Diversity in the field
The Medewege farm in Schwerin is more like a village. 17 farms belong to the Demeter farm, including a market garden and a beekeeping business. Fruit and vegetables are grown here. A bakery produces both fresh and long-life bread, which is delivered to organic markets in Berlin, and the farm's own dairy refines udder-warm milk into yoghurt or cheese. There is a Waldorf kindergarten, a farm café and an art studio.
However, diversity is not only evident in the farm shop, but also in the agricultural fields. Jule Jahn explains what can distinguish an organic field from a conventionally farmed one: "As we don't use chemical pesticides, it might not look quite as tidy. Weeds grow here and there and there are flower strips for insects," she says. "We also work with wide crop rotations, which means that several years pass before we plant the same type of crop again," adds Levin Jahn. "This means that any plant-specific pests cannot spread unhindered, unlike with monocultures." The exhibitors emphasise that those who buy organic food not only consume fewer harmful substances, but also do something for more biodiversity and against climate change.
How organic works
The Medewege farm is one of 240 organic demonstration farms. Some of them will take turns presenting their products and answering visitors' questions at the stand of the Federal Organic Farming Programme (BÖL) in Hall 22a. They are used to talking about their work, as they offer regular guided tours of their farms, for example for colleagues who are considering converting to organic farming. However, the BÖL's presence at the fair also has other interesting information stands to offer. For example, the ReformBIO project is testing natural sweeteners in biscuits to reduce the sugar content. The network of organic cities is also represented, which is campaigning for more organic food in public canteens, among other things. Berlin is one of them.
A wake-up call with positive effects
The start-up Curu Coffee (Hall 22) also comes from the German capital. Founder Abigail Baumhardt was shocked when she first started looking into the supply chains of coffee from Brazil. Instead of continuing to promote the cultivation of monocultures, her company, founded in 2021, works with small farmers who grow coffee plants under native trees. "In this way, the plantations provide a habitat for many animals and the soil quality also improves noticeably. The soil can store more water and CO2," she says. By supporting the move away from monoculture, the founder is giving coffee consumers the opportunity to do good with their purchase. The beans are roasted in Berlin in two different flavours.
Of course, the Organic Hall is not the only place at Grüne Woche where organic produce can be savoured. Next door in the Brandenburg Hall, a large proportion of the exhibitors are also certified organic. In other country halls, visitors can also discover organically produced food and find out about sustainable agriculture.