08 October 2019 trip to the biosphere reserve Rhön
Today our trip to the biosphere reserve Rhön took place. We wanted to see live, how the breeding of native farm animals, such as Rhön sheep and red mountain cattle, works in reality and what special features there are here from an ecological perspective. Therefore we visited a few of the sustainably producing and processing agricultural enterprises in the biosphere reserve:
First of all we got an insight into the processing of slaughter meat at the Kleinhenz country butchery. We were particularly interested in the labelling, from which the type of meat, date of birth and slaughter, cut and origin of the animals can be precisely identified. The butchery only delivers to its customers once a week, which would make it difficult to use Kleinhenzs products in a canteen kitchen. The school canteen then would have to change its weekly menu a lot and offer mainly vegetarian dishes. This would require a lot of creativity and the food guests would also have to be convinced of this change,
The second contact point was the Weber organic farm. Weber keeps Rhön sheep, game and the red mountain cattle – a cattle breed threatened with extinction. The meat quality is extremely good, so that Weber has no sales difficulties whatsoever despite a relatively high price. However, the products are not affordable for a canteen kitchen in everyday life. Furthermore, Mr. Weber would not be able to provide sufficient quantities of meat.
The same applies to the extremely tasty bread that Mr Weber bakes once a week from an old type of grain – the original grain that he grows himself. This grain causes few allergies, but the preparation of the bread takes a lot of time, as it is traditionally made with sourdough. The bread is only marketed regionally in the farm shop, which is not easily accessible from Würzburg. Another knock-out criterion for use in the canteen kitchen of the Klara-Oppenheimer-Schule.
By the way, Mr Weber does not advertise his bread in any way whatsoever, it is so delicious that word-of-mouth propaganda regularly leads to empty shelves!
In the middle of the nature reserve we met the shepherd of the Rhön sheep, which belongs to the Weber organic farm and is threatened with extinction. He explained to us how sheep farming can be used to maintain and fertilize the Rhön naturally. This made it clear to all of us how the closed sustainable economic cycle and thus environmentally and climate-friendly life can function. After this visit we agreed that natural quality makes sense ecologically, but also in relation to the meat product, even if it has its (justified) price. And besides you get the typical cultural assets of a region…
The third visit was to the Pax brewery in Oberelsbach. There, master brewer Seufert introduced us to his operating concept: the combination of innovative ideas with traditional beer brewing!
He attaches great importance – as far as possible – to organic ingredients. Even if the inclusion of the products of the Pax Brewery for the cafeteria of the Klara-Oppenheimer-School is not up for discussion – what a pity :-), the students gained an insight into an innovative company that obtains its ingredients from the region. Maybe this knowledge can be used in the medium term by an employer!
At the good end, we stopped by the Volkersberg youth education centre. Only regional food is purchased for the guests, which led to a unique award of the „three thistles“. It was impressive to see that it is possible to run a canteen almost exclusively with regional food. And the food tasted simply delicious!