The Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde (BDG). (the German Allotment Garden federation) is the central organisation of the allotment garden associations and defends their interests.
19 national federations with 14,000 allotment associations unifying 910,000 members are affiliated with the central federation. They cover a surface of 46,640 hectares and are intensively used by 4,000,000 people.
First predecessors of allotment organisations exist for more than 200 years. An important event in its history was the creation of the first "Schreberverein" (allotment association) in Leipzig in 1864. Many allotment gardeners consider this moment as the origin of the German allotment garden movement. A survey of the history of the German allotment garden movement as well as interesting exhibition objects can be seen in the "Deutsche Kleingärtnermuseum" (German allotment garden museum) in Leipzig which opened its doors in 1996. (www.kleingarten-museum.de).
Allotment gardens play an important role as recreation and natural area in the cities, especially in the densely built Germany. The cultivation of fresh fruit and vegetables with bio quality brings a noticeable relieve to the household budget of allotment gardener families. They are an important compensation for people living in town. But all benefit from allotments: The allotment sites constitute an important part of the "green lungs" in the urban concentrations. They bring light and air in built up areas, equilibrate the increasing sealing of our landscape and provide a better urban climate.
The German federation organises courses on different subjects as for example: a nature friendly gardening, adequate planting as well as legal questions. In every association a specialist adviser continues his knowledge to the members. It is the interlocutor for all questions concerning the allotment garden and gives advice to towns and communes while planning allotment garden sites.