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Sepp Holzer Interview

publication date: May 10, 2011
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Sepp Holzer Interview
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Ever since our childhood, which was permeated by farm life on our parents mountain farms, we have been deeply rooted in nature. Many of the ideas, which we have now been successfully realised, date from that time. Nature was our playground and we learnt to understand it. Like most of the children of mountain farmers of that generation we had to help working on the farm. Since we hardly had any toys, we played with soil, water, plants, roots and stones. There was no limit to our phantasy.

At an early age we started to grow plants in our mother's flowerbox and very soon playing with nature turned into a passion for every living and growing thing. When I began my training as an orchard farmer, I was being led onto the wrong track: farming with fertilisers and pesticides.

Very soon I began to realise that conventional farming would only create higher costs, more work, and plants that are dependent on constant care. So after a few failures, I returned to the farming methods which I had been used to as a child. For more than 30 years my wife and I have been running the Krameterhof in the Lungau region, which is in the province of Salzburg, and belongs to the mountain farming zones III and IV.

We have extended our farm from the original 24 hectares to 45 hectares. Major areas of the farm that were barren have been made productive again. As a result the standard value of the farm was raised from 1.744 € to 17.950 €. Our way of thinking and farming within the natural cycles and interactions proved to be worthwhile.

It was only in 1995 that we leart, that our unconventional approach to agriculture could be described as Permaculture. The term was coined by Australian environmental scientist Bill Mollison. Permaculture involves farming in cycles, on the model of self-sufficient natural ecosystems. Sepp Holzer

"I have lived on the Krameterhof for more than 30 years, and I have learnt that you can overcome the most difficult situations if only you care about nature and are thankful for what it offers to you. Mother Earth belongs to the Creator and her bounty is what we can experience." Veronika Holzer
                                
The Krameterhof
LageplanSituated in Ramingstein, Lungau (Salzburg) on the slopes of Mount Schwarzenberg Krameterhof extends as far as 45 hectares at varying altitudes ranging from 1100 to 1500 metres above sea level.