Thierbachshof - The Place I live
I am living on an organic farm called Thierbachshof through ESC.
The Thierbachshof is a three-sided farm with 130 years of history, located in Steinhöfel in Brandenburg. Steinhöfel still has everything a village needs: a grocery store with a post office, a real castle, a doctor's office and a fire department. The historic church across the street rings the hours and our rooster Mr Henry's crowing wake me up every morning. In 7km you are at the bathing lake in Heinersdorf, in 10 minutes by car in the middle of Fürstenwalde, and in 30 minutes by car in the fashionable Bad Saarow at the Scharmützelsee. As if made for a relaxing time out.
History of Thierbachshof
The Thierbachshof was built in 1889 by a coppersmith and has lived through an eventful history. In the barn, there was a mill for a long time, whose linkages and gears are still visible today. The former barn has been a motor vehicle repair shop in the interim, and doors from the former outhouse still adorn the north side of the barn. A corner cupboard in the main house even has doors that once belonged to Steinhöfel Castle.
In GDR times 4 parties lived here, then later it was an artists' farm with concerts, vernissages and monthly village cinema. We are constantly discovering more details and anecdotes ourselves as we renovate the courtyard and open it to guests.
Owners of Thierbachshof
Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann and Markus Haastert bought Thierbachshof in 2017 and operate sustainable agriculture here. They are the founders of the ZERAP Germany e.V which I volunteer through ESC. They have been entrepreneurs in Berlin for ten years, but always with a strong connection to agriculture and rural areas. Markus accompanies communities and medium-sized companies in developing sustainable, innovative business models. Anne-Kathrin and her team operate aquaterraponic farm StadtFarm in Berlin. They also have 3 apartments on the farm for tourists and rent them on Airbnb. ESC volunteers live in one of these apartments. Very smart of them!
Permaculture and edible forest
The region around Steinhöfel is one of the driest in Germany; throughout the country, we have seen our climate become more volatile and produce more extremes. Our conviction is that the high biodiversity of hundreds of species of crops will bring higher yields than monoculture - and high resilience for the next decades. Therefore, an edible forest and raised beds based on permaculture principles were created by ESC volunteers here this year. A funny flock of chickens (variegated dual-purpose breeds) has already moved in, various trees from the "Queen Victoria plum" to the Japanese raisin tree have already been planted. Numerous wild herbs and berry hedges complement the vegetables from the beds, and a greenhouse made from old windows was added this summer. Here are some other interesting parts of Thierbachshof:
Bodega - wine bar in the pigsty
Small but nice: the tiny Bodega, where the old troughs are still, is furnished with historical furniture. Thanks to the old stove, it is also possible to stoke up the fire in the cold season. Place for cosy rounds and a cultivated glass of choice.
Art on the farm
Before them, an artist lived on the Thierbachshof. For a decade she worked here and worked in stone, painting and much more. Her traces can still be found in all sorts of corners.