When I first read about Die dicke Linda, the name of this new farmers’ market already made me smile. Linda is the name of one of the most popular potato varieties due to a huge media attention some years ago. It was barely saved from extinction by an enormous support from many farmers and movements like Slow Food. Now Linda became the name giver of something new and special happening in Neukölln.
Last Saturday I exited Hermannstraße station and didn’t have much trouble finding Kranoldplatz – people were passing by with bags full of fresh produce, I just had to go where they came from: a square lined with signature red and white striped stalls. The closer I got there, the more murmur was in the air. It was still early, but people were coming from all directions, curious and excited, young and old. While strolling through the stalls, I could hear them saying things like “finally, there’s a farmers’ market again in Neukölln” and “I wish it would open more often”.For many years, Kranoldplatz was just an empty square somewhere between the subway stations Hermannstraße and Neukölln. Theresa Dühn, the organizer of Die dicke Linda, is living just around the corner. And for years, she found herself thinking about bringing back some life to where once was a weekly market. Growing up in Brandenburg, she developed an early interest in food and where it comes from. And this is what Die dicke Linda is all about: getting to know your local farmers.
Walking around the many stalls is already a feast for the eyes: huge piles of fresh produce and flowers are next to stacks of various homemade jams and marmalades. But there’s even more: organic ice cream, meat products, fresh baked goods and coffee. For example Meine kleine Farm, an initiative with the goal to raise awareness for what’s behind a product. They’re offering specialties like Rotwurst and Jagdwurst in jars with pictures of the very pig or cow it’s made from.
All the talking with the different producers made me hungry and thirsty and what would a market be without a small break in the sun? In order to establish a meeting place in the neighborhood, the center of Die dicke Linda are the wooden benches under the trees. People can gather and accidentally get to know their neighbors over a cup of coffee by Mamma Berlin. As luck would have it, Wiener Brot bakes its bread just around the corner and sells it here – and what’s better than a sweet treat together with your coffee?
For the first edition of Die dicke Linda earlier this summer, Dühn was contacting farmers and producers from all around the Brandenburg area by herself. Now, after the second edition, it’s already the other way round. So be sure to mark your calendars on September 27th, the last market before Die dicke Linda takes a winter break. So far, the success has proven her right and there’s supposed to be even more in 2015!