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Discover south tyrol
The pleasure of tasting
Holidays in the South Tyrolean farmsteads
Oliver Peña Luque
Basile De Wulf
A chat with our farmers
Interview with Christian Raffeiner
apples are much more than just a healthy natural product. They are daughters of the fusion of man, nature and tradition: a beautiful, especially truthful presentation! We farmers work according to the principle of integrated and organic fruit farming and do our best to maintain the natural balance of the apple orchards. Nature is everything: we know this very well, so we are obliged and want to protect it. Every day in our work we strive not to waste resources, to promote biodiversity and to treat the soil and plants with care. We do it for the future of our children and grandchildren.
Still not convinced? I’ll tell you what I do for the environment.
My name is
I am originally from Settequerce
, where I live and work with my family. Why do I cultivate apples? It’s simple:
I like working outdoors
. Even as a child I loved spending time in apple orchards and enjoying nature in the fields.
I take care of apple trees all year round, from winter pruning and thinning to pesticide treatments: I do
everything to keep the trees and fruit healthy and vigorous
. And there is plenty to do, believe me! But seeing the branches full of healthy apples is very satisfying.
I think it is important to preserve different varieties
. I cultivate more than one on my farm: Gala, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap, Fuji as well as the club apples Kanzi
, Pink Lady
. The harvest season runs from 10 August to the end of November and then nature goes into hibernation, but not me.
Every day I slip out of bed very early, around 6 am. In winter I go to the apple orchard between 8 and 8.30 am and do the pruning. In spring I start earlier: when I do preventive work for plants I sometimes start at 3 or 4 am. As a rule,
I prefer to let nature take its course by relying on natural organisms
, which saves me some work! However, when I have no alternative, I use plant protection products that are
strictly tested, non-aggressive and easily degradable
I also do mulching, pruning and thinning... all depending on the season and weather conditions. I have my apples under control 24 hours a day, so I can quickly react to any unforeseen events. One thing is certain:
only healthy trees grow, flourish and bear delicious fruit
Working in a sustainable manner is becoming increasingly important
– I recognise this every day. We have a limited amount of land available for fruit growing, which we want to manage as well as possible. To do so,
we must see the environment as an ally
My land is my most precious asset
and the basis of my farm. It is where my apple trees grow. To help protect the environment and combat climate change, for example, I have installed
at my farm. And that’s not all.
We have built an
in the garden and placed
in the apple orchards. In spring, we move the
close to the fields to help pollinate the apple blossoms. I let flowers grow along the ditches and in some areas I only cut the grass once or twice a year to allow the
to develop seeds and give the insects a place of refuge.
Nature is not only my work environment, but also the place where I love to rest and recuperate
. When I have time in winter I like to go skiing. During the year, I treat myself to a bike ride after work, for example to Lake Monticolo or Lake Caldaro. Nothing too strenuous – I want to be fit the next day – but I don’t use electric bikes, just
pure, authentic South Tyrolean manpower
A WORD WITH OUR FARMERS
Hardly anyone knows as much about the cultivation of apples as our farmers. We met our experts for a short chat.
Discover south tyrol
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