„According to the old title, the Schwarzmaier estate of Maisenberg dates back to the year 1700. The current four-side courtyard with inn was partly rebuilt on old walls around 1890/1900, and has been preserved to this day“, our partner farmers Luise and Franz Egger proudly tell us.
After his school years, the Bioland-farmer completed an agricultural education and started a family with his wife Luise at the age of 22. Later he decided to continue his education and found a new job in banking. In addition to helping with the parent’s business, Franz also worked at various banks in the credit and real estate sector. In 2013 he resigned from his position and, together with his wife Luise, devoted himself entirely to the renovation of the historic four-side farm and to organic farming.
„My mother came to us with increasing age and asked us to take over and continue the farm, in order to avoid a sale. That was a heartfelt wish of my mother. After careful consideration, we have decided to manage and continue the farm as an organic farm. Since we have been practicing organic horticulture for over 30 years and have always attached importance to a fully-fledged and natural lifestyle, this was the right decision for us.“ – Franz Egger on the takeover and conversion of the parental farm to organic farming.
Growing methods at the Egger-farm
„After various training seminars for organic farming, we have focused on the restoration of the soil, the building of humus and regenerative agriculture. I try to work without plough, with under-seeds in grain and intermediate fruits for the land rot until the next main crop. Our drush fruits (spelt, oats, brewing barley, wheat, beans, soya) are additional treated with EM and compost teas and are therefore more vital and resistant to diseases and pests“, Franz describes his cultivation methods.
When they took over the farm, they had already started planting tree avenues and a fruit meadow. Further planting activities are planned in the future.
„The restoration of meadows rich in species through the contractual nature projection programme, the planting of trees and shrubs in the cleared landscapes in order to re-establish habitats for the sometimes endangered animal and bird world, is very close to our heart.“
The fact that nature is always good for surprises, even the organic farmer had to experience on his own and suffer some setback. Nevertheless, Franz is convinced: „Every m² of land that is managed without agricultural poisons can only be a benefit for nature and the environment and thus for our children, the suceeding generations.“
In particular, humus build-up and associated storage of Co2 will play an increasingly important role in the face of increasing climate change. Humus-rich soils have a much higher water holding volume and are much better able to cope with long dry periods.
This is what they appreciate about the Barnhouse partnership
„We like beeing a Barnhouse partner farmer because the possibility of regional marketing without long transport routes makes sense and we like to support this. The existing supply contracts also provide us with a certain degree of planning security“.