Gut Oberstockstall - a living farm organism
We live in a world driven by specialisation and efficiency. It had always been clear to me that this would not be my way of life. Therefore, I have been constantly striving for a sustainable farm that operates in a closed circuit: agriculture, lifestock and viticulture. Our cattle's manure is the best fertiliser and our fresh hay the best feed. Each part supports one another and eventually results in a circular economy based on a living farm-organism.
THE CLOSED CIRCUIT
The synergy effect of human and animal
Since 2008 we have had 'Waldviertler Blondvieh' grazing on our meadows and orchards. An indigenous and strong breed of cattle that used to be held as a working animal and milk and meat supplier. Today, we hold them as suckler cows where multiple generations live together in open stables and have unlimited access to our paddocks. Most of the time you will find our cows in the old apricot orchard where they love to unwind and graze. It is not only wonderful to observe but it also comes with the benefit of naturally reduced plant covers and results in positive soil flora enhancement. Besides that, we need the cattle's manure for some of the biodynamic preparations which we prepare ourselves on the estate.
THE CLOSED CIRCUIT
The continuous search for cultivating our fields the most sustainable way led us to Turiel's ridge-planting method. With light tractors and ridgers, the soil is aerated yet not turned over completely and weeds such as thistle, twitch grass and dock basically vanish automatically. This allows for a much greater surface - a loose and fine rooted soil where our crop can take in beneficial nutrients, sunlight and water more effectively. Each ridge develops its own micro climate. The uneven surface allows for variations in temperature and eventually lets the soil breathe.
In 2019, we started to plant quinoa on our fields in the proven four-year crop rotation. More information coming soon.
Our vegetable garden and the project Fermentarium
Three hectares of our surface are dedicated to the cultivation of vegetables and are farmed by Rudi Hoheneder. Just like us, Rudi cultivates the fields according to biodynamic principles and Turiel's ridge-planting method. From summer to winter, he supplies the members of his community supported agriculture with fresh vegetables. Also, some of the vegetables are fermented and result in bottled and pickled specialities.
Enhancing the diversity of species
Twenty years ago we realised that less and less birds were staying on our estate. So, we planted shelter belts of multiple trees and bushes to enhance the diversity and create natural nesting areas. However, those shelter belts were not only beneficial for all kinds of birds, they have also created new habitat for other species which has now led to an increased biodiversity in our agricultural fields, vineyards and around our farm.