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Nr. 10 / MAI 2021
                                   Nr. 42 / FEBRUARY 2024

Midwinter festival
What Brigid time brings
The day of the Celtic goddess (Am fheill Bride) is celebrated on 1 and 2 February, just like Candlemas in our farming calendar. The old festivals had a deep basis in the natural events of the season.

But what exactly do we celebrate at the beginning of February?
It is midwinter. Our eyes see bare trees and winter-empty beds, there doesn’t seem to be much going on in the gardens. But invisibly in the earth, in the dark and warm, things look quite different: At the beginning of February – in the middle of winter – vitality is already returning and heralding the start of the new nature year. Around the roots and seeds, everywhere in the humus, a thousand and one forms of life are stirring right now. Processes are set in motion in the soil so that buds, flowers and leaves can sprout above the ground again weeks later. In the booklet ‘Karlik’, Ursula Burkardt describes how not only humans but also nature spirits celebrate festivals. At Brigid time, for example, the nature spirits celebrate a festival inside the earth – popularly known as ‘grunting’, when the busy, lively life of the earth starts to move again.
So if you are out in nature these days, listen and see if you can sense any of the lively activity that is already taking place underground and preparing for the wonderfully fresh and colourful spring.

Speaking of celebrating: one festive messenger is already making its delicate sound at the beginning of February, while almost everyone else is still slumbering: the snowdrop, which is also back on time in our gardens …

How our Green Village prepares
for the new season…
Hannah and her big Green Village are already very excited, because soon they’re going to start outside again! Anton, Klara, Nadja, Gabi and Sophia from the garden team are already taking the first steps – in the last few days, for example, they have cut the Miscanthus Grazillimus, a tall grass in the arena that could no longer withstand the heavy snow load. Soon the impressive wooden figures of the Seven Liberal Arts by Waltraud Schroll will also be getting their annual spring polish and their oiling, so that they can start the new season fresh and shiny.
The next gardening year is just around the corner and needs to be well planned. Which summer flowers should bloom in the various garden areas? What design ideas are in the air and is there perhaps even something completely new that we can realise this year?
Daniel and Gabi from the vegetable team are also busy planning and calculating for this year’s cultivation. Winter is usually over sooner than expected and the first vegetables are already waiting to be sown in the foil tunnels in February. Winter lettuces and radishes are the first to go, followed by the various other vegetable varieties. We can’t wait for the outdoor season!

Volunteering in winter –
Isn’t that boring?
Ever since we welcomed our first volunteer from Switzerland in 2016, we can no longer imagine our lives without the international vibe. The many stories and destinies that have come together in Sammatz, the friendships that have been forged across continents and the magical moments when former volunteers meet up again at Michaelshof after months or years to relive old memories. Of course, we host the most volunteers in the warm summer months, but there is also a lot going on in winter!
Throughout December, there were always around 45 volunteers who enriched the Blue House, the gardens, the kitchen, the farm, the Waldsee, the Flachsenberg and the entire Michaelshof. The Christmas and New Year festivities were peppered with many “home-comers” who are still travelling in or have returned to Europe and sometimes prefer to spend the holidays in the cosy atmosphere of Sammatz.

The tulip planting season was characterised by an unprecedented level of motivation that was simply amazing! Even the last remaining planters in the garden team rushed into the cold winter gardens every day, looking forward to every single bulb. Many former volunteers all over the world are now waiting for May to finally see the tulips bloom at Michaelshof.
And then there was probably the most fun event of the new year: a Latin American barbecue in the middle of snowy northern Germany, outdoors and in sub-zero temperatures – with lots of meat, warming fire bowls and an unbeatable atmosphere. Simply because a number of young people from all over the world had the impulse to organise a barbecue in the middle of winter.

These are all the little moments that we love to tell you about. Because as a community that has been working for years to promote precisely this cultural exchange and to enable so many young people to meet and try things out right here in northern Germany, we are always amazed at these wonderfully creative, cheerful, humorous, interested people and their unique dynamic that arises from every new volunteer group.

Winter wonderland
Snowy landscapes in Sammatz

We would like to take you back to the winter landscapes from January.

There is something incredibly beautiful when nature is covered in pure powdery white. The individual bushes and shrubs blur into a large cloud of snow, the tall trees have every single branch outlined by the frost and look like a big work of art.
The grasses form a soft cotton wool cushion that you would love to lie down in. Everything glistens and shines in the romantic snow when the winter wonderland knocks on the door. For some of the volunteers, it was the first time they had seen snow – a long-cherished dream that has now come true in flat northern Germany.

How about a holiday?
In the guest house at Michaelshof
A farm holiday for the whole family? Dad and the little ones help out in the stables at the farm in the morning and mum can finally get a good night’s sleep (or vice versa )? During the day, nice walks through the gardens, at least one more visit to the animals and of course a visit to the large playground? Lunch in the café and coffee and cake are a must! In the evening, everyone prepares a relaxed dinner together in the communal kitchen in the guest house and enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of village life. The perfect holiday for the family! Decelerated, exciting and full of beautiful nature experiences!

Let’s get going! Book your family holiday for 2024 at Michaelshof now! (Psssst…spread the word!)
Click here for our guest rooms!

Event programme 2024 Soon online!
Good news for all Michaelshof event fans! We are working at full speed on the event programme for 2024! Anna and Malte are working on the texts, Yvette on the flyer design and Hannah is helping out wherever necessary. We hope to be able to present you with a well thought-out event programme in mid-February and are already looking forward to the first events!

As always, there will be something for everyone. There’s lots to discover at the Farm & Family Festivals, especially for the little ones, but also for the grown-ups. The nature walks will take you into the world of plants and insects at Michaelshof and the nature festivals will focus on tulips in spring, roses in early summer and perennials in autumn. At the new hands-on seminars, you can fully immerse yourself in our production areas and make cheese, bread and preserves together with the experts or prepare a super regional 3-course meal. And then there are our dialogue seminars – at the ‘Crash Course Anthroposophy’ or the new ‘Let’s Talk’ seminar days, we take the time to literally talk about God and the world.

Are you as curious as we are? Then click on the button below and we’ll let you know as soon as the event programme is online.
Would you like to be notified when the event programme is ready?

Breakfast & bratwurst at our Marktwagen!
Our Marktwagen has a new menu! From now on we will be offering delicious breakfasts made from Michaelshof products with beautifully garnished cheese and salami rolls at the Lüneburg farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. At lunchtime the barbecue is fired up and you can enjoy Demeter sausages from Angler Rotvieh cattle, chips and currywurst.
Why not pop in and pick up some vegetables and cheese for the week!

Michaelshof up to date – all opening hours at a glance!

Mon-Sun                        9.00  – 19.00

Mon-Fri                           geschlossen
Sat                                  9.30 – 18.00 
Sun & public holidays     9.30 – 18.00

(we are open all winter on weekends – plan your trip to us!)

Organic Shop:
Mon-Sun                       10.00 – 12.30 
                                      14.30 – 19.00

Der WAGEN in Lüneburg:
Wed & Sat                     07.00 – 13.00


Blessing in disguise
Our organic shop has been hit

You may have already heard about it from social media or the newspaper – our farm shop caught fire at the beginning of January. A smouldering fire started in the roof truss, which thankfully was extinguished early on by our local fire brigade. A thousand thanks to the firefighters from Schutschur and Neu Darchau, Wietzetze and Hitzacker! Apart from a big scare, some coked products and a large hole in the ceiling, nothing else happened as a result.

What followed the fire was a classic community action, because of course you can’t do without a shop.
So, without further ado, EVERYONE pitched in. Whether shop personnell, gardeners, accountants or construction workers – within an hour, half of Michaelshof was on its feet. We moved everything out of the old farm shop and into a suitable temporary space right next to the café in less than 48 hours. The gardeners and the construction team reinstalled the cash register, moved the bread shelf and the other helpers from the community neatly organised the many hundreds of organic products in their new location.

Many thanks to all the helpers!

in Neu Darchau
Have you heard of myEnso? A supermarket concept that offers THE answer to the lack of local supplies in rural areas. myEnso aims to cater to the needs of villagers just like the small corner shops used to, always being there for them and offering everything they need for their daily needs in a small space. Everyone has a say in what is on the shelves, as customers can request new products both in advance through surveys and on an ongoing basis via the myEnso blackboard. Unlike any supermarket, myEnso is always open: anyone from the local population who has bought a co-operative share can use their myEnso card to shop in the market around the clock. So where previously there were meagre and, above all, time-limited shopping opportunities in rural areas, myEnso provides a comprehensive shopping experience around the clock.

At the end of December, a myEnso store opened in our neighbouring village of Neu Darchau! This was doubly exciting for us, as Michaelshof products are also represented there in large numbers. From daily fresh bread, sausage and cheese to preserves, tea and cosmetics, you can now buy delicious products from Michaelshof in Neu Darchau around the clock.

A real village project with a focus on the common good, which we really like! Maybe myEnso is also a future concept for your village – just apply here just apply here.


Did you already know…

Sara was born in Sammatz and, at 22, is part of the ‘next generation’ at Michaelshof. This was not her very first plan, because after school Sara went out into the wide world to see and experience a lot in Northern Europe and North America. The vast nature and harsh weather in so many different parts of the world inspired her. When Covid became a global reality, it was crystal clear to her, as it was to her friends of the same age from the community, that she would prefer to spend these difficult times in Sammatz.

Since then, Sara has tried out different areas of work at Michaelshof, including the construction site and various office jobs, but very quickly ended up with her two passions: Animals and people.

She spends most of her time outside on the ark farm or in the pastures with the ‘Karleinchen’ – our e-mobile. From the stable shift to milking to the many unforeseen tasks that arise on a farm, Sara is always around. As the person responsible for the stables, she instructs volunteers on a daily basis and, in summer, many students on the stable shift and shows them how to handle animals.
Many of them had no experience with animals before Sammatz – Sara actually contributes to ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) on a daily basis by introducing young people to nature and the animals that live in it.

She loves education in general. She also takes on some shifts at our Peronnik child and youth home, takes the kids to see the animals, goes on excursions and reads them bedtime stories after dinner.

Her great passions outside of work are books and music. Some open stages have already been sweetened by her, when she sings one of her calm and soulful songs, guitar in hand.
Thank you Sara for your big heart, what you spread about nature, people and animals!
Open your ears!

As every month, we take you into our musical world and link a few songs from the community: Music tips from…

…Anna: ‹This Feeling by Alabama Shakes really goes down a treat. At this point I also give a warm recommendation for the series Fleabag, whose series finale is accompanied by This Feeling..›

…Asli: ‹A Sunday Kind of Love  by Etta James – a song in the sound of the 20s about love that goes beyond Saturday evening.›

…Anton: ‹A new song from 2024 by Katie Melua and the Rebel Babel Orchestra: End of Summer with a rousing mood.›

…Emmanuel: ‹Dabeull & Sofiane Pamart with Hotel Voyage could potentially provide the soundtrack for your next film!›

About hope

From the Michaelshof Yearbook by Claudia

Hope is always directed towards the future. It is a force that is deeply inscribed in the human soul. Nothing and nobody can take it away from me. It gives us the inner condition to dare to make a new start, to bring about change or improvement. Because hope acts like an energising element, an elixir of life that helps us to tackle our tasks with confidence. Doesn’t it give us pleasure to direct our hope towards a distant but highly desirable goal? We can enjoy striving for it, and that keeps us alive. Doesn’t a sick person often have the chance to get better as long as they haven’t given up hope?

Sometimes hope is accompanied by fear and worry that the desired outcome might not materialise. When I am desperate and hopeless, I am unable to let go of myself. I am usually too alone with my goals and lack the drive to turn to other people. Sharing my thoughts with others can bring us to the revelation: I don’t have to do everything alone, there are friends who love and support me. In this way, hope can grow within us again that we can change something in our lives and therefore in the world.

Hope is actually directly related to our physical world. Certain events that we can hope for beforehand occur rhythmically. The farmer knows that when he has sown his seed, the plants will grow. The carpenter is sure that the bench he has made will still be standing the next day. The sun will rise again the following morning. This creates certainty in the long term. The ancient Greeks expressed this in a marvellous image: ‘You can still feel how the thought lives out there when the seed thrives in the fields, how hope really spreads out there over the fields and permeates the natural wonders like the song of the lark.’ Hope thus appears as a powerful being that permeates and holds matter together and thereby sustains us in every moment of life. ‹What we need in life as vitalising forces in the most eminent sense are the forces of hope, of confidence for the future. Without hope, man cannot take a single step in existence insofar as it belongs to the physical world.› Rudolf Steiner

Impressions from everyday community life…
..our boys and girls lend a hand in all our outdoor areas in summer but also in winter – for example Felix and Christian on a construction excursion or Leif doing Hoflader-work in the stables…
…Winter wonderland meets colourful Flachsenberg houses. A great match, we think! …
…two beautiful pictures from our ‘Pictures of the week’ group…
…demonstration against the far-right in Dannenberg! More than 1000 people took to the streets last week in beautiful weather – and so did we!
Michaelshof is a colourful, cosmopolitan and tolerant place where people from all backgrounds live together peacefully. We wish the world could be like this everywhere…
…may we introduce? Our super friendly kitchen team from Brazil: Camila & Joao! With Christian as their kitchen mentor, the two of them have been managing our community kitchen for several months now and conjure up a mix of delicious German, Brazilian and international food. Thank you!

Grund Nr. 7: Healthy soil!

When we think about a kid-friendly future, one of the most important things we can do is to cultivate our soils in a healthy way. This can certainly not be achieved with conventional maize monocultures. We at Michaelshof have been committed to regenerative soil management through Demeter agriculture since 1985.

Make a donation to support both practical soil cultivation in our fields and research using the ‘image-creating methods’ in the medicinal plant laboratory at Michaelshof!
Click here to donate!
For our team we are looking for committed and dynamic people who like to take on responsibility and enjoy country life. Is a meaningful job more important to you than a “9 to 5 job”? Then you’ve come to the right place!
We are looking for specialists or interns in the following areas:
  • Teacher
  • Social Worker
  • Accountant
  • Gardener
  • Construction worker
  • Retailer
  • Pharmacist
Your qualification is not listed, but you are still
interested? Just give us a try!

Please send your application with photo to claudia.brady@sammatz.de – we’ll be in touch!

Hey guys, we have the last word!

Cool! Then we wish all our readers a wonderful February with lots of great nature experiences.

Exactly! And maybe we’ll see you in Sammatz – when you’re on your way to the café and we’re on a winter donkey walk!
Best wishes and see you next time from Anna

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Mo.-Sa. 08.00 - 18.00
So. und Feiertags: 09.30 - 18.00
Mo. - Fr.: 10.00 - 12.30
14.30 - 19.00
Sa., So. und Feiertags: 10.00 - 19.00
Mo.-Sa. 08.00 - 18.00
So. und Feiertags: 09.30 - 18.00
Mo. - Fr.: 10.00 - 12.30
14.30 - 19.00
Sa., So. und Feiertags: 10.00 - 19.00

Michaelshof Sammatz

Anschrift: Im Dorfe 11
29490 Sammatz
Tel.: +49 5858 970-30
Mail: info@sammatz.de
Michaelshof Stiftung
IBAN: DE08 2405 0110 0065 8023 32
Anschrift: Im Dorfe 11
29490 Sammatz
Tel.: +49 5858 970-30
Mail: info@sammatz.de
Michaelshof Stiftung Sammatz
IBAN: DE08 2405 0110 0065 8023 32

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