The module concept for the Hessian State Domain Frankenhausen

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Module 1: Farm as a glass teaching farm

The farm is at the center of the entire project. The organic farm is affiliated to the organic farming associations Bioland and Naturland.

The farm is run by the University of Kassel as a limited company, i.e. within the framework of an approved business plan, the farm operates like a private enterprise.

The result is a diversified farm that demonstrates the efficiency of organic farming. This includes the cultivation of cereals, potatoes and field vegetables, as well as fruit and, of course, animal husbandry with dairy cattle and laying hens.

The overall concept and the size of the farm offer an extraordinary opportunity to deal with issues of landscape ecology, nature and species conservation and the special character of agricultural work in addition to optimizing agricultural production.

Module 2: Research and teaching for organic agriculture

For all trial activities and investigations at the site, a working unit "Organic Farming Trials" was established at the Frankenhausen domain. On up to 40 hectares, plant cultivation trials are carried out on a wide range of topics. In addition, the entire farm is of course available for research.

In the area of animal husbandry, the necessary stable conversions and new buildings have been created as prerequisites for the processing of scientific questions.

Seminar and group work rooms are available for the integration of the farm into the teaching activities of the University of Kassel, so that the Frankenhausen domain has developed into a place of interdisciplinary communication and action.

Module 3: Cooperation with the companies of the region

An intensive exchange with the farms in the region is intended to serve the transfer of scientific findings into practice and the establishment and further development of a wide variety of joint activities.

Examples of such activities are, in addition to the possibilities of joint processing and marketing, local and regional public relations work in the form of field days, farm festivals and action days.

Module 4: Processing in the region

Processing capacities are conceivable on the farm, which would enable the dovetailing of primary production and processing of organic food in the region.

Through the processing of vegetables, meat, etc., both farmers of the region and the domain itself would have the opportunity to contribute to greater regional added value.

Module 5: Marketing in the region

The size of the Frankenhausen domain offers the opportunity to concentrate marketing activities on large-scale customers in the region, such as clinics, large-scale catering establishments, canteens (e.g. the student union canteen) and retail chains, in order to gain new market partners.

The goal is to keep the competition situation on the already established sales channels as low as possible through cooperation and agreements with agricultural businesses in the region.

Module 6: Cultural landscape development

The ecologically managed domain offers an excellent field of work for landscape planning and landscape ecology. In the surroundings of the domain, cultural landscape is to be preserved, further developed and shaped with the inclusion of nature conservation aspects and in close connection to the business operation.

Existing concepts for the optimization of agricultural use with an impact on nature conservation were tested and improved in the course of the project "The Integration of Nature Conservation Goals into Organic Farming".

Long-term studies on the effects of planting field copses such as hedges and ridges can scientifically prove the usefulness of such measures for organic farming on the Frankenhausen domain.

Module 7: Environmentally compatible technology / Solar orientation / Ecological construction

The goal is to achieve in the long term via solar energy and with renewable energy sources an extensive independence of the domain from fossil fuels. Currently, the possible roofs are already equipped with a photovoltaic system and the heating for the main and the seminar house runs with solid wood.

In the field of agricultural machinery, environmentally friendly techniques are to be established, and in the construction sector, concepts of ecological building and living are to be realized. From 2015 to 2017, the official house built in 1646 was completely renovated from a building biology point of view and is now available as a seminar house.

Module 8: Agricultural, environmental and nutritional pedagogy

The "transparent" farm offers ideal opportunities for environmental and experiential education. These educational opportunities take into account the ever-increasing interest of consumers of all ages in transparency and sustainability in food production and allow them to come into direct contact with agriculture.

The farm has been a member of "BIOLEKA, Biologische Lernorte in der Region Kassel" since 2003 and has been a recognized demonstration farm for organic farming by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since 2006.

The GemüseSelbstErnte project has been firmly anchored on the farm since 1999 and offers around 250 families the opportunity to have their own vegetable garden over the summer.

Module 9: Social work and housing

The numerous projects that combine agriculture and social work on organic farms result in a high demand for research and training in this area. Projects with unemployed young people, disabled people or forms of "assisted living" are also conceivable on the Frankenhausen estate.

Module 10: Manor kitchen

The estate kitchen was put back into operation to supply the people living and working on the domain. It also caters for guests of the seminar house and provides catering for students and teachers on study and excursion days.
On a small scale, agricultural products are processed for direct marketing.

Module 11: Start-up support for graduates of the University of Kassel

The building capacities offer space to support start-up initiatives of University of Kassel graduates.

It would be conceivable, for example, to provide office space and other infrastructure on a temporary and cost-effective basis, which could serve as a kind of "springboard" for young engineering firms.

Module 12: Agriculture and art

People are barely aware of the way our food is produced. By engaging with agriculture, art can create the conditions for a more conscious approach to natural processes, livestock and food among producers and consumers.

Cultural events of all kinds are also welcome, and a banquet hall for up to 100 people is available.