ORGANIC FARMING IN THE BIG CITY
March 2017 marked the start of ernte-mich’s fourth gardening season. At three locations across Leipzig (Thekla, Lake Kulkwitz, Liebertwolkwitz), Richard Hagedorn, the managing director of ernte-mich (which literally means ‘harvest me’), offers enthusiastic city dwellers the opportunity to realise their dream of tending their own organic vegetable patch. Organic farming meets the big city. The ecological cultivation of different crops in close proximity guarantees sustainable, regional and above all seasonal enjoyment. With supervision available and all plants, tools and water included, pre-fertilised beds starting at 20 m² are available for cultivation for 10 months of the year.
The ernte-mich site
A GROWING REGIONAL NETWORK
Richard already supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to three restaurants, which can place their orders for special varieties in the preceding winter. The sweet potatoes and striped beetroots introduced this year are in particularly high demand. There are virtually no limits to the potential varieties – not forgetting the local weather conditions, of course. Among other crops, next year the farm will be growing more Solanum nigrum, which Richard presented at ISS-GUT! Leipzig, a trade fair for the hospitality industry, butchers and bakers. The plant is a nightshade species whose berries have an intense aroma with a sweet and sour twist.
What were once the farm’s by-products have thus been transformed into the driving force. The qualified civil engineer founded the company during his studies. At that time, of course, he could not have predicted that he would become a full-time farmer. “I was excited by the idea of supplying myself with fresh vegetables without relying on wholesalers, and wanted to make this possible for others as well. It was clear from the beginning that I didn’t want to grow the standard crops.”
ORGANIC FARMING IN THE CITY
But the small farm doesn’t just offer fresh fruit and veg, but also organic eggs from truly happy hens, which spend most of their time on a huge compost heap. Right next to them, organic geese – which customers can pre-order for the Feast of Saint Martin or Christmas – roam about in a seemingly oversized orchard.
ernte-mich’s sustainable concept is well thought out, attracting an increasing number of city dwellers to the suburbs who are keen to understand where their food comes from and how it is produced. Organic farming is key here. There is another advantage for restaurateurs. Customers who attach particular important to such products will often later dine at their restaurants.
Is your mouth already watering at the thought of tending your own vegetable patch? We recommend taking a look at the Ernte-Mich website or paying them a visit in real life.