“Auenhof” – home for handmade farmhouse products
Our farm is located in the idyllic park landscape of the Münsterland (a region in North Rhine-Westphalia) and it has been run by the Schulte Bisping family for centuries. Some parts of the farm even witnessed the “Peace of Westphalia”.
The Münsterland is characterised by agriculture and beautiful nature. Many enterprises, especially craft enterprises, are based here. Obviously, we are part of them, and with our products, we contribute to the beauty of the Münsterland.
Due to a stroke of fate, we missed the period of modernisation and mechanisation, and many things on our farm resembled those of the past! However, in 1989, we realised that we possessed an ark and that our farm, still looking so natural and hardly modernised, was a real treasure! That was the beginning of direct marketing on an old, natural, Westphalian “Schulte” farm. Back then, a long time ago, a manager – also known as “Schulte” – of the nearby monastery “Vinneberg” lived here. Since our farm is directly located at the river meadow of the Ems (a river in north-western Germany), which is a beautiful nature reserve, we named it “Auenhof” (the farm at the river meadow). Today, we farm approx. 45 ha of land and we keep cows for milk production. We also keep some hens, cocks and pigs to sell their produce in our farm shop. Our own cheese dairy, in which we refine our milk, represents the heart of our home. Our cheese dairy is in the same building as our farm shop, directly opposite our house. By looking through the windows, our customers can gain an insight into our work. Transparency and direct contact with customers are both essential to us and part of our quality promise. For more than 30 years, we have been producing special delicacies. Many of our products can only be made by hand so that these have a particular and magnificent taste – a taste of freshness, nature and caring preparation.
On our farm area, we have some wells which we use as water sources. Thanks to regular maintenance, we can keep up our water quality. In our region irrigation of the arable land is not costum and we don’t do it.
Our whole philosophy is orientated towards a sustainable and natural production and processing. On the roof of our cowshed, there is a photovoltaic system which produces solar energy. On our own initiative, we leave fallow land and “honey meadows”, and we sow varied herbs and blends of flowers in order to protect the insects and the environment. With our “Wiesenkombischleppe” (a kind of harrow), we break up and smooth out the surface of the soil and remove the weeds from it. Before the flowering season, stinging nettles and thistles are mulched. This is how we avoid pesticides.
Four members of the Schulte Bisping family work at “Auenhof”. These are Birgit Schulte Bisping as well as the three oldest children (we are five children in total): Sebastian, Florian and Felix. After the death of our father / husband Antonius Schulte Bisping, his best friend Maik Niese became involved in our agricultural business. Over the last few years, our team has grown little by little thanks to the three children becoming adults. Maik and Birgit have been working in our company for a long time. Obviously, our work is characterised by a high level of individual initiative and we prove ourselves hard-working. Nevertheless, each of us has individual freedoms and a lot of flexibility. Therefore, all persons involved feel comfortable and enjoy working here.
We give great importance to high quality and extraordinary processing, so that merely tiny amounts of waste arise. The produced whey is used as a by-product for the feeding of our pigs as well as for the fertilisation of our arable lands. If we have production surpluses, we hand them over to a food bank which, in turn, distributes them to people in need of our region.