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Waldner Kurt

Organic farmer - Playrhof

„Lovely berries feel at home in Upper Val Venosta.“

My story

Here in „Munteplair“, a lovely district of San Valentino alla Muta, people grew grain in the past – just as everywhere on the alluvial fan of the so-called Malles heath in Upper Val Venosta. For a long time, our region was Tyrol’s historic granary. Much has changed during the course of the centuries: livestock farming become more and more important. I also have 10 cows that produce a rich organic milk. A few years ago, I stopped cultivating radicchio and lettuce and started growing raspberries and red currants without much experience.

I learnt the hard way in my first year: I thought that I had planted autumn raspberries instead of summer raspberries and my whole harvest was infested with worms. But I didn’t give up. I knew that our area is ideal for the cultivation of berries. In winter, the sun hides behind the trees and thus the snow stays on the ground for a longer period, which means that the raspberry bushes sprout later. This has the advantage that late frosts in spring are already over before the raspberries start flowering. Here, between Lake Resia and Lake San Valentino alla Muta, my acquired knowledge allows me to achieve satisfactory results with berries as well. I learnt that I have to bend down the tips of the raspberry bushes in autumn to avoid withering. In case of pesticides I use the natural neem oil, although I must say that the altitude of 1,500 m automatically reduces many risks. This, however, is also the reason why I have to irrigate my field with drinking water, which can be quite expensive.

The berry harvest lasts at least one month. My two children help me a lot. The berries always have to be harvested after the first hay cut, which means a lot of work at the same time in July and August. For me it’s a great enrichment that I can dedicate myself to both livestock farming and the cultivation of berries according to the principles of ecological agriculture. No matter if animal or plant – the production of food should always be environmentally friendly.

Where I live



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