Learning for real Life
I had to become 66 to drive on a tractor and it was real fun.
On Thursday I went afield with Christine a trained agriculturist, to harvest beet for the chicken. The hens live on a hill next to a fruit orchard in a so-called chicken mobile. It is very easy to change their pen – you just roll their mobile home to another part with fresh green grass. The hens are happy and the eggs stay clean.
When we arrived there they behaved a bit shyer than usual, because the day before a goshawk had gotten one, just bunches of feathers left! I felt pity because they are so beautiful and confiding – but that’s nature! Christine said some breeders have up to 30% loss, because the birds of prey learn were they get an easy, delicious meal.
Today I went to the orchard near the chicken mobile again with Patricia, to protect the young trees with mesh wire fence. In cold winters deer and jack rabbits take delight in gnawing off the bark.
Working outside part of the day, makes me feel very content and leads also to good deep sleep!
As you might have guessed by now, not all of the commune members are vegan or vegetarian – I heard that some started even to eat meat etc. here again. It is different if you make animal products yourself. So there is milk, yogurt, cheese and beef from their dairy cattle, eggs from the hens and some meat and meat products from their own pigs which are fed with the whey form the cattle. The farm were the animals live is a kind of agrarian outpost of the community.
A big share of the production of the commune is going into SolaWi (Community-supported agriculture (CSA)) which is a partnership between farmers and consumers in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. Around 300 partner-members are necessary to make this work. “Consumers, often described as CSA members, are closely linked to the farm and the production of their food, and provide support that goes beyond a straight forward marketplace exchange of money for goods. This involvement may be through ownership or investment in the farm or business, sharing the costs of production, accepting a share in the harvest or providing labor. Farmers receive a more stable and secure income and closer connection with their community, and consumers benefit by eating fresh healthy local food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown and learning new skills.” (for more information: https://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk) So it leads to localization and frees all involved parties of the machinery of the market.
A part of the goods are also sold in the Rote Rübe (beetroot), the public farm shop in Niederkaufungen.
With other nearby communes there is an ongoing discussion about a free floating and need oriented economy without money.