Farm area/size of the organisation:
Number of workers:
Farm main activity:
The Alpine foothills, which include Upper Swabia and the Württemberg Allgäu, are a flat hilly landscape. The strong imprint of glacial processes is reflected in numerous typical landscape forms such as moraines, lakes and moors.
Baden-Württemberg lies in a transitional area between the maritime climate in the west and the continental climate in the east. This means that oceanic and continental climate influences alternate. Due to the prevailing westerly winds, the oceanic climate influences predominate, decreasing in the eastern parts of the state. The diversity of surface forms, i.e. the juxtaposition of high mountain areas and shielded basin areas, leads to considerable climatic differences even at short distances.
The farm is mainly located in the area of moraine landscape. Furthermore partly in the Jura and tertiary hill country.
Agroforestry elements relevant to nature conservation can play an important role. In addition to potential timber and fruit production, they provide environmental services in terms of biodiversity and soil and water protection. This has had and continues to have profound effects on the landscape, but also on biodiversity in the respective regions. And above all on the soil’s ability to store moisture.
The solution implemented on Peter Bloching’s farm resulted in remarkable additional health and resilience of the crops in the field, as they are better protected from erosion and better able to retain water in the soil. Furthermore, in winter when snow drifts, up to 1m of snow is captured by agroforestry landscape elements, making additional water available.
In addition to agroforestry structures, grazing is very important. The uneven distribution of cow dung and urine creates very different nutrient situations and environments over a short distance. A natural water balance between the environments is created. This also allows the soil to react very well to various stress situations.
Long-straw varieties are used, which ensure a high dew formation throughout the summer, thus promoting the soil life in the upper area and protecting it from drying out.
An evergreen ground cover also makes a major contribution to this. The evergreen soil dormancy ensures a higher presence of soil microorganisms.
Researchers have found that fungal spores rain clouds to rain.
The overarching objectives are to promote a healthy diet and to strengthen the defenses of man.
Water management concerns: improving the water storage of the. Preservation and strengthening of humus through reduced erosion.
Working more with nature than seeking technical solution. This is where causal sustainability is seen.
In 1987 severe erosion and washing away of soil on the farm areas. Since 1989 continuous improvements towards the present situation. Concentration on direct and vending machine marketing.
In 2009 conversion to organic.
The fields were already cultivated according to ecological standards before the measures described above. The additional agroforestry led to further impacts in relation to the aspects described above.
The farmer has established measures to continuously improve the standards on his farm. He developed the following mission statement:
“It is good not to work against nature. It is better to work with nature. It is best to let nature work for you.” The mission statement is : “The Mesch is orderly. Nature is in order.”
Maintenance/pruning of fruit trees as soon as the arable land or grassland is affected by excessive amounts of trees and shrubs.
The remaining component decks of the hedgerows are maintained and pushed back by grazing.
The cattle also absorb minerals at the same time.
Collaboration with a landscape biologist, natural gardener with regional connection and knowledge.
Farmer-to-farmer exchange and the adaptation to local needs. Important role of the farmer himself in terms of knowledge about regional autochthonous seeds, plants and soil qualities.
First farmer to implement such measures at the local level. Not only because of some compensation for the structure itself, but also for agronomic reasons.
Mobile pasture milking parlour on the field. Grazing of the arable land.
Diversity of products.
Willingness to trial and error with the clear goal of being one of the best nature-based farmers each year by working with nature, or better yet, nature working for him.
Practical and scientific exchange.
Standard doctrine as much as possible and always question everything learned.
Keep in touch with the local and regional community. Keep a record of the positive and negative aspects of each action within the holistic approach to organic farming.
Awareness, field guides, explanation
Initial main reasons were soil erosion. Today’s insight: versatile reservoir of soil life. Overall, the system proved to be very good and even more efficient than expected. It has stabilised yields and for the structures there was even possible financial income under compensation.
Of course, getting to know the system and how to use it is the key to success in the beginning.
Diversity, enrichment by marginal areas.
Improved water retention capacity of the soil.
Soil protection and promotion of humus build-up.
In the end, sustainability can be measured by the health of the animal population.
Continue to improve resource use (water, soil, solar, energy) on the farm. Specifically:
As an entrepreneur, there is always something to learn. The key is to remain ambitious.
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