Life Onboard
Learning about Organic Farming in Denmark, Jun 16, 2017
Peace Boat participants are welcomed to Kysoko organic farm with a refreshing cup of apple juice.
Upon the arrival of Peace Boat's 94th Global Voyage for Peace and Sustainability to Copenhagen, participants had a chance to visit an organic farm 85 km south-west of the city to learn about organic farming in Denmark. During the 90 minute bus-ride to the farm, participants learned about sustainable practices in Copenhagen. The city boasts 10 million city bees that collect more than 5 tonnes of honey each year; 98 percent of buildings are heated from burning waste in the city; and, 30 percent of the city's energy comes from wind, 45 percent from waste and straw burning, and the rest from burning coal. Copenhagen is also known as a city of bikes with 359 km of bicycle lanes. More than half of Copenhagen's residents use their bikes to travel to and from work or school.

Owner Anders Lindgrd explains to Peace Boat participants the work involved in running an organic farm.
Arriving at the farm, participants were welcomed with some refreshing apple juice by owners Anders Lindgrd and his wife, Susanne. Predominately an apple farm, Anders and Susanne also grow pears, plums, cherries, blackcurrant, redcurrant and a variety of berries. Anders explained to the group that the farm uses organic fertiliser. Also, instead of pesticides to kill crop-destryoing insects, they harness the farm's own biodiversity to supress pest populations. For example, they have 220 bird houses scattered around the farm, to encourage birds that eat harmful insects to visit the area. They also house a number of insect hotels' made of straw and other materials where the insects can live away from the fruit.

A Peace Boat participant takes a picture of some of the produce grown on the farm.
The group also learnt from Susanne that the farm needs bees to pollinate the flowers of the fruit trees. In addition to this, the bees also produce honey. Susanne harvests the honey twice a year - in early June, from the apple flower; and again in early August, from summer flowers. She then sells the honey the bees produce. The group learned that the Danis cite their respect for biodiversity and animal welfare as their main reasons for choosing to eat organic produce. The industry is now well established, with 8 percent of farming being organic in the country.

Peace Boat participants lend a hand by pulling out weeds around the raspberry bushes.
In terms of sustainability, Anders and Susanne also use solar panels on their roofs to generate energy for their own consumption. Furthermore, they have what they have dubbed a "willow-cleaning-system", which sees toilet waste from their house directed to a patch on their farm where willow trees are grown. The idea is that they are keeping their own waste on their own land. They then cut the trees every three years and use them for fire wood.

The Peace Boat visitors enjoy lunch in the lovely surroundings of the farm.
Uno Akimasa from Okayama prefecture in Japan said of the visit "I'm from a farming background in Japan and we grow rice, so it is interesting to see the differences in how Danish farming is done. [I also have] relatives who grow grapes, peaches and oranges and are busy all year round and are always stressed, [but] you can tell from Anders and Susanne how they love what they do and that it is their passion". Perhaps most importantly, in addition to being enjoyable, the visit allowed participants to think about the production behind the food they eat.