It doesn’t have to take hours on end to travel to a place that catapults you into a parallel universe. In fact, sometimes the most serene of all oases can be a short train ride away. And sometimes, just sometimes, it takes a mere 48 hours to calm down the buzz in your head.

When I stepped into the old farm-house of a stork farm in Groß Pankow, Brandenburg (the county that surrounds Berlin), I instantly felt appreciated and welcomed. Storchenhof is a soap factory, farm, vegan heaven and all-round paradise run by a mother, her two daughters (#girlpower!) and a yoga teacher. The five of us instantly bonded, so really it was more like a two-day pajama party with old (and very wise) friends.


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The farm is just starting to welcome visitors for their themed activity weeks now, visitors who fancy a different, quiet way of life. I had the privilege of taking part in their trial run before they officially launch at the end of May. And oh what a success this has been. I was spoiled with delicious vegan food, yoga sessions, biking tours through the woods, an extremely sound sleep, a little singer-songwriter gig in the old barn on the last night and so much more. I’ve also taken a ridiculous amount of photos, so apologies if you’ll suffer from a visual overload of puppy or flower pictures, I couldn’t resist.

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The ladies have built the entire farm all by themselves over the last five years and you can virtually feel how much love and energy they’ve poured into making it the eye candy it is today. That kind of physical work is something you don’t get a taste for in shiny resorts or glossy Brooklyn lofts. I loved having them explain to me how (and when) they’ve been planting, ehm, plants and how they’ve isolated bricks and windows – as that’s not exactly my bread and butter.

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The whole farm is entirely vegan and sustainable. Jule, the youngest daughter is also the most gifted and enthusiastic chef I have come across in a while. She prepared the food so that when we finished our morning yoga/biking/sleeping, everything was waiting in the magnificent stunner of a kitchen. Speaking of vegan food, I’m one of those annoying people who says “Yeah, I’d love to give that a go but it just seems like such an effort and I don’t even take enough time to prepare ‘normal’ meals.” Well, turns out it’s pretty easy, doesn’t really take all that long and unlike meaty burgers, won’t make you feel bloated. My new love is coconut milk and rhubarb jam spread on toasted rye bread, yum.

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On the first night, we took a stroll through Perleberg, the capital of the Prignitz area. It’s filled with beautiful little houses, old shops and a stunning riverside – but really I couldn’t wait to get back onto farm, it seems like everything you could possibly need is already there. And by everything you need I mean horses, dogs, storks, birds, cats – and peace.

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The next day called for some action! We started by waking up “consciously” by dipping our feet into the ice-cold stream that runs through the farm. Holy moly, that was horrible and beautiful and horribly beautiful. After yoga and breakfast, we biked to the nearby lake (something I hadn’t done in a while) and experimented with some moves on inflatable stand up paddle boards. I didn’t even know these lovelies existed but you basically blow up a complete board out of a backpack, and it even felt a lot more solid and stable than a ‘proper’ board. After spending an hour doing stand-up paddling and coming across a little island, I felt it’d be apt to just lie on the board and stare into the mild spring sky for a while. Having the whole lake to myself and suddenly getting into one of those ‘Man, I’m one happy girl’ moments really was priceless.

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Then there’s also yoga. The incredibly nice and knowledgeable yoga teacher can pretty much adapt to whatever style you’re most comfortable in – and help you find out whatever feels right for you. I went for a ‘tougher’ lesson because I really and surprisingly got into the whole yoga business over the last couple of months, and absolutely loved it. The whole flexibility thing is key to the general concept of the farm. You can literally just email the ladies with dates you’d like to come and then they’ll tailor a weekend or week of activities to whatever you fancy. It is really easy as that. Two nights including food and sports start at €100, what’s not to love!?

But yoga also kind of leads me to my favourite feature of the farm: silence. At first it feels like a massive culture shock when you’re used to big city lights, because it really is dead quiet, but ends up feeling more like a gentle, almost therapeutic embrace once you let it in. The silence is also the reason why I’ll definitely be back once my urban batteries are running low again. And the dogs of course.

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All photos taken by Caroline Schmitt

Thank you for an unforgettable weekend, you lovely Storchenhof ladies.