Founded over 21 years ago, in December 1986, and situated in a complex of half-timbered farm buildings in the centre of the village of Niederkaufungen, just outside Kassel, we are Germany’s largest non-religious, non-spiritual commune.
Our main principles and focuses are on sustainability and the attempt to be as ecological as possible, consensus decision making, left-wing politics, reduction of patriarchal and hierarchical structures, a completely socialised internal communal economy, and collective work. All buildings, land, motor-vehicles, and means of production are communally owned.
Even if we don’t describe ourselves explicitly as an eco-village and are not a GEN-Europe member, (we indeed distance ourselves from some hierarchical, esoteric and spiritual ecological communities), we are a small eco-village within the village of Niederkaufungen, with a number of houses and several community owned collective businesses.
We run most of our motor vehicles on vegetable oil (rape seed oil), heat our buildings with a wood burning central heating system, produce our own electricity with a combined generator/heating plant, and produce electric current for the grid with a photovoltaic installation maintained by our solar energy company on the roof of one of our workshop buildings. We use rain water in our toilets and in our washing machines.
We have (Bioland) organic market-gardening and a EU certified dairy farm. Our carpentry and joinery workshop uses no tropical hardwoods and no chemical laquers or paints. Our building company uses non-polluting building materials, and specialises in insulation work. Our kitchen collective offers a wholefood catering and party service as well as cooking the meals for our kindergarten and our day-care centre for old people. Our seminar house conducts courses on community themes, and can be rented out by groups organising their own seminars and courses. We have a group offering counselling and advice to other projects, both established and projects in formation. We also have a physiotherapy practice and a psychologist.Two people work in state education.
In 2001 we conducted an environmental survey to see how close to sustainability we are. While producing, per communard, about 40% of the CO2 equivalent of the average german citizen, we still have a long way to go before we have reduced our levels of consumption and pollution to an acceptable level for the sustainable future of the planet.
More info about all these themes, including a link to the environmental survey (Ökobilanz), can be found (in German and in English) on our website. Lots of photos can be found on the English sides.
Visitors should read the (English language) section on “Visiting Us” and contact us well in advance. Please try to arrive by public transport. Visitors from outside Germany should remember that air travel is a major contributor to the increase in greenhouse gases and global warming.
Membership & Visitors
- Current members: 60
- Not open to new members