"And in each new beginning dwells a magic..." From the poem “Steps” by Hermann Hesse
We deliberately chose words that were rich in images and left open, which indicate the atmosphere and mood that we experience in this place.
We are still at the beginning. However, our dreams and visions are increasingly taking shape. Our plans become more concrete and the process of developing the place more conscious.
But the most important thing remains for us to listen to and trust our intuitions. This intuitive action arises in the encounter with the conditions of the place and the people involved.
The following points are preceded by questions that an interested visitor to our website might have and which we would like to answer briefly and succinctly.
Beatrix and Christian Wittekindt, Werder/Havel
Mother of two grown-up children;
Graduated in mechanical engineering;
Waldorf class teacher since 2008 in Werder (near Potsdam)
Father of four grown-up children;
For 30 years a gardener (biodynamic) - a total of 10 years in social therapy and 5 years of which as manager of the horticultural part of a biodynamic farm in Schleswig-Holstein;
Since 20 years Waldorf teacher in horticulture in Elmshorn (near Hamburg) and Kleinmachnow (near Berlin);
Further training in permaculture, medicinal herbs and landscape therapy;
Both took part of further training in "Intuitive Pedagogy" and organisation of seminars in the Berlin area.
The "door openers" to Estonia and Hiiumaa: Mari Kalkun, Margit and Sulev, Pirjo and Kari, our neighbours Mati, Veronika, Maarja, Ado and Lia
Katharina, Karin and Thomas, who have advised us intensively on this path to the farm project
To the people who have lent us the money on a temporary basis to buy the farm
Our children and their friends, who encouraged us to go unusual ways of building together and who actively helped us: Sonja and Tim, Simon and Marcella, Jakob, Jonas, Johanna and Martin, Bini
To Birk, who has planned so much with us and has guided so much by hand
The designers of our invitations Jenni and Julia
For videos, translations, the website and much more: Maarja
Our friends, who came last summer to work with us - and who helped us to encounter this place more deeply through their perceptions: Susanne, Kornelia, Christian and Norbert
And all the unnamed and accidentally forgotten.
Especially we would like to tell our deep thanks the non-human beings of heaven and earth - Estonian: taevas ja maa-, by whom we feel supported and carried.
The most important reason for us is the deep feeling of the direct connection to this country, the people, their culture, nature and landscape, when we got to know it three years ago.
And what's more:
~ let us experience openness for the future in every respect:
in the landscape and the culture, with many people, also with the authorities
~ Even with "low budget" is possible to move much: with our small starting capital we could acquire the yard with its 11 ha
~ The Baltic was completely unknown to us and seemed far away. Now it's getting closer - and what are 1600 km from Berlin?
~ In many places there's wild nature, rare plants and animals, and sacred natural places can still be experienced. The country with its 1.4 million inhabitants is very sparsely populated - 500,000 of them in Tallinn!
~ On the other hand this country radiates a Scandinavian modernity (in the digitization as an example) and it has an excellent traffic connection and favorable public local traffic.
Hiiumaa has with its 1000 square kilometres the size of Rügen but only one tenth of the inhabitants (10.000). Tourism has played a very minor role there so far. It can be easily reached by public transport from Tallinn by bus/ferry (approx. 5 hours), but also by a half-hour domestic flight.
The Baltic summers are known for their equilibrium and warmth: Hiiumaa is particularly sunny and has low rainfall (approx. 400 mm rainfall). With its high proportion of forest (60%), juniper heaths, dunes and varied coasts, it is considered the island of "landscapes". The lean limestone soils allow predominantly only grassland farming, rarely arable farming. In addition to the many certified organic farms, the use of artificial fertilizers and sprays is also unusual on other farms for economic reasons.
Mägede Talu - the farm of the hills - is situated slightly inland on the northern side of Hiiumaa and belongs to the municipality of Isabella near Koergessaare. Of the 11 ha, 4.5 ha is woodland and the rest pastureland. These are herb-rich meadows that are extensively grazed by cows. A dwelling house, two stables, a sauna and an earth cellar form the ensemble of the yard place.
From vision to concept
The basis is the construction of a small gardener's yard (total area around 11 ha) with a 3000 m² vegetable garden, orchards, fruit and wild rose hedges and the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic herbs. The forest and the wide meadows complete the centrally used zone around the farm.
During the reconstruction of the farm it is important for us to combine traditional timber construction methods with modern use of clay and straw loam. It should be trend-setting! easy to build yourself, inexpensive and with local building materials, energy-efficient and biologically justifiable and artistic-aesthetic!
We also want to implement sustainable local traditions in connection with modern approaches in energy supply and water/gray water use.
It is important for us to set artistic and handicraft impulses in the design of the farm, which enrich the terrain - for example by a wind harp, wooden sculptures, but also by a lively path.
On this gradually developing basis we want to build up a guest business which extends from April to the end of September and is to address different target groups - coordinated by time: from families seeking relaxation, pupils for an agricultural internship up to individual guests: herb freaks and bird lovers, people seeking relaxation from all areas of society - preferably a colourful international mixture!
What do we offer?
~ Experience simple life and simplicity: In "tiny houses" - a maximum of seven small transportable cabins or carts (16 - 20 m²) - space for tents or caravans;
~ Compost toilet and solar shower
~ Silence and possibilities of reflection on the essential and one's own sources of strength
~ Meaningful and varied action: the collaboration in the garden and in the processing of the herbs, accompanied hiking and experiencing of the landscape; artistic and handicraft activities: Painting, sculpting, woodworking and stone cutting, carding and dyeing wool, preserving, making remedies yourself (essences, oils...) and much more.
~ Plenty of space to play and discover
~ Wonderful secluded beaches, forests and diverse landscape experiences
Seminars and workshops:
~ Learning by doing - implementing alternative building concepts and helping with the construction of the farm
~ Making wooden sculptures yourself
~ Intuitive Pedagogy
~ Singing, Body Mind Centering- Courses, Catienica...
Deed giver / Idea giver / Money and tool providers welcome!
With a starting capital of 60.000 € we made the purchase of Mägede Talu, the electrical connection, the restoration of the well and first building measures possible. We were helped by interest-free loans from friends on a temporary basis.
The construction of the farm and the desired infrastructure will require further financial investments in the coming years. They are comparatively low due to the personal contributions made in summer camps and workshops. With the exception of the reconstruction of the former residential building (approx. 90 m² floor space), these are small-scale ancillary buildings (stable, sauna, tiny houses) which can be realised without or with little outside help.
Our private initiative is open for the development of communal ways of working and living, especially as we as representatives of the 50 plus generation would like to work together with younger people on a permanent basis.
In the search for suitable legal forms, which correspond to our intentions, we consider to transfer a part of the project into a non-profit character, the rest as a commercial enterprise.
Interest-free loans are very welcome for interim financing!
We want to find other suitable forms of private support (e.g. gift and loan communities and crowdfunding) by advising ethically oriented banks and other idea providers.
We are also considering offering schools and companies the possibility of pre-financing projects in the form of "recovery shares", which can then be redeemed later.
We will also turn to foundations.
It is a matter of solidarity based on mutuality!
We strive to make it possible for all interested people to stay with us, regardless of their wallet.