Reichertshofen: Donkey Park is more than just a place for animal welfare

Sisters Sarah and Carmen Decker live on a farm in Reichertshofen, Eselgarten’s permaculture farm. They want to live with and from nature.

The new home of Sarah and Carmen Decker is located in the hills of Reichertshofen. The two sisters with their parents bought an old farm in 2007. Since then they have lived there with and from nature.

They provide a home for many animals, grow vegetables and invite interested parties to the “Permakulturhof Eselgarten”. In addition to 34-year-old Sarah and 30-year-old Carmen Decker, Spanish street dog Venus comes to the door with a friendly “Woof”. Because the donkey zoo permaculture farm is all about animals. In the neighboring stable, donkeys sing, the neighbors are delighted with the crowing of a rooster, and at home you always meet one of the eleven cats who feel very comfortable here.

The fodder is cut with sickle in the permaculture farm in the donkey garden

In addition to the farm with attached stables and barn, Decker’s Ranch includes approximately one and a half hectares of gardens and lawns. From there they also get grass for two donkeys, six sheep, three goats, and several rabbits. “We cut the daily forage with a sickle, and then the neighbor comes with his tractor to make the hay,” says Carmen Decker. They neither want nor need their own machines. This is also not in line with the attitude of young farmers.

Because Deckers values ​​permaculture based on permaculture methods developed by Australian Bill Mollison. “It’s all about including all of nature,” says Sarah Decker, who has studied these methods and applied them in her daily work. “We want to create a space here where people, animals and plants can feel comfortable,” adds Carmen Decker.

Carmen Decker is a trained trick painter who also designed her patio wall.

Photo: Doris Karl

In front of the house they made a grassy swirl of old roof tiles, from which you can then get to the greenhouse, where the first tomato plants are already waiting in a warm bed of compost. Next door, one of the hens, who came from a planted battery and is now enjoying a second spring, is scratching the raised bed lined with manure. “Vegetable plants find optimal care there,” Sarah Decker says. In the garden behind the house, Muscovy ducks run around, splash around in puddles and devour snails that would have eaten the stuffing of young plants.

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Among the bushes, where the tits are tweeting, and the grassy areas of the animals, Sarah Decker revealed different planting areas: “Heavy feeders, like potatoes, go into the beds with fresh compost, and next year I grow light food plants there, like peas.” In this way, the soil is constantly improved and made usable. Permaculture deals with humus formation, water management and economy in balance with nature. Much of this has always been done in traditional farming the way Dickers are now doing it again. “We recently spoke to a man who is very committed to using manure instead of liquid manure,” says Carmen. “He was very happy that we were using farm manure to fertilize our vegetable beds.”

The old farmers of the village also get to know much of what they did on their farms and fields before the days of high performance farming. Therefore, the family from Augsburg was warmly welcomed in Reichertshofen. One is glad that young people are rediscovering their way of sowing and harvesting, and that Deckers have made their farm the center of their lives.

New series: “Perennial Faces – Owners of Special Tales”

For the family there are no weeds and nothing useless in their garden. Stinging nettle can be used to make a delicious salad and a nutritious fertilizer. Flowers bloom along with vegetables, birds nest on top of chickens, and chickens get along well with their roommates, rabbits. The Deckers are especially pleased with families who want to relax during farm visits while at the same time expanding their knowledge. “We had kids who never touched a chicken,” says Carmen Decker.

Not only young guests can tame chickens and goats like fairytales and huge black and white Dalmatian rabbits. They can also ride the donkey through the village and feel that Hans is lucky: “A little boy slept on the donkey once,” Sarah Decker recalls happy that through her work she can show people the beauty of nature. close to nature.

The title says it all: “Faces of Perennials – People with Special Tales” is the name of the new series.

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