In the small town of Lutstrut, Bernd Schlebusch grows vegetables on an area the size of 17 tennis courts. Visiting the farm in 1959.
Abtsgmund-Lutstrut. Great,” says Bernd Schlebusch, picking a tomato from a bush and biting into it like an apple. Wonderful, this word is often said by a master gardener. No wonder: Lutstrut is a wonderful place – lots of nature, fresh country air. And the lands of the 59-year-old are also tolerable: on the area of 17 tennis courts (4,500 square meters), crisp and sweet tomatoes, beans, lettuce, zucchini and much more grow.
In fact, it all started small, says Schlebusch, standing in a greenhouse next to tomatoes that are twice the size of the gardener himself. After graduating in 1987, he had two tennis courts (600 square meters) for the plant. Demand for fruits and vegetables from the region grew, and so did business.
In fact, says the Lutstruther native, he runs a stone-age kennel. why “Because my plants grow in the ground, not in gutters.” Still can be a little more modern: a planter is used in the yard. However, chopped or assembled salad is made by hand.
In addition to four permanent employees, the 59-year-old man employs beneficial insects, for example, they drive away red spiders from tomatoes. “Then you don’t need to spray” – and you can eat vegetables directly from the bush without remorse. Bumblebees also live in greenhouses. Buzzers are responsible for pollination and shake the pollen from the pollen sacs of tomatoes with the help of vibration.
Collected rainwater flows into the fields outside, the greenery inside is heated by a wood chip system, he tries to avoid plastic waste – sustainability plays an important role on the farm near Pommertsweiler. “You have to do something, not just talk about it,” Schlebusch emphasizes.
To get the fruit and vegetables to the weekly markets in Elwangen, Hütlingen or Heuchlingen or to the farmers’ sales, the gardener gets out of bed almost every day at 2:30 in the morning. After all, you have to take care of the plants or buy oranges & Co. at the wholesale market in Stuttgart. “We have creatures that need water 24/7,” he says.
What is harvested on Thursday can be bought at the bazaar on Friday, and Friday’s harvest is ready for buyers on Saturday. “Vegetables grow 15 kilometers from the consumer,” enthuses Schlebusch, for whom regionalism and conscious nutrition are important.
He enjoys working with food, even if it’s exhausting at times, Schlebusch says. “It’s fun for me, and you have a lot of challenges,” he explains, and for a moment you can see the twinkle in his eye. The farmer still allows himself to rest. “For me, Monday is the best Sunday.” Because then it’s the weekend and he’s on the road with his motorcycle – great.