Our farm is located in the heart of Swabia in the Swabian Danube valley, near the Danube and the Ulm/Neu-Ulm area. Here you will find diverse landscapes such as lakes, forests and meadows and it is not far from the Allgäu and the Swabian Alb. Our family farm has existed for many generations and was one of the first farms here in the village. Nowadays, there are only a few farmers left in our immediate vicinity. Farming in a populated area is a challenge.
Due to the ever-changing conditions, we are constantly reorienting our farm. Our goal is a holistic ecological management in which regenerative agriculture should play an even greater role. Organic means that the fields are cultivated without chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. For example, our fields are sown in a recurring rhythm with a seed mixture of clover grass and lucerne. This method is also called green manuring, as plants belonging to the legume family in particular can bind nitrogen from the air in the soil, where it serves as fertiliser for the next crop. In addition, clover grass and lucerne can incorporate CO² from the air into their roots and green plant parts. After the plants are mown, chopped and worked back into the soil, soil organisms incorporate the CO² into humus compounds and thus promote soil fertility and the water storage capacity of the soil. This process of building up humus is called regenerative because it improves the soil. The plant residues left over after the harvest also remain on the field, are worked into the soil and also serve to build up humus and provide fertiliser for the next crop. There is no waste with us, because everything is still useful.
Another approach is that the arable land should always be grassed over, among other things to prevent erosion and nitrogen discharge and to counteract the proliferation of undesirable weeds. That is why we use undersown crops in cereals and increasingly use catch crops. These measures increase biodiversity in our fields, which in turn helps us to keep pests at bay. In addition, these measures also have an extremely positive effect on our climate, which is another reason why I like the principles of regenerative agriculture very much. We rely on crops that are adapted to our local climate and can still do without irrigation.
On our small field units we rely on a diverse crop rotation, we grow many different crops and also like to try out new crops again and again. We only farm our meadows extensively, i.e. with low livestock numbers and no fertiliser. In this way, we also actively contribute to environmental protection and nature conservation, as these areas provide a habitat and breeding ground for example for many meadow nesting birds. We also cooperate with the municipality and implement various nature conservation measures such as lark windows and flower strips on the fields. On our rooves we have been producing solar electricity for about 45 households for more than 10 years.
We place great emphasis on avoiding waste and harvest residues remain on the field to promote humus formation and contribute to soil fertility.
We are a family business, which means that the main tasks are completed by me and my husband, I take care of the management of the house and farm and our chickens, and my husband takes care of the field work together with his cousin and great cousin. In addition. We have a temporary employee who also takes care of the field work and the technology of the machines. In this constellation we have been working together successfully and constructively for several years now. My mother-in-law takes care of our physical well-being at lunchtime and so we often all eat together at one big table.