He learned to prick asparagus from his grandmother when he was four years old. Today he works as a recruiter on behalf of the job center and helps long-term unemployed people to reintegrate into the job.


Without Eastern European harvest helpers it does not work!

It's not an easy job, I've tried it myself: foil back, stooping, finding asparagus, shoveling with two fingers, using the tool as far as possible to get the whole asparagus out, so that it does not break off, make hole with the trowel again, erect - and to the next asparagus.

The real hard work is this: every picker bends well 2000 times a day and brings in Schnit 100 kilos of asparagus from the ground, the front runners even 280 kilos. There are machines, but they do not do the job with the same quality.

Therefore, farms like the Klaistow asparagus and adventure farm near Beelitz, south of Berlin, would probably collapse without the Polish and Romanian harvest workers - because Germans Employees one searches in vain in the asparagus harvest. "Find some German seasonal workers," says PR lady Claudia Mikosch.


A hotly debated topic

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A topic that is hotly debated by the media and is always accompanied by a lot of polemics: “recipients of unemployment benefit II, which the employment agencies condemn to asparagus pricking.” Or “The lazy Germans HartzIVler, who are too good to prick asparagus compared to the Eastern Europeans.”

“Tramp” Dirk Johl, who also offers asparagus seminars and asparagus tours for tourists with a funny straw hat as “tramp”, sees the topic more calmly: “It has nothing to do with laziness. For Eastern Europeans is the same Money just a lot more worth. They only come here for money to earn.” The wages are accordingly: An Eastern European harvest helper receives a basic wage of 900 euros, beyond that he is paid on a performance-related basis. "There are 2000-3000 euros in it," says Johl.

Re-entry thanks to asparagus

Germans, on the other hand, receive 5-10 euros an hour, depending on the task. They are used wherever there is a need Communication goes, for example in sales. “A good 20 percent of the employees on an asparagus farm are Germans,” explains the tramp.

Johl is familiar with the subject: since 2005 he has looked after the long-term unemployed, whom he helped to get back into the labor market by cutting asparagus Job allows. Since then, he has looked after a total of 1500 cases for the job center, for which the Optionskomune has been responsible in the Potsdam-Mittelmark district since January.


More than an 1 Euro job

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Asparagus stinging is not a 1-euro job: “Of course, people cannot get Hartz IV and full wages either. In any case, you earn more from seasonal work than just unemployment benefit II. ”

Objective The measure is not the money, but that people find their way back to work: “If people have not worked for a few years, they are no longer used to regular jobs. The asparagus picking helps to get used to working life again. "

“If you only grumble, nothing will improve!”

At the moment he looks after 200 people, 98 of whom he currently has on a job. Many manage to return to work through seasonal work. “One is always a little bit too Mother Theresa for the people and is happy when you meet them again and they have made it,” says Johl enthusiastically. “30 percent of my people are ready to work again after 3 years!”

He can't say exactly how many people got back into a job over the course of time. However, he doesn't think much of polemics against the employment agency, as they often appear in the media: "It's about improving people's situation and constructive something to do. If you just complain, you won't achieve anything."


A moving professional life

Johl himself is the best proof of an eventful professional life: Born in Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg in 1970, he wanted to work in agriculture as a child: “I was simply fascinated by tractors and combine harvesters,” he grins mischievously.

In 1986-1988 he therefore completed one Vocational Training to the skilled worker for crop production and worked in an agricultural enterprise in the former DDR. But then after the fall of the wall, agriculture collapsed.

In the following years Johl worked as a window fitter, coal driver and freight forwarder. 1999 had to give up hard physical labor for health reasons and made a rehab conversion to a businessman for office communication.

For the love of agriculture

But his love of agriculture caught up with him again: Since 1999 he has been working in the employment agency “Agrotime” in Potsdam, which provides workers in agriculture. Incidentally, Johl created the figure of the landlord - out of love for the region and because it turned out to be like this: “At some point I was simply asked whether I could also take tours,” explains Johl.

The placement of seasonal workers, however, is a job that occupies him all year round: in the winter he holds infoverations and motivates people for seasonal work. And in the summer he goes with them to the field!

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