It’s a warm and golden October day. After a rather stressful bike ride through the city to meet up with my man Peter (never agree on Brandenburger Tor as a meeting point! — there’s always something going on be it a demonstration, a festival, a marathon, you name it). We hop on his motorbike and ride for about 20 min. through the busy streets of Berlin to Spandau, our destination of desire for this afternoon. What’s in Spandau? – you might wonder. Lots of nature, the river Havel, an anthroposophic hospital and: the fields of the community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiative Speisegut.

In German, CSA translates to solidarische Landwirtschaft (SolaWi) and it is spreading worldwide at the moment. Basically, you buy a piece of land by paying a monthly contribution to a farmer. In return, you get fresh, regional and seasonal vegetables delivered to central pick-up place and get the opportunity to get your hands dirty yourself on the field.

We were lucky to join the group just before the potato harvest was on. That’s how we ended up in Spandau.

So, what did I learn from digging potatoes?

Many things.

Amongst others:

1) It feels great to dig in the ground. It smells real good and is a lot of fun. People should do that more often. I’d like to.
2) There is lots of different potatoes. We were digging for Birgit (red) and Linda (yellow). Yes, they usually get funny female names and don’t like to be mixed when stored for the winter.
3) There is a collector in each one of us. It is addictive: once you found one potato, you just want to find more.
4) What seasons deliver does not always align with your appetite. (I actually don’t like potatoes so much) It just requires a bit of creative thinking to transform what you don’t want into something you want.
5) 5 kg of potatoes equal half a cotton-bag. The ones you get in grocery stores. We tried and it worked out exactly. Quite cool!
6) Digging connects. It’s a bit like going to sauna together. Only that you don’t get naked and squeezed into a small room.
7) You start looking forward to the veggie-pick-up day – what veggies are waiting for you this time?
8) You start developing a relationship with vegetables. When they have a funny shape, you almost want to start talking to them…
9) And last, but not least: solidarity rocks. It ties people together and creates mutual support systems.

Looking forward to Friday and our next harvest support day. If this post made you interested in learning more or would like to participate, check out this link:

Thanks to Speisegut for making this possible!



What I learnt from digging potatoes
Posted by katharina on 16 October 2013