Last year, we hiked more than ever before in the Munich area. In the process, I’ve learnt to love small farm stores. Two things are very important to me when it comes to food: organic production and that it is vegan. Eating predominantly regionally and seasonally also plays a big role for me. Organic farm stores have therefore interested me for a long time, but as a city dweller, they have not been a focus for me until now. This has changed due to the pandemic and our new way of life with home office and longer family evenings. Also, I thought that as a vegan I would not be able to find anything there, but in the pandemic situation, I specifically searched for self-service farm stores and found what I was looking for – in each case combined with a hike or a walk, which I would like to motivate you to do, too.
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Why shop in farm stores?
Farm stores are trendy, and that’s a good thing. The arguments for shopping there go far beyond the good taste of the food. Buying directly from the producer is not only easy on the wallet, but also for the environment. Knowing where the food comes from builds trust. (Not only) children can learn a lot about agriculture when shopping this way. Around the farm store, they Encounter animals and agricultural machinery. The elimination of long transport routes not only ensures fresher food. It also prevents loss of nutrients. So food straight from the farm is both fresh and healthy. Farm stores sell seasonal food. This is also an aspect that benefits the environment. A very nice seasonal calendar, which is suitable for Germany, with pictures that match the current month in each case, can be found here. I also find it simply nice to shop at the farm – without the hustle and bustle and long lines at the checkout. I like the idea of supporting local organic farming. And at least after the pandemic, you can also meet the people who grow or produce the food.
Diversity and sustainability at the Billesbergerhof farm
When we arrived at the Billesbergerhof farm in Moosinning, I had a kind of déjà vu. The field in front of the driveway looked so familiar, as if I had been there only recently. Then I realized that I had already stopped at this field twice in the summer to photograph beautiful flowers for Instagram. This is no coincidence: Billesbergerhof, certified by the “Naturland” organization, offers organic food under the motto “bayrisch biologisch guad is” (English: It’s Bavarian, it’s organic, it’s good). It follows an impressive sustainability concept. This includes flowering strips on the edges of the fields, which provide food for bumblebees and bees. Consistent environmentally friendly actions are also evident in the plastic-free self-service farm store, where you can find, for example, a large selection of spelt noodles made from the farm’s own flour, packaged in recycled cardboard. This also looks aesthetically pleasing, as does the whole farm store. By the way, it is located outdoors. At least that was the case during our visits. Besides pasta, vegans can also find other dry products such as mountain lentils. In addition, there was a selection of seasonal vegetables and potatoes of different varieties. We were pleased to briefly meet the organic farmer in person, who kindly offered help. The Billesbergerhof farm supplies various organic stores in Munich and also makes its own bread.
More vegetables can be obtained in the form of an organic box, which can be pre-ordered and picked up at three locations in Munich (in Schwabing, Bogenhausen of Isarvorstadt) and also the farm. They come in three sizes, one-time or weekly. In our organic box we found such interesting vegetables as sweet dumpling pumpkin and candy cane beet. Inside the box was a creatively handwritten overview of the included vegetables with tips for cooking. A nice opportunity to learn about new, healthy dishes. I already look forward to another organic box with different vegetables and new inspiration.
Although animal products are not the topic of this article and I don’t eat eggs, I think it is praiseworthy that male chicks are not killed at the Billesbergerhof farm. Responsibility and sustainability can be found in so many aspects here. For example, the farm, which has been a mill since the 15th century, also has its own hydroelectric power plant. After our visit to the farm, we took a walk in the nearby village of Itzling. Here, next to the pretty baroque church, is a very beautiful, quiet field path with a far-reaching view that we always like to return to when we are in the area in the northeast of Munich.
Vegan ice cream at a farm near Otterfing
We discovered the possibility of buying vegan ice cream in a farm store quite by chance on a walk. As so often, we wandered through a farm and spotted a sign with a tempting offer of vegan ice cream. Unfortunately, however, we had no money with us that day. We returned to the area for a longer hike. As a side benefit, we finally got to try the ice cream. There were sorbets for vegans, including one with apple cinnamon flavor. We were blown away by our snack, it was that delicious. Apple cinnamon sorbet was perfect on the rather chilly fall day. We enjoyed the ice cream in the fabulously beautiful forest behind the farm. There were many mushrooms in fall. Tip for parents with children: If you hike through the forest completely in the direction of Erlach, you come to a goat enclosure. If you want to hike longer, you can go further via Erlach and Wettlkam back to Palnkam. A really beautiful, varied hike past dreamy farmhouses.
Homemade jam from the “Erlebnisbauernhof beim Strobel” farm
The “adventure farm” is located on the beautiful Asberg hill near the village of Kleinhartpenning, not very far from Holzkirchen. Here we took many beautiful evening walks during the time when days were longer, because you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the Alps. We regularly passed by a picturesque, larger organic farm. Together with Juno we could admire here not only cows grazing on the lush green meadows, but also some goats. Only after several walks I discovered that I can also buy something vegan here and that is homemade jams from various fruits. The farm has a food vending machine nicely nestled in a wooden hut. I opted for plum jam, which did wonderfully on vegan pancakes at Sunday breakfast. If you’re interested in a short hike/enjoyable walk around the farm, you’ll find it in this article of mine. It’s really worth it!
Organic potatoes in farm stores in Putzbrunn and at the Egglburgersee lake
Around the Egglburgersee near Ebersberg is one of our favorite hiking and walking trails in the Munich area. A loop around the lake took us through the Rothbauernhof farm, which is part of the idyllic hamlet of Hinteregglburg. In its romantic surroundings, you’ll come across grazing sheep and orchards. The farm is located below a typical Bavarian onion-dome church on a small hill. Here in picture-book Bavaria there is a correspondingly idyllic-looking little farm store – a wooden hut. There you can take away potatoes in paper bags, sorted by weight. There is probably no nicer place to go shopping than there. The Rothbauernhof gets its potatoes from its partner farm Daberger-Hof in Putzbrunn (website German only), where you can also buy them in their own farm store. In addition, there were organic apples from their own trees in September.
A great portal where you can search for specific foods from the producer can be found here (website German only). There you can also search regionally for farm stores, but also for farmers’ markets and organic stores.
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