Colorful flowers shine over the fence, a black cat sunbathes on the steps to the terrace, four pied pigs dig in the straw of their free run in the yard. The biohof dobeneck in weppersdorf is a farm straight out of a picture book. Egid dobeneck stocks his self-marketing cart with fresh eggs at the farm entrance. "The eggs from this morning were gone right away, so we have to get more", he explains. The business of organic food from the farm is going well.
Organic for over 30 years
The 66-year-old has not run his farm conventionally since 1986. At that time, he repeatedly attended lectures on organic farming. "And since I always wanted to do something new, I took this step." At a time when the organic trend of the 1970s had already subsided and the new wave since the 2010s was still a long way off, dobeneck wanted his farm to be certified by bioland. "I have never regretted this. As such a small part-time farm, we might not have survived otherwise."
With daughter michaela, the young generation took over three years ago. "Organic is all the rage. Many young people today are concerned about the environment and pay attention to their diet." But that’s not the only reason she supports her parents’ concept. It is also a matter of the heart: the animals are fed organically and have enough space, the soil and fruit are treated with care, without sprays and pollutants. All the requirements of the organic association are of course regularly monitored. "I do as little harm to nature and animals as possible. So I can enjoy the products that come out of it with a good conscience", says the 28-year-old.
Her father even goes further: by growing more slowly, meat, fruit and vegetables actually also develop more flavor. "That’s what we hear again and again from customers: that the products simply taste better – especially than conventional good ones from the supermarket."
All the more reason for the junior manager to try out one or two additional things – in fact, she has already done so. "For the time being everything stays as it is", she says. She did not take over the farm out of nowhere, but had been involved for a long time. For example, the decision to do away with the eight dairy cows and to start more roughly with laying hens. "The construction of the henhouse 2015 was the last rough project. Now everything has slowly settled down." And since the young woman is just finishing her doctorate in chemistry and then she has a "main job" I have to look for something new in the region, so there is no time for that at first. Especially since she and her parents do most of the work on their own. "Sometimes I have to stop dad when he comes up with new ideas", she says with a laugh.
Everything from one source
Because there is enough work as it is. Part of the philosophy is to do everything myself: chickens and pigs get the feed they grow themselves. The cereals are cleaned and milled on site, and the family also presses and sterilizes the juice from the stalks and pears themselves. You can’t get more regional than that. And if something has to be bought in, it is of course also organic – regardless of whether it is for the barn, for personal use or for the farm shop. "Who buys organic, does something good for himself and the farmers – because here the prices are halay right", michaela dobeneck emphasizes "and if you buy regionally and seasonally, organic is still affordable." In autumn, even organic grapes don’t cost the earth – unlike in may. But many had lost touch with the product because everything was available in the supermarket all year round. "But I believe that something is slowly changing in people’s minds."
And what is the greatest pleasure for the dobeneck family itself?? "To have a complete lunch – meat, spatzle, vegetables – from our own products on the table", mother brigitte answers immediately. If you do not have your own garden or even farm, then just from the farmer nearby.