Born in Germany, I grew up in a horsey family with my great-great-grandfather having been in charge of the horses of the last German Emperor. I also grew up in a tradition of homesteading – my grandparents living off the land with their pigs, chickens, vegetables and horses, of course. I distinctly remember standing on a stool and stirring a big pot of blood, when I was little, for making black pudding. My grandfather always talked about how to manage healthy pastures, and to no surprise, the topic was diversity. According to him, healthy pasture needs to contain at least 70 to 80 different species of herbs and grasses. I spent my early teens in the forests of the Teutoburger Wald, helping out the local ranger during my holidays in wildlife care and tree planting. My first ever paid job was planting trees – endangered species.
During my business career in China, I had the opportunity to travel all over the region. I visited traditionally managed properties learning about various approaches to sustainability, plant diversity and healthy food production.
Moving to Australia in 2000, I immediately reconnected to farming and horses, buying a block of land, which I started true to form to regenerate immediately. Shortly after I bought a cattle farm on French Island, which again I started regenerating and converting to Biodynamic management. I was proud to report a calving rate of 100% after just three years.
All traditionally managed farms have one underlying Universal concept of managing Land sustainably – the focus on Soil Biology.
I now live in South Gippsland, Victoria and work as an Educator and Advisor in all things Soil.
I also run workshops, in-person and online, while managing properties, and, admittedly, my weakness, some cattle herds.