Regenerative Agroforestry at Michelberger Farm
In the Spreewald area, southeast from Berlin, the Michelberger Hotel has started a farm. Goal of this farm is the regeneration of the soil and the creation of a functioning agricultural ecosystem. The Farm will be supplying fresh and delicious ingredients for the Hotel’s restaurant. The Forest Farmers are supporting the team from Michelberger Hotel in the process of planning, designing, establishing and running this place.
Starting in spring 2019, we created the first vegetable beds on the property which are already supplying ingredients to the kitchen this season. Special about this farm is that it is run by the chefs and other Hotel staff which makes a close link between the principles of regenerative agroforestry and the Hotel’s DNA.
Throughout 2019, the design for the land is being made, there’s a lot of exchange between The Forest Farmers and the Michelberger crew. By winter 2019/20 the currently 1,5 ha belonging to the farm will be planted with many species and varieties of fruit and nut trees, shrubs, berries and biomass trees. Special attention is being given to the herbaceous layer which will consist of a diversity of perennial vegetables and more. This will enable the chefs to use special ingredients currently not available, with new tastes and high nutritional values. Besides that, there will be an abundance of fruits, berries, herbs, edible flowers, leaves and much more to be harvested. The goal is to utilize as many perennial food plants as possible to decrease the amount of annuals needed by the kitchen. In general, annual plants require much higher inputs in labour and energy than perennial plants, which come back and get stronger each season. The connection between soil and kitchen is leading in this project and everybody is being excited to see an edible landscape rise that regenerates the land and at the same time produces serious amounts of delicious food. For the Michelberger Hotel, which uses organic and where possible local food to supply the restaurant, creating a regenerative farm and producing their own food is the next logical step towards a holistic business.
To start the process of regeneration, a green manure mixture has been sown in spring on the farmland which will produce biomass, stimulate soil life and provide food and habitat for insects and birds throughout the season.