GW_WN (1)Leaf, pins and plants on the ground were col­lect­ed by spe­cial rakes and could be used in the sta­bles for lit­ter. As a con­se­quence the tree pop­u­la­tion dimin­ished con­sid­er­ably and impor­tant nutri­ents of the soil were sub­duct­ed. Lat­er on a refor­esta­tion could only be done by plant­i­ng conifers, as they need few nutri­ents and grow quick­ly.

Pig fattening

08_GW_WN (3)Until the intro­duc­tion of for­age plants for ani­mals in the 18th and 19th cen­tu­ry, the domes­tic pigs were fat­tened by lead­ing them into the old and light oak and beech groves. Since the Mid­dle Ages there were spe­cial reg­u­la­tions defin­ing the num­ber of ani­mals, the begin­ning and end of pas­tur­ing and the felling of fruit trees. In the Grünewald for exam­ple there was a spe­cial reg­u­la­tion, for­bid­ding pig graz­ing for the peri­od before the young trees had not yet reached the 8th leaf.

08_GW_WN (4)For a long time woods were esti­mat­ed accord­ing to the num­ber of pigs, allowed to cir­cu­late and not as today accord­ing to the poten­tial tim­ber mass. Up to the mod­ern times, the high­est cash income of a for­est came from pig fat­ten­ing rather than tim­ber pro­duc­tion. The Grünewald and the relat­ed pig fat­ten­ing was the only source of income for the sov­er­eign at these times before the con­struc­tion of the first met­al­lur­gi­cal site in Dom­mel­dan­ge in 1609.

Leaf as food for the cattle

08_GW_WN (2)From pre­his­toric times up to the 20th cen­tu­ry, the leaf was col­lect­ed dur­ing win­ter times to use it as addi­tion­al food for the ani­mals. For this pur­pose, the elm, ash, horn­beam and wil­low leaf was pre­ferred.

In the Grünewald pig fattening was regulated as follows:

The lords of Heis­dorff, Walfer­dan­ge, Ober- and Nieder­an­ven have the right to dri­ve their pigs to the pas­ture of St.Rémy in St.Gertrude. The inhab­i­tants of Bof­fer­dan­ge and Klinger­scheuer only may dri­ve their pigs up to the bor­der of the loca­tions called Staffel­stein and Schet­zel­bach. The inhab­i­tants of Sandweil­er have the right to lead their pigs to all the the Grünewald pas­tures, but only by pay­ing 8 Groschen and 7 Soll per year. The inhab­i­tants of Itzig have the right to dri­ve their pigs even at night and that from St. Dyo­nis up to St.Thomas all by pay­ing a fee of 7 Soll.. The right for pas­tur­ing is only giv­en to the inhab­i­tants of Anwen (Ober- and Nieder­an­ven).”