Voluntary Ecological Year

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Deployment site

The tropical greenhouse is a botanical garden with a large collection of useful plants and an attractive teaching and learning garden with many vegetable species and varieties. It belongs to the Department of Ecological Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel with about 1000 students. There is a canteen on site. As part of a university we fulfill tasks in teaching, research, education and public relations. The core topics are global agriculture and horticulture in the context of biodiversity and global justice. We also have about 12,000 guests each year and offer numerous educational events. The University of Kassel and the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) jointly support the project site.


The job site is located in Witzenhausen, a small town in North Hesse with around 9,000 inhabitants. It is located in the Werra Valley between Kassel and Göttingen and has good public transport connections. It is rural here, but very lively due to the university.

Presentation of the tasks of the FÖJ by Kieu Anh Tran (FÖJ student 21/22)

Accommodation and meals / work clothes

Accommodation on campus in the guest house and protective work clothing are provided, and there is financial compensation for meals.

Before­stel­lung of the Ein­satz­stel­le by the Ku­ra­to­rin of the Ge­wächs­hau­ses Ma­ri­na He­th­ke so­as the tech­ni­schen Lei­ter Rai­ner Brauk­mann and the Gärt­ne­rin Ca­the­ri­na Merx

Area of responsibility of the FÖJ student

The main focus is on horticultural activities:

  • Helping in the greenhouse and in the teaching and learning garden with everything that comes up..., sowing, hoeing, watering, harvesting.
  • Biological plant protection in the greenhouse (control plants, release and multiply beneficial insects, control pests...)
  • Educational work: participate in a seminar and then lead groups of visitors through the tropical greenhouse; sit in on FerienKinderUni, support public events, ...
  • Populate and help maintain the Instagram account: @tropengewaechshaus

Depending on the suitability and inclination of the applicants, a weighting of the tasks can be made. The FÖJ can also "get a taste of university air", e.g. observe in the laboratory or be present at seminars.

Special features

Applicants should have an interest in natural history/agriculture and have the desire and ability to do physical work. We are a very small team, but also have volunteers and student workers.
Age of majority is required.