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Alber Herbert

Organic farmer - Eichholz

”You have to stay cool and be constant in organic production.“

My story

I took over my father’s farm in 1994. Unlike him, I have developed a healthy indifference he didn’t have. What I mean is the ability to sleep well at night even though the leaves of my apple trees show small imperfections, which would have made my father nervous. As an organic producer, I think you have to accept that nature has its own will, which doesn’t always correspond to our wishes. At the Eichholz-Hof farm, we’ve always made little use of pesticides, even before the conversion to organic. The ideal location of our orchards very much facilitated the conversion to organic. The results of leaf analyses were always above average, even though we only intervened very little.

Nature has been very generous here in Ciardes above the village center with best conditions. Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and my future Envy apples grow very well thanks to the perfect climate without much intervention. I harvest the apples of my newly planted Envy trees when still small so that the trees can keep most of their energy. Then, in a few years, I will be able to harvest bright red jewels in November with large fruit sizes. My „new“ apple variety is said to be rather scab-resistant, but less resistant to mildew. We will see but I’m looking forward to it a lot.

My father planted the first apple trees in 1960. He still mowed hay for the cows between the trees back then. We have, however, only grown fruit since the beginning of the 1990s but animals are still welcome at our farm. Our 24 sheep spend part of the summer at the alpine pasture and the rest of the year at our farm. In summer, they like eating picked apples, but they are even more fond of the chestnuts of our 40 chestnut trees in the large chestnut grove. Unfortunately, chestnuts are harvested at the same time as Golden Delicious apples, which is especially stressful for my wife who also has to cook for the harvesters besides the apple and chestnut harvest. But fortunately we have a large family with three girls, one boy and my parents so that there’s always somebody who can help.

We are all happy about the conversion to organic. We now notice insects that we haven’t noticed before and that probably weren’t there in such abundance. Wild bees, bumblebees, butterflies, green lizards and many earthworms seem to have settled in our orchards and we even no longer regard high nettles as annoying, but simply as part of the whole.
 

Where I live

My harvest
 
Golden Delicious
The classic delicious
Golden Delicious is our main variety and, therefore, the queen of Val Venosta apples. That the most popular apple has a real quality, can be seen in its lovely red cheek. By the way, this is typical of fruits on a hillside.
Availability
October - September
 
Appearance: 
greenish yellow to golden yellow
Features: 
juicy with very fine and soft pulp
Taste: 
sweet with delicate acidity
Scilate / envy™
The fresh surprise
For its juicy sweetness and light pear note, you can really envy the Scilate / envy™. In addition, you can share it very well with friends, because even if the apple likes to sunbathe, its pulp never gets tanned.
Availability
November - April
 
Appearance: 
red background colour, slightly striped
Features: 
very juicy, compact and crunchy pulp
Taste: 
sweet and juicy with a light pear aroma
 
 

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