The organic nursery Watzkendorf for years has placed particular emphasis on pure line varieties. They have also included varieties from organic breeding for many years. In December 2020, the nursery concluded a user agreement with bioverita. This opened the way for adding certified varieties to their product list using the bioverita label to draw the attention of their customers to their added value.
Starting with the next growing season, vegetable farmers from Rügen to Dresden can obtain seedlings of 26 different bioverita-certified varieties from Watzkendorf. In addition to various types of tomatoes and cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, beetroot and sweetcorn are also on offer. With the labeling of seedlings, another important step has been taken in the distribution and visibility of varieties from organic breeding.
Vegetable Variety for Berlin
The nursery is located in the village of Watzkendorf which has some 200 inhabitants and is situated in the Mecklenburg Lake District in the south of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Vegetables have been grown here since 1961. Managing director Sabine Kabath has gradually built up a modern nursery from what was left of an agricultural producers’ cooperative. She has been a member of the Bioland Association since 1996.
She has been supported by Holger Kasdorf since 2007 and now has up to 35 employees. A large variety of vegetables are grown on 26 hectares of open land and 1.8 hectares under glass and foil, including experimental plots. In addition to schools in the Berlin area, the nursery also supplies its vegetables to the Berlin wholesaler Terra Naturkost. It is only 140 km to Berlin, so that during the season 1 or 2 trucks transport fresh goods to the capital every day.
Specialists in Seedling Cultivation
Since the organic nursery has produced seedlings for its own cultivation right from the start, it made sense to continue employing this experience. Since 2013, vegetable seedlings have not only been grown for their own needs, but also for a growing number of customers. Sabine Kabath reports that the members of the Community Supported Agriculture movement in particular are interested in the pure line seedlings.
“People from a CSA background are particularly committed and open to background knowledge. They appreciate the special qualities of pure line varieties and are also more tolerant of vegetables that are not as uniform and perfect compared to those available in the supermarkets”, according to Kabath. As a result, CSA has an important role to play in providing information on topics related to seeds.
Photo credits: Nursery Watzkendorf