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Our history

Übersetzt mit google translator

There is no well-sorted archive, which provides information about the times of the Initiative Ökologisch Wirtschaften in the years 1988 and 1989, documents about the foundation of the association are scattered in various folders, some things are no longer found. The numerous ideas, projects and the work of the committees are not always documented. The history of the first 10 years of the club is not only a history of projects, defeats and successes but it is also the story of many people who have accompanied the club in very different ways. So what could be more appropriate to throw a private look back?

Changes as a breeding ground
In the mid-80s, the island was in a state of flux. Tourism became more and more important for the island economy, structural change seemed to have a firm grip on agriculture. Strangers moved to the island, often with the stated intention of settling here. New teachers at our school, the longtime pastor retired, new faces in the council, numerous changes for a continuity of familiar island community. Time of change with a disorientation, combined with the feeling of drifting aimlessly into the uncertain and gloomy future.

It's the times that bring about change, not so much the people who pushed these changes. People are becoming catalysts for developments for which time was simply ripe. People who often live side by side for years without being able to discuss fundamental issues. Sometimes only a small push is needed and bigger things can develop.

Maybe it was a first meeting at the Koog, where everything started. If neighboring farmers, who had previously dreamed and planned to visit each other alone, talk about their ideas, the topic of changeover and organic farming is already a bit of courage.
Perhaps it was a joint meal that was debated for the first time in a somewhat larger circle, that ecological development and sustainable management was not just a private spinning mill. To feel that you were not alone with your views and ideas, was important to help the idea of ​​"ecological management" in the world.

Ideas are dikutiert
Meetings in 1989 with Friedrich Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf in the stock exchange, with Hans Eigen and Hans Wiesen in the Hooger Ferry became for the first time a podium to present such ideas to the public. Even then it was not without fierce discussions and personal insults. An article in the Husumer Nachrichten seemed to destroy all hopes for a broader ecological-based base. Already at that time the "slipping over" and the "compulsion" appeared as a ghost in the discussions. Letters to the editor were written, the first personal disagreements among the first comrades were not without consequences for a long time. Time and again, it was important to restore one's personal cohesion, to consolidate it, a task that was often undertaken by women, when the men, as brawlers out of personal hurt or vanity, almost wanted to put off the effort for the common cause.
Ideas alone do not move much, they also have to be poured into a solid form. The view from outside is helpful and it is not surprising that Pellwormer dreams and perspectives were poured into a solid form in Brussels and in the summer of 1989 for the first time a written concept for an "ecological economy on Pellworm" was available.

This was often hectic in this "Summer of 89". Already in June, the initiative was looking for an initial discussion with the Ministry of Agriculture in Kiel, with the then District Administrator Dr. Ing. Blatt in Husum was discussed, and this was already 10 years ago, a "special seal of approval for Pellworm" imagine.

The autumn and winter of 89/90 was no less restless. Many who did not later decide to become members or co-workers in ecological economies worked intensively on a draft statute. Initial applications and negotiations with various ministries were conducted. The purpose of these discussions was to give Pellworm a chance to be recognized as a 5B area in order to receive support for certain measures from EU pots. That this goal was achieved together with others was certainly the first great success of the young initiative

association foundation
In February 199o it was time. On 23.2.90 was invited with a direct mail to a public association formation meeting in the Hooger ferry. The interest was overwhelming, 108 Pellworm heard a lecture by Graefe zu Baringdorf on the "development opportunities of organic agriculture" and discussed the present draft statute. 37 attendees declared their membership. A founding board was elected and seven founding members were happy and exhausted to put their signature under the founding statute.
Already in March there was the first regular annual general meeting, with which a first statute change was decided. An advisory council with a secretary was set up to provide advice and outside help while creating a better connection to the EU in Brussels. The summer was exciting. In negotiations with the Ministry of Environment, the promotion of a consultancy and coordination office for ecological management was achieved. By name may be mentioned here Glanz, who was convinced from the beginning of the idea of ​​the association and with its advice and support the first office of the association in the old blacksmiths at the Nordermitteldeich could be obtained. Unfortunately, there are hardly any photo documents of the sweaty conversion of the old blacksmiths, which became home for the club after much self-employment for the first 10 years. The inauguration together with a visit to the Dutch Soune Groun took place on 28.6.91. In 1991 the club was represented for the first time with a tent at the harbor festival, at that time still together with the association "Mittleres Nordfriesland".

Lack of self-confidence could not be attributed to the association in the first years, for the opening of the office even the then Prime Minister Björn Engholm was invited.
The search for a managing director was difficult. The first managing director finished his work before joining Pellworm. However, for the simultaneous negotiations with the EU, the country and the municipality on a LEADER II project on Pellworm, he put together the first project proposal. This proposal is still up-to-date in its principle and serves as a basis for discussion for negotiations with various donors. Nevertheless, in 1990/91 the discussion was more than laborious. Was initially a meeting with community pronounced
difficult, it was finally the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, which did not pass on the application submitted jointly by the municipality and Ökologischer Wirtschaften to the Brussels authorities, although there had already been a positive assessment announced. The search for a management continued and by the middle of 1991 Gesine Agena was hired.

The public is aware of Pellworm
The interest of the wider public in the work of the eco-club was enormous. Numerous articles in various magazines from the Husumer Nachrichten to a young magazine in the former "Noch DDR" bear witness to this. Even today, many of those involved will become hot and cold at the memory of the echo that triggered the releases on the island. For the work of the association on Pellworm much proved to be little helpful. The controversy often slipped into the personal and some of the then thrown up ditch seems not filled up to this day. What should we say to article headings like "Bold men change an island" or "If it goes after the farmers, everything is different on Pellworm". Even if we can smile about it today, such articles were a catastrophe.

In March 1992, the association organized a supraregional seminar on "Ecological Economies - Opportunities for Rural Areas". Speakers from all over the Federal Republic of Germany conducted workshops on the most diverse areas of sustainable business, the participants discussed from Friday evening to Sunday. Despite the sometimes very controversial discussion, this was a great success for the more than 90 participants.

Work in committees and first concepts
The areas to be looked after by the managing director were varied and extensive. The abundance of concepts developed in the first years of the association surprises again and again. There is hardly a topic in the field of organic farming or sustainable business, for which extensive working papers and concepts have not been created.
Numerous events should help to bring the ideas of the association to a wider audience. As early as 1990, a first wind energy event was held. Time and again the meetings dealt with questions of ecological agriculture, but also tourism played a big role.

The work of the committees has strongly influenced the work of the association in the first years. The Tourism Committee has come up with the idea of ​​an eco-bike tour that combines information about the association with a visit to a wind turbine and a final tasting buffet at one of the organic farms. The concept of the tour has been revised several times over the years, more than 5,000 guests are likely in recent years so
have informed. The Tourism Committee critically discussed the island's presentation to the public. The Pellworm magazine has undergone a major revision. Much of what we know in the Pellworm Magazine today as a welcome comes originally from the Tourist Board of the Association. Not only friends made the club and committee with the award of a golden lemon for less fortunate changes in Pellworm magazine. A cycle path concept, hiking and riding trails were already being considered, as the extension of the season and the effects of day tourism were not yet a general topic on Pellworm. It is difficult to believe that the construction of a multipurpose hall for sporting activities was already initiated in 1991.

Shortly after the foundation of the association, the Energy Committee dealt with considerations regarding an energy concept for Pellworm. Public relations work in collaboration with local craftsmen has always been at the center of the work, such as project weeks in schools and events on a wide variety of energy-saving topics. The proposal for the purchase of an electric car for community workers and the spa administration landed already in 1990 on the desk of the administration.
The intensive discussion of the topic of energy led then in 1996 to the first energy study on Pellworm, which was carried out together with the Schleswag and the forum for future energies with financial support of the EU. A follow-up study dealing with the practical implementation of the proposals made in the first study was completed in 1998. Pellworm was also known to an international audience and eventually nominated as a worldwide project of EXPO 2000.

The Agricultural Committee had a very colorful composition in the first years. In addition to farmers, many other occupational groups were represented. In the early years, the agricultural committee still had the task of disseminating knowledge and exchanging experiences on organic farming. In the following years, topics such as marketing played a central role.

From 1992, the Consumer Committee provided the link between the sometimes very theoretical discussions in the Board, the Energy and Agricultural Committees and daily life. Here, practical examples of feasibility were used to work on topics such as waste processing, drinking water, energy saving, composting and a market day at Pellworm. Does anyone remember that even the weekly market or the revival were "inventions" of the eco-club?