The Apple Ambassador
Andreas Willhalm, fruit grower in Lindau and founder of a laser centre for apples
Andreas Willhalm loves apples. He also grows them, eats about 10 to 15 every day and has clever ideas to refine them: He engraves “edible messages” with laser technology in the peel of red apples. The 42-year old is one of about 1600 fruit farmers on the northern shore of Lake Constance.
This region is one of the largest fruit growing areas in Europe. Particularly high-class and aromatic apples ripen here. Lake Constance acts as a heat sump and provides a mild climate. Apples in this region thrive over a cultivation area of about 7000 hectares in great variety. In addition, stone fruit, pears, strawberries and other berried fruits are grown. “We live and work according to the cycles of the seasons”, says Andreas Willhalm. He was born in Lindau, took over his parent’s fruit farm and has further developed it. “I always try to refine the great product “apple” and to also think laterally.” One day, the bustling fruit growing master got the idea to engrave lettering and picture motifs in apples. In the meantime, his laser centre sends declarations of love for wedding couples, advertising for companies and welcome greetings for meetings throughout the world. The side effect: “In this way I was able to also motive many young people to eat apples”, he reports.
Because producing high-class food is the one issue. At the same time, Andreas Willhalm also wants to achieve greater appreciation of the local products and find new target customers. Like him, many fruit growers also have a second ‘pillar’ to their businesses: many have a farm shop, distil ‘schnapps’ or rent holiday flats. All profit in the end: the fruit growers of the region, as Andreas Willhalm says, “provide an excellently groomed cultural landscape and contribute to a high quality of life”.
He himself enjoys living with his family in Lindau and is involved in many clubs: “The mountains, the lake and the many small towns in the region offer so many possibilities for sports and leisure time, which cannot be found hardly anywhere else. He is especially aware of this when he drives his tractor in the mornings on the Ringolsberg. This Drumlin mound is a legacy of the Ice Age and is directly in front of his farm. “From there I can see over the entire region. Then I know why I live here: because it is simply beautiful.”
Name: Andreas Willhalm
Marital status: Married
Profession: Master fruit grower
Has lived on Lake Constance since For 42 years