As a city dweller with an extremely limited amount of yard or private green space (and little knowledge on gardening), growing my own herbs and vegetables may be a bit challenging. Sure, community gardens have helped – to some degree – fill this void in our city but even they aren’t completely immune to problems. So how can an individual who has the desire to grow their own food but lacks the education or land become an urban famer? One German organization may have come up with the perfect solution.
Springboard for Urban Farmers
Launched in 2011 by Natalie Kirchbaumer and Wanda Ganders, Meine Ernte – German for “My Harvest” – rents out vegetable gardens in three sizes for a season to aspiring farmers. In all, there are 1,600 family size gardens located on the outskirts of 16 cities in Germany which rent for $230-$430 depending on the size of the plot.
To help members get started, Meine Ernte takes care of soil preparation and planting and provides members with the necessary tools. In exchange, members are asked to come in and spend 1-2 hours each week caring for their plants, weeding, and harvesting their crops. In addition to prepping beds and providing tools, Meine Ernte also has a professional available onsite to answer any questions and gives members access to exclusive detailed information on plant care and harvesting through the company’s website.
Vegetables and plants grown in the gardens include zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, gerbera daisies, and other flowers. Meine Ernte locations include Hamburg, Aachen, Hanover, Muenster, and Koln among other German cities.