The staff exchange hosted by the Regionalpark RhineMain took place on 18 and 19 May 2022. The 21 participants visited initiatives related to urban agriculture in Frankfurt and the surrounding areas. After a short introduction to the concept of the Regionalpark RhineMain by the Managing Director Kjell Schmidt, the first field trip was visiting the Stadtgarten Eschborn. The participants were impressed that there is a municipal initiative to provide cropland for citizens. During his tour at the MainÄppelHaus on the Lohrberg, Mr Weinrich explained the relevance of preserving different apple varieties and the development of traditional meadow orchards.
In Oberrad, a suburb of Frankfurt, several initiatives related to urban farming were visited. Irmtraud Schmid explained the advantages of her solidarity-based farm operating as a community supported agriculture – CSA. The increasing demand for organic, regional products brings her a secure and predictable annual income. This allows her to cultivate her fields without economic pressure. Julia Jung runs seasonal gardens on her farm land. Here, interested people subscribe for a year and can cultivate and harvest a piece of the land themselves. She provides seeds and plants from her own cultivation. Tourist attractions and adventure points of the regional park, such as the "Green Sauce Monument", bring the rural areas around Frankfurt to life and thus create a link between the population and agriculture.
On the second day of the staff-exchange, a bicycle tour along the Regionalpark circular route led to further exemplary farms. At Thomas Maurer's educational farm, children and adults can get in touch with agriculture. The idea of the educational farm provides the owner with part-time income in addition to his farming business.
The Kronenhof is an example of strong professionalization of farmers in niche markets. In addition to a brewery and a restaurant, the owners also run a riding stable. The participants were able to enjoy the culinary offerings and were very impressed by the professionalism in the individual areas.
The closing of the staff exchange took place at the agri-culture axis Oberursel. After an introduction by Anja Littig from the Regional Park about the different crops grown along the axis and their functions, the participants could experience the educational installation themselves. Along the way, a labyrinth provides interesting information about the cultivation, harvesting and processing of corn.
In summary, the staff-exchange enabled an intensive exchange between the European partners and all participants were inspired by the visited sites.