Organic not without reason
Jean-Louis and his wife Alice Colling-von Roesgen have been running the Karelshaff, which is situated on a plateau near Colmar-Berg, according to the guidelines of organic farming since 2002. This has several reasons:
On the one hand, conventional agriculture is not able to provide a future in the long-term, because the negative side effects, such as lifeless soil and hardly resistant plants, are merging unnoticed, which makes it all the more dangerous. However, organic farming only intervenes with the processes of nature when in harmony. Moreover, the farmer does not want to depend on the global chemical industry.
On the other hand, Jean-Louis is convinced that the authentic taste and the high quality of his products can only be achieved through a healthy soil, which is enhanced by this type of agriculture.
"Being an organic farmer means to permanently structure and think in a holistic perspective. If you cultivate organically, you do good, you don't have to be ashamed of your products, because they exist in harmony with nature and above all with people and their Health."
The main pillars of the exploitation, that has a total area of 72ha, are the husbandry of the 46 suckler cows, their offspring and the two breeding bulls of the Limousin breed, as well as the 4800 organic chicken. Animal welfare is especially paid attention to at the Karelshaff and the farmer has a friendly connection to all his animals. Nevertheless, the exploitation needs to function and thus, the high quality meat is sold to private customers of the farm. Moreover, Jean-Lou cultivates cereals, grain legumes, fodder legumes (Lucerne and red clover) and forage on his on 42ha big acre. The other 30ha of his farm are pastureland, which serves the cattle as grazing area. The farmer is very engaged in the cultivation of organic seeds of his cereals and legumes. The farm is a member of the LSG, which markets the seeds.
Education has the highest priority
Since more and more consumers are interested in food products stemming from organic exploitations, and the awareness of the differences between conventional and organic agriculture is growing, educational work is very dear to Jean-Louis: “It is important to teach children how nature even functions.” The Karelshaff also acts as a farm with demonstration purposes to show how an agricultural exploitation really works. Hence, the farm organises tours for school kids and other interested farmers. Furthermore, at the occasion of selling their chicken, the doors are also open for the private customers.
There needs to be a paradigm change in society in order to continue to safeguard the privilege of a healthy diet. The agriculturist tries to realise this aim with his farm and his products. Besides his job as a farmer, Jean-Louis is also the vice president of the IBLA, an institution that does a lot of practical research and consultancy work.
The Karelshaff is a member of the BIOG association, which collects, processes and markets the products.