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Tscholl Patrick

Organic farmer - Sägehof

"Of freedom in the fresh air."

My story

Our "Sägehof" farm on the Mount Mezzodì has been in my family since 1893. The name of the farm, which lies at about 1,300 metres on the Alliz stream, comes from the old wood saw, which was already active in the 17th century and was driven by the bubbling water. Cauliflower and radicchio used to be grown here. However, since the soils are not particularly calcareous, my family decided to give our or-chards over to their true purpose, fruit growing. While fungi and other pests such as the red spider mite, blood louse and codling moth put many an apple grower to the test in flat areas, the ideal habitat for the crisp Golden Delicious is created here on the steep Val Venosta mountains. The mountain apple naturally encounters few op-ponents here and thus allows the use of plant protection to be reduced to a mini-mum. Farming according to organic guidelines makes even more sense here. The location up here is ideal for my Golden Delicious and the location a little lower at 1,000 metres is just as ideal for my two other varieties Topaz and Pinova. A few me-tres above the farm, cherries reward us with a rich harvest. They, too, hardly need any plant protection, it is enough to cover them completely with suitable weather pro-tection. This is our best solution against rain and unwanted insects.

My parents support me in every way. I took over the farm from my father in 2021, after working as a farmhand for my cousin for a long time and gaining valuable experi-ence there and with other farmers. Especially in organic farming, experience is very important, and it is good that sometimes you had to "sow your wild oats". As the third and youngest son, I of all people have been lucky enough to carry on the family farming tradition. Although I am a trained mechanic, after the three years of training at the agricultural high school in Upper Val Venosta I felt quite soon that I was des-tined for work in the fresh air. I am a very freedom-loving person. I like to feel the free light-heartedness most of all directly in the apple orchard, high up on the mountains or on the road with my motorbike. Working in fruit growing is never boring and al-lows for a wonderfully flexible management of one's time, at least in some months of the year. For example, I feel absolute relaxation when pruning trees in winter and then work "only" 40 hours a week, which is all I can do because of the light condi-tions. In other months, nature dictates a somewhat stricter timetable and provides a non-stop commitment. Especially in organic farming, natural beneficial insects count even more, and I see my task as being as harmonious as possible with lady-birds & co. I manage to do this at any time of day: whether early in the morning or late in the evening, I make my rounds through the apple orchards and look after their well-being. Only when that is done do I swing back onto the saddle of my mo-torbike and there I feel another form of freedom that is just as sweet as the fruits of our Val Venosta apple orchards.

Where I live



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