Cooperative Agriculture

15/10/2018 48 Comments

 

The agriculture in Tempelhof supplies the community with fresh vegetables and fruit from their professionally managed fields, gardens and green houses. Additionally some fruit orchards are leased from neighbors with an agreement to exchange tree-maintenance for fruit-harvest.

There is a real production chain and constant planning together with the processing teams in the kitchen crew. The results are delicious wholefood meals – various, fresh and local. The shortest food chain possible: I helped on one morning to harvest red cabbage on the field – the next day I was in the kitchen preparing and cutting it and the day after I had it on my plate for lunch.

 

The agriculture follows high standards in preserving nature, using only biological means to improve the soil and better the conditions to get good crops.

 

Green bridges, adding compost, mulching and mixed cultivation help to keep the soil alive and reduce pests and weeds.

 

A lot of work as you can imagine. Besides the garden teams there are many guest helpers that want to learn hands-on about perma-culture and biological gardening. I got many very useful tips for my own gardening practice.

 

The nursery

 

Planting spinach and lambs lettuce

 

Ducks help to reduce slugs on the fields and in the green houses

 

 

Pumpkin harvest – stock for the winter                                                                           Photo: Christine Lutz

 

A lot of emphasis is also on stockpiling: by placing vegetables and fruits in stock, and preserving by freezing, preparing pickles, chutneys, jams, stewed fruit and juice.

 

Happy chicken roaming free

Tempelhof is not strictly vegetarian, milk products are used in the kitchen and they have their own chicken mostly for eggs, but from time to time also for a broth, stew or ragout. But there is always a choice.

 

Rainbow Chard

50% of the agriculture production goes to the community, 30% provide for seminars and catering , the remaining 20% are divided between deliveries to subscribing restaurants and regional wholefood stores, plus standing order boxes with saisonal fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs and bred.

 

Vegetables, salads and herbs for the boxes

 

Standing order boxes

Community supported and Joint cooperative agriculture

The Community has a plenary meeting each year to consider the sum every single member will pay for food depending on their needs.

The yearly budget for agriculture and the kitchen is introduced based on the estimated needs of the community and the other sources of income mentioned previously:

  1. everyone pays a basic sum for the agriculture
  2. a certain amount is calculated for estimated meals you will take at the dining hall
  3. a certain amount is added for the groceries you use for your own cooking

This 3 shares define your part to pay for the CSA (Communjty Supported Agriculture)

In a Joint Agriculture System – customers place their orders for the whole year and agree to pay a certain amount for every month. They get boxes according to the saisonal crops every week, directly from the fields and gardens. Tempelhof makes regional deliveries in a radius of about 20 km and has collection locations in different places – in cities nearby.

 

The best chance to see Tempelhof with your own eyes and have a first glimpse is to come on a Sunday afternoon to have a Cappuccino or a cup of tea and a piece of the extraordinary homemade cake or tart in the castle cafe.

Learn more about Info Cafe,  workshops, or how to be a one-week guest helper:  www.schloss-tempelhof.de