Today I learned that the job of “Zapfensteiger” is silently dying while the need for it increases. A “Zapfensteiger” is a person that climbs up coniferous trees to harvest cones to dry them and get all the seeds out of them. Given that our forests are either dying by themselves or are actively destroyed by humans depending on where on earth you’re living, those jobs are needed to reforest our landscapes and keeping a healthy ecosystem alive. So if you enjoy climbing and want to help saving the environment, this is a good way on helping. It’s not a full-time job. But there are a few busy weeks. Your local forestry should be able to tell you where to start.
I came across this while watching a documentary about dying jobs1, as they are often, but not always, no longer needed. And while trying to write a more international article about it, I noticed that I couldn’t find a translation of the name.
Sadly the documentary was removed the ZDF Mediathek and there is no archived version available. ↩