Every Wednesday, the ARC2020 office in Berlin receives a bulk delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables from a small farm just outside the city. Arriving from a 3-acre plot in Spandau, boxes packed full of kohlrabi, fennel, radishes, dill, carrots, lettuce and much more literally walk into our office: Stacked high, it is often not possible to see the deliverer walking behind them.
The farm, known as SpeiseGut (a play on words meaning “dine well” or “origin of dishes/meals”) runs a number of projects which support regional, ecological and responsible agriculture. This includes a recent partnership with local beekeepers. Their main project however is the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme which delivers fresh products to most districts in Berlin.
As it is easier for district deliveries to be dropped at a central point rather than individual houses, back in June our office became a local pick-up point. The boxes arrive every Wednesday morning, and are closely followed by a stream of people eagerly arriving to collect their goodies.
The farm is run by Christian Heymann, a trained farmer who worked in organic cultivation for 15 years. This is his first solo project. However he is more than happy to welcome a few helping hands.
Participants signed up to the CSA scheme not only receive their weekly delivery, they also become an active part of the project – encouraged to visit the farm at least 3 times during the one year contract. Tasks vary throughout the year but include seed sowing, weeding and harvesting.
The vegetables that arrive in the office come in any size, shape and colour – and taste great! Any surpluses that are not delivered to consumers directly are handed over to some of the many Berlin-based initiatives that work against food waste including Culinary Misfits, Fläming Kitchen and the Prinzessinnengärten in Kreuzberg.