1972-1978 the origin
The Carstens family has owned the Westhof farm since 1972. Rainer Carstens took over the farm in 1978. At that time he cultivated his own land of 60 ha and additionally leased agricultural land in the vicinity. His property was a medium-sized, conventionally operating farm in Dithmarschen. Mainly wheat, sugar beets and potatoes were cultivated. Some of the harvest was sold directly from the farm to the consumers.
Sustainable management is important to us. We want to maintain and improve soil fertility for the next generations and ensure food production.
1989 CONVERSION TO ORGANIC FARMING
In 1989, Rainer Carstens converted to organic farming. He became more and more aware of how important healthy food and sustainable management are. Not only to maintain and improve soil fertility for the next generations but also to ensure food production.
Rainer Carstens wanted to minimize the waste of resources as well as pollution resulting from production and use of conventional pesticides and fertilizers. To demonstrate his responsibility towards organic farming guidelines, he joined the Bioland Association for organic-biological production.
1992 THE FIRST ORGANIC PRODUCTS
After a 3-year conversion period the first certified organic products were sold. Mainly wheat, potatoes, some vegetables and strawberries were cultivated. The Westhof had grown to a size of 110 ha. In the same year the marketing association Schleswig-Holstein was founded.
In the following years Rainer Carstens specialized in producing organic vegetables. The fast-growing demands for organic vegetables could not be completely met by the Westhof-grown vegetables, hence Rainer Carstens started to sell organic vegetables from neighbouring farms.
1998 FOUNDATION OF THE ORGANIC FREEZING COMPANY
BIO-FROST Westhof GmbH was founded in 1998 for the production of organic frozen produce, located in Büsum. After just two years the company had to expand its production capacities due to an exceptionally high demand and therefore moved to a new production site in Wöhrden.
2000 FOUNDATION OF THE ORGANIC TRADE COMPANY
In 2000, the Westhof GmbH was established in order to prepare the fresh vegetables for the retailer. The same company is now called Westhof Bio-Gemüse GmbH & Co. KG.
We produce not only residue-free according to Bioland standards, but we also adopt resource-saving and climate-friendly cultivation techniques.
2002 FOUNDATION OF BIO GbR
In 2002, Rainer Carstens and his neighbour Paul Heinrich Dörscher founded the Dörscher & Carstens Bio GbR for the cultivation of all new organic farming areas. Before that they had been working together successfully in a machinery cooperation. Nowadays the organically cultivated farmland has increased to approximately 1.200 ha.
2010 FOUNDATION OF WESTHOF ENERGIE
The company Westhof Energie GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 2010. The core business is to achieve sustainable projects including the production and marketing of renewable energies.
2011 FOUNDATION OF THE ORGANIC GREENHOUSE AND BIO-INVEST
Just one year later the Westhof Bio-Gewächshaus GmbH & Co. KG was founded. Its main purpose was the construction of the largest exclusively organic Greenhouse in Germany at a size of 4 ha. Mostly organic tomatoes were to be cultivated.
In the same year the Westhof Finanzdienstleistungs (financial services) GmbH & Co. KG was established. The company offers sustainable capital investments to support ecological projects within the Westhof Bio companies.
2013 FIRST HARVEST OF ORGANIC TOMATOES
In January 2013, Rainer Carstens and his partner Paul Heinrich Dörscher inaugurated the 4 ha large Greenhouse in Wöhrden. The harvest of the tomatoes runs from March to November.
2014 CONSTRUCTION OF THE BIOGAS PLANT
In 2014, a biogas plant was erected beside the greenhouse to supply it with heat.
It is a crucial objective for all the Westhof Bio enterprises to endeavor towards energy neutrality, i.e., generating an amount of renewable energies equal to the overall consumption of the Westhof Bio companies.