Lebendiger Landbau

A diverse, small-scale farm with the soil as its core

Laura & Johannes

Schwerin, Germany

0

7 hectares

Produce:

  • cultivation of more than 60 different vegetables
  • dual-purpose chicken (eggs and meat) 
  • agroforestry plots with trees and bushes

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Meet a lovely little family and their regenerative farm, located in an old farmstead in Mecklenburg, Germany. The farm was founded in 2017 by the two pioneers Johannes and Laura. Their farm currently supplies over 150 households with weekly fresh, healthy and “living” food.

Highlights

  •  community-supported agriculture (CSA)
  • benefits of integrating trees and shrubs
  • techniques to build humus
  • unique lessons from pioneering farmers 

How everything started

For Laura and Johannes, it was a long-desired step to start their own farm. Johannes studied organic farming near Berlin, where he specialised in agroforestry. He gained a lot of experience on different farms and learned to think outside the box. He became fascinated by alternative farming systems, such as permaculture, agro-ecology, and regenerative agriculture. 

‘’So when we started the farm, it was more or less clear that we wanted to go in that direction.’’

Johannes Walzer

Finding a place to farm was not difficult for the farmer duo.  

‘’The farm found us, instead of the other way around. The land is owned by the church. By the time we started searching, they were looking for people that wanted to start an organic farm on the abandoned land.’’

Laura Koch

And they got lucky: the place had everything they wanted

May sound like an easy process, but it took a long time to get all the regulations sorted. The land had been abandoned for eight years, which made the legal procedure more difficult.

For the first 2,5 to 3 years, they farmed without a contract.

It also took them a while to start farming after they moved to their land in April 2017, because they had to reconstruct the farm house.

Let’s look into other activities happening on the farm…

Change movement

Johannes and Laura see themselves as part of a change movement

They want to show that agriculture in the 21st century does not have to be characterised by profit maximisation. They aim to balance ecology holistically by taking into account social and economic factors too. 

This is the only way we can practise agriculture that will also allow the generations after us to be alive.

CSA

Their farm is supported, co-organised and financed by the community. 

The harvest is shared with everyone. 

Their over 150 members receive fresh, regionally produced vegetables of organic quality all year round. Their hard-working helpers and employees receive a fair wage for their work.

Creating habitat

Their most diligent workers are the earthworms and all other soil creatures. But bees, bumblebees and butterflies also feel at home with them. 

To create habitat and food supply for the surrounding fauna, they planted flowering strips and cut flower beds. 

Fun fact

A while ago, they got awarded by the federal state of Mecklenburg-Pomerania for their climate-friendly farm! Great work! 

How do they contribute to a better climate? 

Regenerative practices

Synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are not used on the farm. 

Instead, methods and principles of agroecology, permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, agroforestry, holistic management and whole farm planning are applied.

Their aim is to build up resources through regenerative agriculture.

Building soil

A central component of their work is soil building.  

Only healthy, fertile soil produces healthy food of the highest quality

Are you interested to know which techniques they used to build humus? 

Check out our Academy!

Agroforestry

Trees and shrubs play a crucial role on their farm:

→ closing a niche in their ecosystem
→ expanding the nutrient cycle
→ influencing the microclimate in an optimal way as crucial carbon-storers

What would you like to tell farmers that wish to make the transition to regenerative agriculture? 

‘’A day only has 24 hours! You have to know that running a farm is a lot of work. Especially when you set up different branches, such as a market garden, arable land, and chicken. We took over an abandoned place so we had a lot of construction work. So don’t underestimate that when you start a farm.’’ 

Johannes Walzer

Curious to know more about the transition of your farm to regenerative agriculture? 

Check out our Academy or Pioneer Program!

See more:

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Feel free to contact us via email or
schedule a call with Philippe.