Organic farmer Farm management: Erlacher Herbert
“Organic agriculture … a matter of growing conviction.“
My grandmother acquired the Törggelehof farm. „Torggel“ is the name for wine press in the local German dialect. A few liters of Yellow Muscat have been regularly produced for own consumption since then. My father had been a fruit producer since the 1960s before I took over the farm in 2003. The Törggelehof farm has been run according to organic principles for more than 15 years.
At the beginning, I was not completely convinced whether the extra work of organic production would be worth it, but today I could no longer imagine another production form. My wife, who grew up on a cattle-breeding farm, helps me a lot. Our farm is getting crowded: We have three girls, one boy and we are now expecting our fifth child. Furthermore, we rear goats, rabbits and chicken and grow Royal Gala, Pinova, Golden Delicious, Fuji and Braeburn apples. Organic Golden Delicious apples, Val Venosta’s prime variety, from hillside orchards give me a lot of joy thanks to constant yields.
I plan to expand our organic assortment with other apple varieties in future. Cosmic Crisp and Natyra would be especially interesting in my view. We also grow potatoes for own consumption. I intently watch market developments together with other apple producers. It looks as if demand for organic Topaz would again increase and this is why it will also become part of my wish list. I’m quite open to innovation and still grateful to my friend who convinced me to ride the wave of organic.
Working at the farm gives me great pleasure and is consistent in itself: If shield bugs, for example, reproduce too much in the grass between the apple rows, I mow it and give it to my rejoicing rabbits. When water from the Sopranes lakes in the alpine Gruppo di Tessa Nature Park and water from the so-called Etschwaal channel is used for irrigating my organic apple trees… then the natural circle is getting complete somehow. Organic producers are part of it and the Törggelehof farm is part of it.
Where I live
The elegant precocity
The tasty gala appears every summer in its reddish yellow shell and the new apple season begins.
September - March
smooth shell, spherical shape, slightly conical, pale yellow base colour with bright red and striped cover