A Can’t-Miss Farmers Market in Eckernförde, Germany
In the very north of Germany at the coast of the Baltic Sea, in an old and very charming fishing town dating back to 1197, Eckernförde hosts one of the most authentic organic farmers markets one can think of, which takes place twice a week.
Eckernförde was elected Germany’s Capital for Nature and Environmental Protection in 1994 and 1995– it also became one of the world’s first Fair Trade-certified cities in 2014.
Every Wednesday and Saturday vendors from around the area offer their meticulously-picked goods at the church square– the history of trading goods at this place goes back to the middle ages. There are tempting smells and colors everywhere, and the variety of bio-dynamic and organic foods, plants, and craftmanship that these farm stands have to offer at once amazes and delights.
From organic produce, cheese, fish, meat, bread, herbs, delicacies, sheepskin and wools, crafts of all sorts, honeys, jams, flowers and much more…there is hardly anything you cannot find.
Jörn, a studied farmer and medical plant specialist who runs a stand called Kräuterbau Johannsen, has traveled the world as a backpacker and lived with a Native American Indian in Montana for a couple of years. At 44, his knowledge of medical and healing herbs, plants, and spices is unparalleled– so is the variety of teas, herbs, spices, tinctures, and creams he offers.
Grossholz, an Organic & Biodynamic Farm, offers a wide selection of seasonal vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and plants. Their farm cooperative works exclusively with workhorses and organic fertilizer like clovergrass; they also use bio-dynamic compost to ensure gentle cultivation and versatile crop rotation in support of biodiversity.
One of the highlights of the market is a “Coffeecooker” named Florian who offers the most delicious espressos, cappuccinos and lattes you may ever drank on this planet– it goes without saying that all are organic and fair trade. After earning his German Diploma, the now 22-year-old followed his passion for coffee and came up with the unique idea to convert a bright yellow Indian tuc tuc (an auto rickshaw colloquially referred to as a “three-wheeler”) into a moving coffee bar.
If you ever travel to Germany, don’t miss the opportunity to travel North to discover the wares of tiny towns like Eckernförde. You can learn a lot about a place from it’s farmers markets– there’s a chance to observe locals interacting and to get a sense of what grows (and what’s popular) in any given local community. It’s an opportunity to experience a place through food and nature at the same time– and Eckernförde is just another example of a town– much less a nation– that continues to pioneer charming ways to live in balance with nature.