Monastery garden

One of the central places of UWC Robert Bosch College is the monastery garden, which dates back to the foundation of the historical Carthusian Monastery of 1346 and has existed for more than 500 years. The monks, who were Vegetarians, used and cultivated the garden as a means of self-support. Today, the 2000 square-meter areal looks not very much unlike its early days and is home to a variety of agricultural crops. Since 2015, the garden is also part of the Swiss foundation Pro Specie Rara, which is committed to protecting the cultural and genetic diversity of plants and animals.

© Madeleine Hager

In full bloom: The monastery garden is one of the central spaces of the college, students can harvest fruit and vegetables all summer long – for international meals in the shared kitchen. Or use the space to meditate and study. © Madeleine Hager

As defined by the Carthusian monks, the garden is still “self-supporting” in any way: Students at UWC Robert Bosch College can harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs during summer and fall, for meals or as needed. Together with our head gardener and pedadogogist and local Freiburg volunteers, three teams of students work in the garden as part of their service programme and learn about sustainable and organic gardening.

A popular and historical rarity in the garden: The angelica plant. Already hundreds of years ago, the herbal plant from the “Kuchelgarten” was exported to countries all over the world and was praised for its soothing properties. Today, our team of student and volunteer gardeners uses the herb to produce balm or herbal liquor, both of which help soothe colds and stomach aches.

Spaß an der Gartenarbeit: Eine UWC Robert Bosch College Schülerin beim Garten gießen. Der Garten ist für Viele ein Ort der Ruhe - und auch sozialer Treffpunkt.

Having fun working gardening: One of our students at the college watering plants on a warm spring day. The garden is a quiet, calming space for many – and a place where interaction and exchange happens.

Did you know that we have bees, too? In spring of 2015, we moved the first bee colony into the garden. The bees are kept in top bar hives, as close to nature as possible. Together with various kinds of wild bees, they will play a huge part in plant-pollination, an important contribution to maintaining ecological balance. Our students are looking forward to the first batch of honey and are currently forming a “bee group” to take care of the bees. In addition to that, a wood stove will complement the garden’s diversity: Next to gardening and beekeeping, baking fresh bread will be on the list.

Are you interested in visiting the garden? There are a number of opportunities to get to know this special place. Since 2015, the garden is part of the Bauerngartenroute in the Black Forest Natural Parks. On the following days, the garden will be open to the public between 2 pm – 6 pm:

Juni 29, 2016
August 31, 2016
September 28, 2016

Also: For all those who are interested in gardening themselves, join Eva-Maria Schüle’s volunteer group on Fridays between 3 pm und 6 pm. Please register under email hidden; JavaScript is required