Last summer it was still a matter of "intention", but now there is also a real building. A training center in Sauerland in Germany to be precise. Renovated this summer, so that from this autumn, former independent organic grower Aldo van Os and Wageningen engineer Mark Velders, together with four partners in the collective The Conscious Farmer, can share their experience, knowledge and skills. The official opening is on Saturday afternoon, November 9, 2019
‘I am the Earth’
The motto at the Sauerland training center is ‘I am the Earth’. Mark: “That statement literally puts us with both feet on the ground every day. When we realize this, we deal with agriculture and food in a fundamental different way. In our opinion it is time to start feeling that personal bond with the earth and to work from that connection. That is not always easy, it is quickly overlooked."
Aldo van Os (left) and Mark Velders (right) in the organic greenhouse
Cooperation between grower, nature and crop
According to Aldo, this involves the cooperation between grower, nature and crop. Mark agrees: “We depend on what nature has to offer. That is a lot, but you have to learn to work with it." Aldo continues: "If that is connected, we achieve structural improvements together and will often yields good results. That is a process. Every day again it is watching, figuring out, working out and trying out. By this you develop the right approach for your cultivation, step by step. Timing based on years of experience, knowledge and intuition is crucial. ”
Next to giving advice and training, it remains important to keep in touch with day-to-day-practice. Although Aldo is no longer an independent grower, he is, just like Mark (who is active in one of the Gulf States to increase food security in a sustainable manner), still busy in greenhouses working with both hands and feet in the earth. He is currently working on a number of projects in the Netherlands, Canada, the United States and Mexico with a variety of challenges.
The training center for organic, dynamic agriculture and food, in development
For a broad audience
Seminars, workshops and training sessions will be held in Sauerland, with the intention of addressing a wide audience. From growers to traders, from policymakers to investors and from students to consumers, whereby cooperation and sharing in groups and in networks will form the basis. "Anyone who wants to do so is very welcome in our center, which is independently financed and not dependent on any institution or supplier," Aldo and Mark conclude.
Aldo van Os
+31 (0)6 8206 6012
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