Shopping at farm stores in Austria
You can’t get it any fresher than this: Many farms invite visitors to purchase their products directly on site.
When Philip Wind gets something into his head, he also puts it into action. Whether it's scaling sheer cliffs as an extreme climber or in his job as an organic farmer and master butcher. He not only lives and works at the Greilhof, in Salzburg’s Lungau region, but also loves sharing his knowledge about this with his customers at the market.
The sun is just starting to rise and the air in the city of Salzburg is still cold and crisp when Philip Wind sets up his stand at the market by the Andrä church. Right across from Mirabell Palace, the passionate organic farmer sells meat products from his own farm and from other organic farmers in Lungau. Philip Wind is blond, in his mid-thirties, and thoroughly fit—someone who practises extreme sports and has always known what he wants.
“Even as a child, I knew that I one day wanted to take over the Greilhof from my parents, because I am a passionate farmer and master butcher, and I also love sharing my knowledge about this with my customers at the farmers’ market.”
For Philip Wind, it is a matter of course to regularly set up shop at the Salzburg market: “Only here do I find out what my customers really think and what is important to them,” says the dedicated farmer. “For example, they want to know where the animals grow up and what they are fed. This is also the reason why I completed the training as a master butcher and have specialised in organic fresh meat.”
“Our parents, Gottfried and Adelheid Wind, demonstrated to us what pleasure they got out of raising cows and pigs.” Instead of driving the animals up to the Alpine pasture, they leased a seven-hectare field right by the barn so the livestock have enough space to move. Thirty years ago, the Greilhof was the first farm in the Lungau region to begin with direct marketing, and twenty years ago the first to switch over to organic operations.
Farmers often have a hard time finding a wife, “because you have to love farm life”, laughs Philip, “which is why I’m happy every day that I met my wife in SalzburgerLand while rock climbing.” Philip’s wife, Corinna, was so taken with the young organic farmer that she promptly left her job in a chemical lab and took up agriculture.
And today, the couple not only shares this passion; they are also the parents of two children, Daniel and Miriam. Being an organic farmer is not a job but a calling. “It is simply easier to reconcile job and family if you work together,” says Philip Wind with conviction. And living in Austria’s sunniest region, Lungau, perhaps also helps one face the day-to-day challenges with a smile.
Lungau is Austria’s newest biosphere park. Its carefully tended cultivated landscape, with meadows, grazing pastures, streams, and woods on the valley floor surrounding the towns of Mariapfarr, St. Andrä, and Mauterndorf, has been recognised by UNESCO.
Typical for the region are also such valleys as the Weißpriach, Göriach, and Lessach Valleys, which lead up into the mountains. The towns and villages are largely unspoilt and old traditions are maintained. Not only the agriculture sector but also the tourism industry strives to attain a sustainable development in this valuable habitat.