Gemeinschaftlicher Waldgarten in Verden
Contact person: Alex
- Environmental project
- Ecological research/futurology
- Volunteers are welcome.
Motivated by a wish to get involved in gardening and self-sufficiency, a group of people founded Allmende in the mid 90s. They looked for a plot of public land between Bremen and Hanover, near the small town of Verden. They found a 7 hectare field which had once been cultivated in a conventional way for cereals. It was leased to us free of charge and we have been cultivating it since 1998.
Following the principles of permaculture, a stately forest garden has been created, with 358 fruit and nut-bearing trees of 88 types, over 50 kinds of bush and various annual vegetables. In addition there is a small area of natural woodland and another small uncultivated area which we are leaving untouched, for study purposes.
What excited us about a forest garden was the chance to grow food-producing plants in a new way. By planting different plants in layers (tree, bush and vegetable layer) you can get more varied use out of the land than with monoculture. Each level occupies its own niche in the ecosystem, has its own requirements for it to thrive. Thus there is a cooperation which enables the plants to utilise the available resources above and below the surface, such as light, water and nutrients.
Using trees to produce food enables us to get a good crop without an extensive area of cultivation and without the use of machines. Thus our plot of land on top of the Verden Geest, sandy and exposed to the wind, produces new and exciting culinary delights year after year.
Workers on our project are volunteers, and the project is not commercial, i.e. it is not geared towards the sale of produce. Rather it is a research and model project, where we experiment with unusual plants and methods, as well as with old varieties and tools. However, it is not only curiosity and fun which are important for our “Utopian gardeners”. Political and ethical considerations also play a large role.
We are interested in seeing to what extent production is possible without resorting to complex technology, an infrastructure which provides motors and fuel as a matter of course, and which is only possible in a capitalist economy. Energy saving is called for!
We are also a vegan group. We do not raise farm animals, nor do we use their qualities or their products for our garden. We use wild herbs and plants as fertilizer, not manure.
What we offer:
• Workcamp approx 3 times a year
• Work placement, visits, hands-on experience
On request we can offer other net participants advice, give a presentation, and provide up-to-date information and contacts in the field of our work.