Farm Community Heggelbach


The video of farm community Heggelbach is now also available with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
Thank you to Soberanía Alimentaria, Biodiversidad y Culturas and ABDSul (Associação de Agricultura Biodinâmica do Sul Brasil) for making this possible!
To enable the subtitles, click the CC button at the bottom right of the video.
El vídeo de la granja comunitaria Heggelbach también está disponible con subtítulos en español!
Gracias a la revista Soberanía Alimentaria, Biodiversidad y Culturas, nuestra organización colaboradora en el Estado Español.
Para activar los subtítulos, pulse el botón CC en la parte inferior derecha del vídeo.
O vídeo da Comunidade Agrícola Heggelbach está agora também disponível em português (Brasil)!
Graças a ABDSul (Associação de Agricultura Biodinâmica do Sul Brasil) que fez a tradução!
Para ativar as legendas, clique em CC – tecla no lado direito embaixo do vídeo!


The majority of farms nowadays invest in specialisation and ever larger areas are managed by fewer people. Farm community Heggelbach in the south of Germany has chosen another path, a path of diversity. It is able to earn a living for 6 families, employees and trainees.

Today the farm consists of 170 hectares, out of which 95 hectares are arable land and 60 hectares are pastures. The fodder for the 45 milk cows plus offspring and one breeding bull is produced on the farm. All of the milk is used for the on-farm production of artisanal cheese. 120 pigs feed on the whey (a left-over from cheese production) and left-overs from the vegetable production. All products are sold to regional wholesale and retail. The farm community is based on the principles of biodynamic agriculture and its closed-loop system.

Three families started the farm community back in 1986. A lot of creativity and a solid concept were needed some years later when one of the families stepped out of the community farm and had to be reimbursed. Those difficult times have shaped the farms’ model. Ownership and use were separated making it easier for companions to enter and exit the farm community.

As a first step agricultural land was bought by an association which rents it to the farm community. Continuity is safeguarded as the tenancy agreement lasts until the youngest companion of the farm community has reached retirement age. Buildings and agricultural machinery, etc. are partly financed through share certificates and participation rights of private investors that feel a connection to the farm and through direct loans from banks. The idea is that debts are not liquidated but instead only interest is paid. Interests in this way are seen as royalties. In case the shareholder likes to have his money back, he sells his shares to another person. In this way farm succession, also outside traditional family ties, is made possible without the newcomer having to bring large amounts of capital.

Heggelbach is a multi-generational farm, where young and old support each other with their skills. Being a farmer here does not mean a job for 365 days a year: here a farmer can also plan time for holidays. Heggelbach farm community currently counts six companions: Thomas Schmid, Rolf Raneburger, Thorsten Krug, Jona Kreis, Florian Reyer, Helmut Sterk and their families.


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More detailed information about Heggelbach is available here (German only).

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