Berlin / DE. (igw) At the International Green Week 2016 in the Organic Hall (Hall 1.2 b) visitors of all ages will be able to go on a discovery tour of organic products. From 15 to 24 January they can use all their senses to experience the wonders of organic production, be it from the fields, sties and stables, the baking of organic bread, grinding oats or making organic cheese. On colourfully decorated stands organic farmers, producers and sellers of organic foods will not only be on hand to answer questions but will also fascinate visitors by highlighting farming and food production in its most sustainable form. In Hall 1.2 visitors can go on the trail of organic products. What is so special about organic products? Why do organic farmers allow their livestock plenty of fresh air and how do they protect their plants from insects and diseases? Why are earthworms an organic farmer’s best friend? What do biodiversity, a bicycle-powered mill and biodynamics have in common? And what does all this have to do with the food and beverages of the future?
Soil: an irreplaceable source of life
On the Naturland stand visitors can find out everything from experts about the secrets of our soil, the muddy foundation on which organic farming is built. At a special table they can use sieves and pestles to mix soils, and a home-made tapestry will illustrate how diverse the world beneath our feet really is. Another special table will invite younger visitors to play, asking: «Can the mole manage all its tasks?» Lastly, visitors can watch 500 earthworms, of vital importance to organic farming, at work inside a display cabinet. Naturland invites visitors to play a «memory» game on the subject of soil. The question is: «Who can correctly assign all the images to their corresponding headings?» A little surprise will be in store for all those taking part.
Biodynamics: from the fields to the finished product
What makes organically grown plants so special? Anyone visiting the farmers of the Demeter association on the biodynamics stand or the special displays on biodiversity and organic production can find out why some vegetables taste bland, while others have a strong taste of carrot, beetroot or leek. After stopping on the stands of over 90 year-old farming businesses visitors will realise the extent to which biodiversity in the fields represents nature’s treasure trove, something which we can all strive to protect.
Organically reared livestock: an example of outdoor life
How do organic farmers keep their livestock? What does «caring for animals in the correct way» really mean? How do people, livestock, the environment and organic products benefit from organic animal farming? Visitors to the colourfully decorated stand of the Bioland Growers Association can find out about all these things directly. The display includes a large mobile chicken run where organic farmers will be exhibiting egg-laying hens kept under modern organic farming conditions.
A bicycle-powered mill and press for making oats
How is organically grown wheat processed to make organic flour and how does organically made bread smell? The Biokreis association will have answers to these questions, ones that all the senses can enjoy: products can be touched, tasted and smelled and there will be several types of wheat on display. Visitors to the Green Week can grind wheat with a bicycle-powered mill to make their own flour and grind oats with a special press. Next door the smell of freshly baked organic loaves will be tempting visitors to sample bread.
Bio Company in partnership with local organic producers
In 2016, in partnership with local producers from the Berlin/Brandenburg region, the Berlin-based Bio Company will once again be fascinating visitors. They can find out first-hand how the farming sector, the processing industry and commerce work hand in hand and how the Bio Company guarantees its customers a wide range of locally produced organic products at affordable prices. Visitors of all ages can marvel at artisan dairy production, get to know farmers from the Spreewald region, talk to bakers from Berlin and watch butchers from the Havelland region at work. Amid all the diversity of organic products something new awaits visitors every day, for example on the stand of Bio Company, as well as numerous guests such as Hendrik Haase (aka Wurstsack), who is a food blogger, or star chef Volker Mehl, who cooks vegan recipes.
Federal programme of events
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture will also be represented with the stand of the Federal Programme of Organic Farming and other forms of sustainable agriculture (BÖLN). This is where visitors can watch organic researchers at work and attend brief workshops where they can find out from organic farmers and winegrowers how diverse organic farming is as well as sample their products. To mark the «International year of legumes», samples of this protein-rich all-rounder will be the focus of the BÖLN stand. Every type of depiction and production stage will be on show: raised beds, postcards, and seeds and grains as ingredients for tasty dishes will be shown at the stage display of organic products.
Experiencing organic products live
The interesting and thoroughly enjoyable live programme of stage events will offer even more on the subject of organic production: fascinating debates, exciting activities for school parties, entertaining quizzes, prize-winning organic farmers and numerous celebrities will await the audience’s applause and their questions.
Naturally, visitors will be able to sample tasty organic snacks once again: several times a day a star chef will be serving organic food for guests and revealing the secrets of how to prepare these dishes. On a culinary trip around the stands visitors can sample specialities from organic farmers at the fair, and obtain information about the producers in question. Rounding off the day’s programme will be a wine and cheese-tasting event.
On 21 January, the Ecological Agriculture Day, at the Federal Ecological Agriculture Competition, Germany’s federal minister of agriculture will be honouring outstanding organic producers for their achievements (Image: Messe Berlin).