Minus 12 this morning, the windows frosted with beautiful jewels and the snow vivid and blinding. Doing the round for the animals felt more like tucking them up for a cosy hibernation as opposed to the usual squawking, bleating, begging to be let out at all costs. The old bread that we get from a local bakery for the ducks was so hard I had to use a hatchet to break it up and the kitchen waste that we collect from an organic catering company in Görlitz was frozen solid into a layer-cake of peelings, pasta and apple cores.
I have a week with the girls
whilst Flo is in England. It feels like a good opportunity to
consolidate loose ends, catch up on emails and focus on our written
In the middle of December we
had our first open meeting in Görlitz to introduce our idea of
setting up a Community Supported Agriculture scheme here at the
Heckenhof. Many new projects are brewing in Germany (and further
afield) and it feels like the time is ripe for a radical rethink of
how we do business, how we create livelihood and how we support one
The nearest initiatives to
the west are in Dresden and to the north around Berlin, so for the
Oberlausitz we are certainly breaking new ground. It is challenging,
but the risk is small as we have little to lose:
Our handful of veg boxes
last year attracted a solid core of supporters and showed us that
even with existing schemes in the area, there is a hunger for more.
We will plan for forty shares (each calculated to cover the needs of
one adult and one child) and however many members we attract, the
rest will be taken to market or sold to caterers with the funds going
back into the project.
A challenge facing many
growers is the raising of seedlings. The quantity is often too high
for most project's greenhouse capacity. One Dresden project has them
delivered from Baden-Württemberg as nothing of scale exists nearby
that commits to organic principles.
Flo had the idea to approach
a local garden centre in Reichenbach (4kms away). They have struck a
deal that he buys the seed and comes over occasionally to help whilst
they oversee the healthy progress of the plants in their greenhouses.
Amazingly, it turns out that, although not certified, they are
committed to organic methods! We have struck gold on this one, and it
has reaffirmed once again how a bit of lateral thinking and a good
dose of gumption, along with a firm belief in the vision, can make
Here out in the sticks it is
crucial that we nurture a social and cultural community of
like-minded folk. This project carries the potential to establish
both a cultural and economic livelihood for ourselves. We trust that
over time more skills and ideas will emerge from our member community
to enrich and grow this into something we can all be proud of.
This space is for that outer
layer of community, you folk who have been following our progress
over time and whose input and ideas are just as valuable. Please use
this space freely to bring out your thoughts and share your insights