Peat-free gardening and a farm for the neighborhood
What if we all invested in a farm? The CSA Hof Pente works according to this principle: The organic family farm from Bramsche near Osnabrück joined solidarity farming a good ten years ago. This means that people from the region contribute to the production costs through membership, and in return the harvest is divided among them. "I always recommend that people who are interested come by our farm on Friday afternoons," says Tobias Hartkemeyer, whose family has run the farm for 500 years. "That's when our members come by and see what they can take away from the week's harvest."
New ideas for bloggers
As Hartkemeyer talks about the connections between organics, crop rotations and animal husbandry, the aroma of braised onions wafts through the hall. BIOSpitzenkoch Alfred Fahr stirs in the pot, grates unpeeled carrots and already explains what he is about to serve: Vegetable soup with lentils, then root vegetable rösti, and finally warm muesli dough with fresh fruit. Everything regional, seasonal and organic. After all, the motto for this year's blogger breakfast is "organic for the climate."
Almost two dozen bloggers from the fields of food, agriculture and gardening have been invited by the German Federal Organic Farming Program (BÖL) to the "Meet & Eat" in Hall 27 - to network with each other, to get them talking to organic farmers and so that some BÖL demonstration farms can also present their ideas for climate-friendly cultivation.
Farm with school, kindergarten and member workshops
Around 350 members have joined the CSA Hof Pente, taking on fixed shares of the operating costs - with members with more money often contributing larger sums or even taking on shares from members with smaller budgets. The main thing is that the budget is enough in the end to run the approximately 33 hectares of arable land, garden cultivation and animal husbandry with pigs, chickens, sheep and bees.
"The point is to farm as diversely as possible in regional cycles," Hartkemeyer says. "The better that's coordinated, the more resilient and healthy the cultural landscape is." But that's not all: the farm now also runs a kindergarten and a school on its premises. The members organize a farm café, a repair workshop and workshops of all kinds for themselves.
Peat-free gardening: It's all about the right mix
After soup ("Without stock cubes - simply seasoned with roast aromas, apple, salt, pepper, chili!") and vegetable hash browns are cleared, organic gardener Eva-Maria Herb gives tips for peat-free gardening. "Peat has to stay in the bogs because it stores an incredible amount of CO2 there," she says. However, the potting soil must then be prepared with various other substances.
"Peat-free soils contain a lot of compost," explains Herb, who runs the organic nursery of the same name in the Allgäu region with her parents. "When it gets too warm, like last summer, the nitrogen in the soil dissolves in one fell swoop. That's why we mix in plant charcoal, which binds the nitrogen and slowly releases it." Wood fiber, coconut fiber as a waste product or expanded thorn are also good admixtures, he said. Depending on the plant, also sand and two organic fertilizers: horn or clover grass pellets. Amateur gardeners, however, should rather rely on peat-free ready-made mixtures with plant charcoal and add sand for rosemary or other Mediterranean plants.