a walk around the Sammatz gardens
There’s much to discover
in this magical place…
Welcome to Sammatz!
You find yourself in the middle of the village, somewhere between the Café and the roundabout tree, amidst the friendly Sammatzians and International helpers – let’s get started! Paths of red gravel will lead you in all directions. Or you can ask somebody for help; it can be nice to chat to the people here. There’s much to discover in this magical place.
For example, the rosarium. Directly behind the café, between the walnut tree and the palm trees, lies a small hideaway for roses of many varieties, colours and scents. Feel free to tread on the grass in order to get a closer look of the flower beds. These majestic flowers bloom from the end of May up until November. It is only during the midsummer that they take a small break. At this time, countless lilies reveal themselves; some are delicate and knee-high whilst others are more striking in height, colour and scent.
Have you ever wondered what the plants that we use to make your cough sweets and healing ointments actually look like? In the block beds on the way to the campus garden we grow medicinal plants: here you will find not only the typical remedies such as mallow, echinacea, chamomile and sage, but also unexpected things like horseradish and tobacco. Tea herbs such as mint and bergamot are also growing here. Eventually, they are used as ingredients for the fine tea blends that you can purchase at the farm shop later on.
When you pass the magnificent cherry tree (in the spring there are magical tulips at its feet), you will reach the campus garden. A lawn decorated with beech hedges serves as the front yard for the new houses, which have been completed in 2018 and look pretty inviting – the blue one is the youth hostel, the yellow one is the House of Nature.
In the hostel there live the volunteers – travellers who help out for board and lodge. They are always between 30 (in winter) and 80 (in summer) great young people staying with us. They bring good humour, positive energy and world wide perspectives to Sammatz.
Another thing which contributes to the good feeling in Sammatz and enriches life in the community greatly is the cooperation with Waldorf Schools for Agricultural Traineeships which began this summer. Two schools classes came here and took part successfully and we are looking forward to many more trainees coming in the next year.
The new Youth Hostel has plenty of space available.
Many exhibitions, seminars and other events will be held in the House of Nature to which you are extended a warm welcome. Nature will be one of the main themes, the others being social and cultural events. We are excited to see it ourselves. Sometimes studies have a bad reputation – but if the human being is not forgotten, reading ‹the book of Nature› can be one of the most exciting adventures, you could possibly think of.
…and bring good feelings
and tales from the
Learning from the ‘Book of Nature’
– some of the most exciting adventures one can think of
Immediately next to the houses you will find an enchanting, small pond where a wooden bridge takes you onto the apple tree island. The circular bench around the tree is a particularly romantic place. Behind this is a spacious retreat in the shade (it seems like a boules pitch in a French town). There are many benches where you can sit, talk and play. Continuing on you will reach the orchard, where towering apple trees are surrounded by the swaying ornamental grasses that are characteristic of Sammatz. There you will probably encounter a family of ducks; these cuties that quack and waddle through the garden are a source of delight for children and adults alike.
Moo! Baa! Can you hear the noises nearby? Auf dem Arche-Bauernhof leben wie im Bilderbuch cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys and poultry and are a real attraction for visitors of all ages. All of these old domestic breeds, whose populations are in great danger, are kept in spacious wooden stables in accordance with Demeter guidelines. You are welcome to spectate as the animals are fed and milked! In a large enclosure, the turkeys and chickens cluck as they help to supply the community, shop and café with eggs. Give them a try! The difference in flavour to many other eggs is enormous.
Tucked away in the middle of the yard there is also the cosy farm shop. Here you will find an assortment of organic products including medicines, cosmetics, clothing and food, all sourced the farm itself. The variety is impressive: fantastic cheeses (from cow, sheep and goat), yoghurts, meats, eggs, vegetables and breads (baked almost daily in the Sammatz bakery). The opening hours can be found here.
Nearby, the vegetables grow on the field. There you will find sumptuous cabbages, leeks, lettuces and pumpkins. It is great, especially for children, to see the actual plants from which the vegetables originate. Larks and swallows fly in the sky where the changing shades of light create a particularly beautiful aura above the expanses.
The playground with sandboxes,
swings, big slides
and great climbing equipment –
a Real Blast…
And if you’re travelling with children, then make sure to take a look at the Higgeldy-Piggeldy Playground just across the road. It has just been renovated with sandboxes, swings, large slides and great climbing equipment and is sure to be a real hit. You can play Table Tennis, Volley-ball and Football – there is something for every age. A “playmobile” for children, complements the colorful ensemble.
The house in front of the playground is one of the six group homes which make up “Peronnik” – a home we run for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. There are 34 ‘Peronniks’ living here at the moment and you will meet them all over the village – they help out in the yard, love the icecream from the café and practise skateboarding and do wheelies on their bikes on the village street. So don’t be surprised if you sometimes hear strange noises echoing around the village square or notice a troop of young boys hanging out together in from of the café. They belong to us and we love them a lot!
The Sammatzer Waldsee is no longer a secret. Behind the small hill with a sun terrace, many people are left speechless. In the valley there peacefully lies a curved lake; a gem that is second to none in northern Germany. The banks are surrounded by terraces and stone walls. Flowers, flowers and more flowers are everywhere. The wind rushes, the dragonflies sparkle and Mr Heron also soars frequently over the water. Take your time. This is a wonderful place to rest and to think. Since the atmosphere and the acoustics are so special, the pontoon regularly hosts classical concerts, the «concerts at the Waldsee».
Six unique experiences where music and lake meet have already taken place under this name and indeed the series has already found a loyal audience. It is not easy to forget the moon rising to the strains of Beethoven or Bach or a violin singing a conversation with the evening breeze – indeed NDR thought it was even worthy of a small television report. There is more of this to come next year – when the House of Nature opens its doors once more, many exhibitions and events will follow. You can find more information here.
The wind rushes, the dragonflies sparkle and Mr Heron also soars frequently over the water.
Take your time. This is a wonderful place to rest …
On the way back to the village you can marvel at the stately oak, which must have at least 300 years under its belt. You are allowed to enter the greenhouse next to it where rarities such as lush flowering angel trumpets await you. Behind this, follow the chirping to reach the next highlight – the aviary in the tropical greenhouse. In addition to banana trees and grapefruit trees, parrots and a large number of parakeets perform their bird concert. You can even perch yourself nicely on the edge of the picturesque stone fountain.
Now if you go across the street to Michaelshof, you are in the Central Gardens – the colorful house or village gardens around the buildings of Michaelshof. Here can be found the so-called main building, administration, meeting rooms, library, a small hall, the kitchen and the large dining room. The gardens are our oldest facilities – old trees, large flowerbeds, rose bushes and benches that create serene and sometimes cozy dreamy corners to rest or explore.
Arena & the Perennials Plateau
A few more steps and you are already on the way to the gardens that lie within glacial landforms.
There you will find the simply named ‘Arena’, a steep valley which is terraced by stone walls and lush greenery. Above, the dahlias glow during the late summer and the tulips blossom in spring. The valley has paths that spiral through a colourful array of shrubs to the pond, sculptures, and rockery besides the sweet sheep and gabbling geese. Back uphill, the somewhat hidden S-shaped curved flower beds can be found on the plateau acre. Located between old beech trees and offering a view of the valley, it is a special place that is worth a visit.
Back uphill, the somewhat hidden S-shaped curved flower beds can be found on the plateau acre. Located between old beech trees and offering a view of the valley, it is a special place that is worth a visit.
After so many wonderful impressions, you can finally go for a coffee or a snack at the café which lies at the heart of the village. Cakes, ice cream and drinks both hot and cold are already waiting for you. Everything is organic, everything is delicious – and a lot of it comes directly from our own dairy or bakery.
Café am Michaelshof
On sunny afternoons and at the weekends, the café really belongs to the numerous visitors who come from near and far. During the week in the mornings the these guests are joined by our gardeners and members of the construction crew, for whose strenuous work the hearty sandwiches provide the perfect fuel. The work in the gardens every day and yet it is always a source of good humour. The construction team is currently working on four smaller multi-generation houses on the Flachsenberg where you can already see these projects slowly appearing on the horizon. We are always building something in Michaelshof.
We have now arrived back at the village square – maybe we will see each other? Sammatz is a place that is full of interesting people. Café and gardens, the whole project has come to life because people enjoy doing something together. Its fitting that the tour ends again with the people… Sammatz, a meeting place.