Today I just want to share an idea with you that has nothing to do with the topics I normally write about in this place, but every now and then, I am going to intersperse all kinds of things into my blog that I find interesting in one way or another. Today, it is about food production.
I grow a large part of my veggies myself in a project called Gartenglueck here in Cologne. A farmer rented four patches of land in and around the city. Each year, he is planting and sowing about 25 rows of different things, from carrots and potatoes to bush beans and zucchini, and also some flowers and herbs. He is then dividing these rows into allotments 2 or 4 meters wide. So you get a piece of land 2 meters wide with 25 rows of nice things on it. A few rows are left empty for you to sow or plant whatever you want. Once you have harvested, you can replant something. They also sell young plants and seeds, but you can also bring your own. It is all organic and even certified. You pay 125 Euros for a year (that is from May to November), plus seeds or plants you add. Tools and water are provided. The main work is weeding, planting new things and harvesting.
This concept, called “Gemuese-Selbsternte” (vegetable self harvesting), originally developed in Austria, seems to be spreading in Germany. There are now several such projects, but the one here in Cologne seems to be the largest. It should be possible to reproduce this idea in many places in one variety or another, especially around larger cities.
For those of you who are able to read German, here is the link:
For me, it is fun. Two weeks ago, I harvested the last kale. Now, however, the gardening season has come to an end. The land will be plowed now and go to rest. I am already looking forward for the first radish and spinach next May.