Local Farms – German-style

brick farmhouse with thatched roof
Traditional Bremen Farmhouse

This summer, I was lucky enough to experience how Germans appreciate their local farms. While visiting a friend in Bremen, Germany, she and her children took me on a bike tour to the farms which are located just outside of the city. It was a weekday afternoon long before anyone was home from work. We rode our bikes down a road built on a dike and passed farm after farm.

We enjoyed the sight of the well-kept Bremen-style farm houses and barns and tried to ignore the pungent odor of manure which was everywhere since the farmers use it regularly to fertilize their fields. The road was primarily used by bicyclists of all ages, everyone stopping at their preferred farm to buy produce and milk. Our destination was an organic milk producer that had an ice cream café in one of their barns. They also displayed work from local artists and artisans. As we enjoyed our ice cream with the smell of manure wafting through the air, we watched the cows being milked and tended to. They looked trim and energetic.

On our ride back, even more cyclists were making the trek to the farms as their workday ended. For me it was the most perfect day of my trip. All of my senses were stimulated by the beauty of the landscape, the quiet of the country roads with the occasional animal sounds breaking the silence, the odors of farm animals which overpowered any other scent, and the delicious ice cream after a bike ride on a hot summer day. It was fascinating, as well, to see how, in Germany, visiting a farm was treated as a recreational event where you lingered and enjoyed the company of your friends and family.