The Farm Estate Stichelsdorf – Organic Farm and Environmental Education

Since being established at the end of the seventeenth century the Francke Foundations strove to become self-suffient in providing food for their pupils. Therefore, in the course of their history, the Foundations acquired a number of agricultural properties, including the agricultural property in Stichelsdorf measuring approximately 100 ha. The estate was administered by other authorities after 1947 and controlled by the Trust Agency (Treuhandanstalt) after 1990. At the end of the 1990s the Foundations managed to “reacquire” their estate by means of a complicated restitution procedure.

Before commencing new activities on the estate, extensive cleaning, renovation and reconstruction work was required. This was carried out with the substantial support of the youth project “Bauhof”, a facility for underprivileged young people. After the bankruptcy of the “Bauhof “ in 2008 the Francke Foundations took the management of the estate back into their own hands. Extending the concept of the Krokoseum childen´s creative centre, infants from kindergarten or primary schools were offered a cultural and paedagogical programme covering the themes of “nature” and “environment” as well as everyday life on the estate in Francke’s time. Varied activities in the spacious grounds with farm, park and agricultural land offer ample opportunity to move, marvel and learn while experiencing nature, engaging in games and play, in art activities and experiments. The objective is also to encourage responsible sustainable actions.

A new tenant now once again cultivates vegetables in certified organic farming, in greenhouses and outdoors. The great variety of activities on the Estate Stichelsdorf, which testify to a promising development, is well worth further support.