The Pulvermühle farm in Volgelsheim in Alsace has been managed by the Schmidt family for six generations. For more than 50 years they have cultivated organic vegetables and cereals on approximately 115 hectares of land, among other things selling into the German and Swiss markets. Wholesale partner Rinklin Naturkost from Kaiserstuhl is also one of the long-term partners.
Rinklin has four bioverita-certified varieties grown by the Schmidt family: the parsnip variety Schleswiger Schnee, the Dolciva carrot, the Portos celeriac and the Gesche beetroot. The Gesche variety was already being planted for the third year in 2020, so there are now some empirical values specifically regarding cultivation on sandy and pebbly soil.
Increasing Amounts of Beetroot “Gesche”
Jacky Schmidt, responsible for the cultivation, is very satisfied with the variety. He says, in terms of appearance and yield, it is comparable to the hybrid varieties that the farm is growing for other customers in parallel. Only germination is less reliable. Three sets per year are sown for Rinklin.
The first in early March, followed by two more between late May and mid-June. A total of 8 tonnes are harvested from mid-August until late autumn. For 2021, an increase of 10% is planned. The beets are available in good quality at least until the end of January.
Labeling the Open Pollinated Varieties in Retail
The Schmidt family delivers the vegetables to the wholesaler in boxes that are marked with the bioverita box corner.
Rinklin then transports them to the health food stores that order from them. Thanks to the bioverita label, the pure line varieties can be recognized directly by customers on the shelf.
Good Cooperation is a Prerequisite
Close contact with its producers is important to Rinklin Naturkost. The cultivation of new varieties from organic breeding is by no means a matter of course. A trusting collaboration between the wholesaler and its producers is therefore absolutely necessary when it comes to trying out new varieties.
The annually increasing cultivation of beetroot Gesche is a positive example of this and paves the way for the cultivation of further varieties from organic breeding in the future.
Photo credits: Hof Pulvermühle, Saat:gut e.V., Rinklin Naturkost