Agricultural master; BUS-Courses (Personal further training in the agriculture); State certified forester
Farm Crone lies near the road L 655 between Werdohl (18.000 inhabitants) and Lüdenscheid (75.000 inhabitants). The enterprise is participant of the project "Agriculture to touch" and operates according to the principles of the integrated plant production.
The family enterprise Crone maintains meadow orchards, plants hedges, and lets field edges blossom. It contributes to the preservation of the cultural landscape and offers, besides the possibility to visit the premises in the frame of the direct sale, a yearly comprehensive education and information event with the nature conservation centre Märkischer Kreis: the Sauerland Apple festival.
2. Promoter profile
3. Farm Profile
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Through the marriage of the parents F.W. and Brunhilde Crone, the two neighbouring enterprises merged. Over the course of 50 years, the farm expanded into its current size of 120 ha. Until 1980, the enterprise focused on the dairy cattle farming and forestry. This was typical for the region. Once the transition to calves and young cattle breeding in the 1980's stopped working economically, the enterprise searched for a new orientation. This new orientation has been found in the pension horses husbandry, but above all, in the direct sale. The potato growing was intensified. The classical cellarage of the potatoes by private people has drastically decreased in the last centuries. A year-round sale of potatoes was developed in smaller packages directly from the farm. From 1987, the enterprise launched the breeding and slaughtering of grazing-fattened geese. In 1993, turkeys and egg farming were added as the offer of the farm. The direct sale was boosted and more value was placed on public relations. With the organic station established in 1993, the nature conservation centre Märkischer Kreis, the project for the preservation of Märkische orchard meadows and the related production of high quality apple juice started. The first Sauerland Apple festival took place in 1995. This event gradually developed into a regional great event.
The enterprise started with the growing of old potato varieties in 2015, and these enjoy ever greater popularity.
Christian Crone with his wife Iris took over the enterprise in 2006 and today they cultivate 150 ha of fully consolidated land; thereof 27 ha of arable land, 23 ha of green land and 100 ha of forest.
Geese, turkeys, eggs and potatoes from own production are offered directly at the farm today. The offer is complemented with hay, straw, firewood, Christmas trees and purchased products of other regional producers.
4. Multifunctional/sustainable farming and European Agricultural Landscapes (EAL)
The enterprise lays in the West of the Sauerland in close proximity to the agglomerations (ca. 60 Km) of the Rhine and Ruhr and is considered, with its attractions and landscape charms, as a popular recreational area with varied destinations.
The cultivation of the surfaces is a challenge, that the enterprise gladly accepts, due to the topography and small parcels. It places a great focus on the location of adjusted plants that are also promising in regard to the direct sale - for example old potato varieties.
20 ha of the green land are used extensively. Over the course of time, the installation of forest edges became necessary, a dead edge (Bentjeshecke) and a bird protecting hedge among the field meadows was also planted.
In regard of public relations, there are information boards in the meadows with information about the plants and the cultivation manner.
Furthermore, the fruit farm is at disposal to domestic beekeepers with their bee colonies. The orchard meadow comprises approximately 30 old trees.
Through this kind of agriculture, the enterprise contributes to:
- Preservation and strengthening of the biodiversity;
- Preservation of traditional buildings;
- Preservation of traditional cultivation techniques;
- Reduction of the soil erosion;
- Promotion of the value of the landscape;
- Creation of job opportunities;
- Production of high-quality, safe and healthy food;
- Revival of the connection of the people from the region to the landscape and to the food production;
- Working with children and youth;
- Awareness raising - focuses attention to agriculture and landscapes;
- Preservation of domestic/regional species.
"In life, one must always have a concrete objective. The following approach leads to success: nothing against the nature, everything with the nature!"
"When one holds the cycle on-site on time and in progress, then the enterprise can also be economically healthy in the long-term!"
5. Considerations, skills/competences involved and queries/questions
The family enterprise deals with the restrictions, that result from the location of the enterprise in a rugged low mountain range with shale weather and numerous steep slopes. Mr Crone searches for development possibilities and uses them consequently. So far, the agriculture and forestry challenges of the landscape also offer great chances in the direct sale and in the creation of proximity to the customers. The enterprise performs an educational mission for the society. During the year there are approximately 300 guests pupils at the farm.
It is essential for the farms success to deal with the specific given conditions, may it be climate, altitude or soil qualities.
Mr Crone considers these challenge as a special chance. Based on following and respecting the nature instead of adjusting it, together with a cooperative approach of agriculture, nature protection, species protection and landscape on the Crone-farm, there was a stable system set up in line with nature and linked to the landscape and regional community.
The fact that time is a short resource is leading to important consequences on the farm: investing the time in line with own visions for farming and in always searching for further niches on the market.
Mr Crone is very well trained in agriculture and forestry.
He is very open to further training and he recognizes the importance of the interaction of agriculture-cultivation manner-landscape-society from the consciousness for functioning cycles of the nature and also with the market.
The enterprise acts at the interface of ecology and economy and is open for regional cooperation.
- It is a challenge to work on economic and ecological added value at the same time. When you reach both and even a better standing in community, it is a good result. Do you see possible Win-Win-situations in your farming business linking ecology and economy?
- Biodiversity maintenance and the preservation of visual landscape character and elements can be supported. Could you do more in this field? And would it be recognized and valued by the community?
- Contacts to the community and schools and kindergartens is a chance to get in touch directly with social aspects and also to form business opportunities along added value chain. Are you in touch with any educational institutions?