The Fohringer men have a variety of hobbies. I’ve already introduced their schnapps hobby and their music hobbies. But the Fohringer men love to engage in the traditional village activity of animal raising. Legend has it that this property was once quite the menagerie, home to pigs, horses, rabbits, and of course cows. The animals are a lot of work and the men have always had jobs outside the village. Reini told me that when he was in kindergarten, his dad was sort of a reverse milkman. He used to drive a milk truck, drive around, and collect the milk from the farmers in the area. He then brought it to the big milk facility where it was processed. Reini admitted that he dreamed of being a milkman when he was little! During the height of the cow hobby, Opa Fohringer’s herd won many awards that he still proudly hangs on the barn door.
The animal variety has since been downsized to just baby cows, Kühe in German. The little cows are ideal because they don’t need to be milked everyday making them less work. They raise them for a few years and then sell them (for a profit) to people who do want milking cows. Reini’s dad really loves his cows. They all have unique names, and he even tied little toys to their nighttime stalls to keep them occupied. Now that it’s spring time, they’re allowed out onto the Fohringer field. I know they love the sunshine and fresh grass. I was told that next weekend they will join other farmers’ cows in their ‘summer vacation home’ known as an Alm to Austrians. For now, we get to enjoy them and pet their soggy noses.