Large orchards with millions of pome and stone fruit trees, kilometre-long avenues lined with fruit trees, century-old monasteries – all tell the story of fruit-growing in this region. Located between The Leipzig Basin, Mulde Valley and the hilly landscape of the Lommatzscher Pflege is an area that has developed into one of the oldest fruit-growing regions in Germany. Fruit production benefits from the climatic and geological conditions in the Geopark Porphyry Land: mild climate, balanced precipitation and fertile loess soils.
The nuns and monks of the proselytizing Cistercian Order planted fruit trees and bushes in their monastery gardens in the mid 12th century. Later it was the Saxon Electoral courts that encouraged fruit-growing on a large-scale. In the 16th century, by decree of Elector August (father) kilometres of fruit trees were planted along the Saxon state roads. The reason for creating these fruit tree lined avenues was to mark the edge of the road when these are covered in snow in winter. Another benefit was that large amounts of fruit could be harvested in summer. Furthermore, August the Strong is said to have ordered that every couple should plant at least two fruit trees on their wedding day. Later rulers increased this to six trees. The first fruit producing company in Sornzig started at the end of the 19th century. The first civic Fruit-Grower’s Association was formed in Leisnig. They introduced the so-called “Multi-level orchards” (“Etagenobstbau“). This was the first attempt at intensifying fruit production by growing several species growing to different heights on the same area. In 1973, the government of the former GDR declared fruit production in the area between Mutzschen, Mügeln and Leisnig of vital importance: to “secure the supply for the citizens of the city and district of Leipzig”. A cold storage facility was built in Dürrweitzschen near Grimma capable of storing 18,000 tons. In 1976, all fruit producers of the region were united in the Agricultural Production Cooperative (LPG) “Obstproduktion Dürrweitzschen”.