Begegnungshof – Making nature accessible for all
A collaborative project with the association blumenwiese
The Austrian association Verein blumenwiese and we have a vision that we would like to share with you and, if it also becomes yours, realise together with you: the creation of a space where people, animals and nature can grow together in a harmonious coexistence.
Imagine there is a place where people of all ages can reconnect completely with nature, meet animals at eye level and come to rest together, recharge their batteries, build skills and learn about living in harmony with nature. Sounds wonderful? - Welcome to the Begegnungshof!
Inclusion, diversity and organic farming
The 5000 m2 plot of land in Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge in Lower Austria is still a single large meadow, except for a few fruit trees, but soon a unique community project will come to life here that combines nature and animal protection as well as organic farming with a barrier-free social space for people with and without disabilities. An organic farm is planned, which will also be a community space and a centre for awareness raising, where everyone from small children to senior citizens can feel at home and get involved. The farm will be run and managed by our partner association blumenwiese and by anyone who wants to join in.
Kindergarten groups, school classes and all those interested will have the opportunity to learn not only about organic farming, animal husbandry and nature conservation, but also about healthy nutrition and living in harmony with nature through workshops and active participation and design on the farm.
A special focus will be on supporting children, young people and adults with physical, motor, cognitive and/or emotional deficits and their families. Under the professional and sensitive leadership of Dominique Wanda Kopf, a social worker, social pedagogue, mother of a child with special needs and chairwoman of the blumenwiese association, a protected space is created in which those affected can develop their skills, discover new resources, overcome fears, find peace and grow beyond their own limits, siblings can simply be children and parents can find support, information and professional advice.
Making nature tangible
The farm will offer the opportunity to experience the cycle of nature from sowing to harvesting by assisting in the cultivation of fields and vegetables and in the creation and later maintenance of a fruit and shrub garden. A year-round possible accompaniment of an organic cattle, sheep and chicken farm will provide the opportunity to learn about organic and species-appropriate animal husbandry and to re-establish a connection with those creatures that many nowadays only know from pictures or as meat from the supermarket. In addition, donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs will also find a home on the farm, so that even the very youngest have a chance to learn how to properly interact with animals.
Organic vegetables from your own raised bed
Small and large hobby and auxiliary gardeners will have the opportunity to grow their own organic vegetables in raised beds and experience live how a little plant develops from a seed. If there is interest, the fruits of months of labor can be processed into healthy foods such as chutneys and sauces together with the community after the harvest. In the further course of the project it is planned to offer workshops on healthy nutrition in general and healthy cooking as well as organic gardening. Of course, everything will be child-friendly, so that even the youngest children can discover their fun in a healthy lifestyle.
Step by step from vision to reality
We are still at the beginning and there is still a lot of work ahead of us. The Begegnungshof is a long-term and sustainable project on which we will certainly work for several years. That is exactly what is so exciting about it. It is a community project that will continue to develop together with everyone who wants to participate. Everyone who wants to be a part of this work-in-progress can get involved and thereby help shape this special place.
The first major steps will be:
- To build a "community house" at the property where all who want to participate can gather, workshops, lectures on health topics and social counseling will be offered and family get-togethers will be held
- Plant more fruit trees and shrubs
- Build the first raised beds
Well, have we piqued your interest?
Then we are happy to invite you to become part of the Begegnungshof community! Join us in bringing the vision to life.
The further the realization of the Begegnungshof progresses, the more opportunities there will be for you to get involved and experience and help shape the project. We look forward to creating this amazing place together with you!