The plant of the community of garden friends. Photo: Isabelle Butschek
The garden friends have a flourishing allotment garden. In 2006 they were awarded a gold medal at the federal allotment garden competition.
Neuwirtshaus – The allotment garden is still in hibernation. The engines of the cars are roaring from the adjacent main road. Otherwise it’s quiet. A couple of snowdrops stretch their heads up. It won’t take long, however, before the garden friends in Neuwirtshaus will be happy again. When the cold season leaves the field, people sown, dig, cut and plant.
It has been like this since 1948, when the site was developed for the first time and divided into plots. “There was a great need for self-sufficient gardens. I remember older neighbors who used their parcel to grow vegetables for a long time. There wasn’t a piece of grass there, ”says Steffen Polinski. He has been the chairman of the community of garden friends Solitudeallee since 2011.
Association was founded in 1966
The actual association for the administration of the parcels was founded in 1966. Shortly before, the facility was reduced by 33 gardens for the construction of the federal road. Since its completion it has therefore been divided into two areas – separated by the multi-lane road.
However, this incision did not harm the development of the allotment garden and the association. Initially, the gardeners were busy with the design. The fence was built, arbours selected, plots numbered, a small community house built and the water connection improved. At the same time, the first events took place, some of which still exist: for example the summer festival or the bowling tournament. In addition, there have been activities over the years such as the May hike, the season finale, a joint New Year’s Eve party or technical lectures and editing instructions.
Another milestone for the association was the expansion of the facility. “Initially, the allotment gardeners from the Schlotwiese should find a new home there. But since they didn’t have to move, we got the site, ”says Steffen Polinski. In the early 1990s, another 23 gardens were laid out. In addition, the new communal house was built on the site – mostly in-house, by the way. Today a solar system produces electricity on the roof. It is a widely visible sign that the association never stops, but is constantly developing.
Other examples of the commitment of allotment gardeners are the wetland habitat or the children’s playground, which was set up together with the garden, cemetery and forestry department. There is also a school garden that an AG of the Neuwirtshausschule tills with the help of the allotment gardeners. “Working with the children is particularly important to us,” says Polinski. Of course, the parents should be reached through the children. “That’s why we’re going outside and opening our facility,” says Polinski. And so visitors are not only welcome at the summer festival. “In summer the gate is usually open. Then you are welcome to go for a walk with us and look at everything, ”says the 40-year-old. And that is definitely a worthwhile excursion. Since there must be no fences or hedges between the parcels, the complex extends like a small park with grass paths through it.
Plant received an award in 2006
The garden friends were rewarded with a very special award in 2006 for their design, their connection with the district, their openness and their sustainable work: “We received a gold medal at the national allotment garden competition. That was a great success. "
And this is also reflected: “At the moment, all of our 73 plots are leased.” There are always families who are interested in the gardens and who enjoy the fact that they can let their children jump in the area. “And we recently even had a student as a tenant. She knew that from her parents and also wanted to have a garden herself. ”The freelance fruit and viticulture consultant hopes that the new members will stay. "Sometimes it is the case that after the initial euphoria, some notice that a garden is also associated with work," says Polinski. Especially since it is still compulsory to grow vegetables or fruit in a certain area. Above all, Steffen Polinski worries that the team is dwindling. “When we organize parties, often only the functionaries and their families come.” Many now prefer to stay to themselves and have no time or no desire for joint activities. Polinski: "I don’t have a brilliant idea how we can change that."