We - Susanna and Christian Schürch - have been tenant farmers of the town of Basel since 1994. During this time we have had two sons Philipp and Lorenz, who are adults now and no longer live on the farm. Together with Ion and Aliona Maidan we manage about 70 hectares of flat land, 50 cows, 900 hens and a big playground with a room for parties. We also have some goats, minipigs and donkeys which we keep as pets. Ion and Aliona are from Moldavia and they have 2 children, Ilie and Eva, who were born in 2014 and 2017. There are many other people who help us from time to time or who have responsibilities on the farm as a hobby.
Our farm is not organic. But we are certified for the label IPSuisse. That means: no insecticide, no fungicide and limited use of herbicide. Fertilizer is limited and has to be used targeted. Biodiversity is part of the program. We promote fauna and flora and work together with conservation organizations.
Since 1993 Swiss farmers have had to sacrifice 7 % of their land for ecological projects. That means different kinds of fallows, on which wild herbs must be sown or hedges, high stem fruit trees and so on. If a farmer doesn't join this program, his subsidies are cut drastically. IP - Suisse goes much further. The average IP - Suisse - farmer realizes 36 % more ecological projects. 38 % of all Swiss farmers have got the IPSuisse label. The prices for their products are between the prices for organic and conventional products.
On our farm 15 % of the land consists of ecological projects. We have practiced this since 1994. As a result Stonechats, Yellowhammers, Red-backed Shrikes, Corn Buntings and Skylarks breed regularly on our farm again and we could increase the population of brown hares (By the way, there have never been wild rabits in Switzerland). In a study of the "Vogelwarte Sempach" of 2015 it has been confirmed that we have been very successful with our projects. For Christian, who is one of the vice presidents of IP - Suisse, this has been a confirmation that we and IP - Suisse are on the right path.