GeLa Ochsenherz invited me to write a foreword to the cookbook. That made me very happy and reminded me how nice it is to be part of this community – especially in these unsteady times.
It is much more than a conventional cookbook, it conveys the cycle of nature and life on the farm: »One Year GeLa – Recipes and Pictures of Community Supported Agriculture«.
Enjoying solidarity – seasonal diversity from the region
When I had carried my first box home, I spread out the vegetables on the kitchen table. I was thrilled by the quantity and took the leaflet and sorted the vegetables, I did not get too far – for asparagus salad and collard greens »Scheerkohl« I had to consult the internet. And that, although I grew up in the Thuringian countryside – with peas and strawberries from our own garden and tomatoes and lettuce from our greenhouse. But at the kitchen table in Vienna I realised how much richer the vegetable selection on my plate could still be. The recipes on the leaflet invited me to discover and experiment with cooking.
GeLa „Farming together“ Ochsenherz is the pioneer of Community Supported Agriculture in Austria. What started over 10 years ago is today an association-run operation with a large community. 300 members are supplied with biodynamic Demeter vegetables. Members who commit themselves – often every year anew – to providing vegetables: some with their financial contribution, others with their professional work in the field and others who assist with the harvest. »GeLa Ochsenherz« already has a waiting list and refers interested people to younger Community Supported Agricultures.
Since 2017 I have been a member, who helps with the harvest in the field. Since then, I hardly ever let vegetables spoil, but process them in time. For my clammy fingers harvesting on a rainy spring day or the sweats in the blazing summer heat made me appreciate the produce of this work. Working in the field was also a welcome break from my desk job as an urban consultant, as well as a prelude to close friendships and professional contacts. For all of us who are part of GeLa Ochsenherz are united by the mindset:
We want to farm together and in harmony with nature in order to enjoy vegetable diversity.
Anyone who eats GeLa Ochsenherz tomatoes for a season will not want any others – not from the supermarket and not out of season. At GeLa Ochsenherz we get more than 20 different varieties of tomatoes and peppers on our plates, probably also because the tomato »Ochsenherz« is the name giver. And it does not get much fresher than this: harvested on Mondays and available for pick-up at the distribution site in the morning on Tuesdays or harvested on Thursdays and available for pick-up in the evening in Gänserndorf or at the market stand at the Naschmarkt on Fridays. There are about 40 kilometres between the fields in Gänserndorf and the plates in Vienna: The vegetables are delivered unwrapped in boxes and kept fresh by moist cloths.
Lilli Henzl, founding member and cook has been providing our community with recipes since the beginning and often provides the team at the farm with culinary dishes. Birgit Hertel, board member and graphic designer, has taken on the design of our newsletter, among other things: Which since then inspires every week with a seasonal recipe and introduces a vegetable. Last year, the dilapidated tractor gave rise to the conception of a crowdfunding campaign, for which this cookbook with selected recipes was also developed: An ideal companion for the whole vegetable year, rounded off with insights into what happens on the farm.
I hope you enjoy browsing, cooking, experimenting and enjoying together with others, Beatrice Stude
PS: It is hard to name a favourite recipe – it is all very tasty! 😉