With MyFeld you can be your own organic farmer
With Myfeld.ch, organic fans can have vegetables planted even if they don't have their own garden or balcony. A clever and sensible idea - but not without its pitfalls.
Vegetables fresh from the field, without pesticides, grown regionally - that's exactly what many people want these days. Because it is no secret that food from the greenhouse is neither particularly sustainable nor healthy. The trend towards gardening has experienced a boost, not least in the pandemic; even in the cities, "urban gardening" is the thing of the moment.
However, not everyone has their own garden. Especially not in the city. Allotment gardens, on the other hand, are in great demand, and having your own terrace has its limits. That's why the idea of MyFeld fits perfectly into today's world: for around 600 francs a year, you can virtually reserve a piece of an organic farmer's field and choose your favorite vegetables, which the providers sow, tend, and finally harvest for their customers.
Smart idea meets zeitgeist
The concept originated in Austria, where co-initiator Raphael Schär discovered it and "Swissised" it. After a few hurdles at the beginning, the start-up MyFeld.ch was born, which tries to unite two very different worlds: digital e-commerce and traditional agriculture with all its challenges. The concept works; already in the first season, over a thousand people wanted to have a piece of organic farmland managed by the Swiss start-up.
The concept of Myfeld.ch is simple: customers can plant a 16 square metre field using the online configurator. There are 30 types of vegetables to choose from. Once the products have been grown, two farmers take care of them together with the MyFeld initiators. The online organic farmers can sit back and watch their seedlings grow. Once the vegetables are ready for harvesting, they are delivered to their homes in boxes. Between 15 and 18 boxes are expected to arrive at the customers' homes each year. The cooperation is also worthwhile for the farmers because there is no intermediate trade for them. They earn better this way than if they were to supply wholesalers.
The pitfalls of nature
On paper, MyFeld.ch sounds like a win-win for everyone involved. However, the idea is not without its pitfalls. Nature is not an online tool that you can program to your liking. This was the experience of MyFeld customers last year. Due to the miserable summer with lots of rain and cold temperatures, the vegetables did not grow as desired, and the boxes failed to appear or did not correspond to what was promised in advance. The disappointment was correspondingly great, and some customers vented their anger via the media. In the end, however, they were just like many other hobby farmers whose tomatoes or cucumbers rotted in the summer of 2021.
Nevertheless, the start-up has learned its lesson. In the future, they want to better protect themselves against weather-related adversities. For example, by partially covering the fields in cultivation tunnels and reserving replacement fields. In addition, all customers received a voucher for an additional season. The vegetable year at MyFeld is now also divided into the winter and summer seasons. Customers need not fear a flop like in 2021 this year, as the initiators assure us: Thanks to the warm weather, the vegetables are currently growing "wonderfully".
About the author
Lukas Rüttimann is a journalist, copywriter and storyteller. He has worked for numerous Swiss newspapers and magazines, in various capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief. As a freelancer, he covers a broad spectrum, with sustainable, social, cultural and economic topics particularly close to his heart. Lukas Rüttimann has lived in the USA, among other places, but now lives and works from Zurich.