I am quite sure you’ve heard the name “Brodowin” already – most likely on a milk bottle in your favorite coffee shop or in your local Bioladen. It is by far the best milk you can get in Berlin, and even better, you can visit the cows that provide it , they live happily just 80km north of Mitte. Which is what I’ve done this past weekend.
Brodowin lies in the middle of the national park and biosphere reserve Schorfheide-Chorin. A beautiful area with extensive oak and pine woodlands, ponds, bogs and heathlands with some areas being protected and left as wilderness. The dairy farm with about 250 cows in milk is located just outside of the village of Brodowin with about 400 inhabitants.
One very important difference of Brodowin’s milk to many others, especially “fresh milk with extended shelf life”, is it being fresh, and I mean really fresh – only pasteurised at 75 degrees and not homogenized it still contains most vitamins and a lot more taste. Sadly, raw milk is almost impossible to get in Berlin, since it’s considered a health risk, production and sales are strictly controlled, so this Frischmilch will be the closest to natural milk you can easily get your hands on.
Brodowin’s dairy farming furthermore works according to the Demeter principles, a certification organization for biodynamic agriculture that is regarded as the highest grade of organic farming.
You can easily convince yourself of the high standards, production quality and the cow’s happiness by making a day’s trip to their farm––look around their stables and luscious green fields, have your hand licked by the adult cows and adore the many baby calfs. The stables and fields are always connected, the cows can choose wether to eat inside or outside and visitors can walk around freely or book a tour to get it all explained. If you’ve got children that are growing up in the urban wastelands of Berlin, bring them here so they learn how milk is “made”. The kids we saw all had tremendous fun gawping at the giant mammals.
Just next to the stables is the Meierei with giant glass windows to look through and observe the process of milk bottling and the production of butter, cheese and Quark. After enjoying your one-on-one time with the cows, you can take a rest in the Hofladen Café, where a simple lunch is served as well as cake and, on most days, fresh buttermilk in the cup. A deliciousness you shouldn’t miss, we certainly had more than one.
Oh, and then you should stock up in the Hofladen, where all the Brodowin products are sold – until sold out, that is, be quick on the full fat milk! As well as an assortment of other organic products an vegetables and fruits.
If it’s still warm enough, consider visiting the Parsteiner lake before or after your little farming education – this gigantic lake covers over 10 km², reaches over 30m of depth and has an excellent water quality. Or just take a walk in the extensive forests of the national park Schorfheide Chorin to find some early mushrooms. Or visit the monastery of Chorin, founded in the 13th century. There’s so much to do in Brandenburg!