What is the point of luxury living
Wonneberg. "If people take out the right to breed farm animals for consumption, then they must at least offer them an absolute luxury life": That says Thomas Reese, who runs the Huber farm in the small hamlet of Zell in the municipality together with his wife Nici Braun Wonneberg operates. “Otherwise I couldn't do it at all,” he adds. And that this remark is true with luxury life, the visitor sees it at every turn, even when he approaches the courtyard in this secluded corner of the world.
On the one hand the horses graze peacefully in their spacious paddock with a stable connection, on the other hand the Pinzgauer cattle are comfortably ruminating in their open stable. The Swabian-Halle pasture pigs, which are allowed to spend the whole summer on the pasture, feel very comfortable with their offspring and boars in their spacious accommodation in the stable building. In front of the house a colorful flock of chickens, including roosters, eagerly pecks for something to eat, and this idyllic country life is completed and rounded off by the two dogs and the equally black house cat.
Thomas Reese and Nici Braun made it from Aschaffenburg and Bad Aibling to this blessed area on the edge of the municipality of Wonneberg. The two of them took over the old, large Huber farm - and turned this stroke of luck into an organic-certified model business. They have been running the farm for seven years, the buildings of which they transformed from the “charm” of the 60s and 70s into a modern business in the first few years - without the venerable farm losing any of its character. In addition to their enormous diligence and craftsmanship, the two company owners also have a keen sense of how to bring an old building into modern times in such a way that it remains an integral part of the landscape.
When Thomas Reese and Nici Braun had more or less completed the basic renovation work, they began what had been their goal from the beginning: to establish an agriculture that is based on species-appropriate open stalls far beyond the prescribed standards. The basis was around 20 hectares of our own land, almost exclusively pasture, and a further 20 hectares of leased land, from which mainly hay and silage are obtained organically. The cows do not get concentrated feed at all, some of the feed has to be bought for the pigs.
Farming began with six calves, one Simmental cattle that came to the farm and three suckler cows from a Demeter farm that stopped, as well as six pigs that were later joined by a boar. The suckler cow husbandry operated here is an extensive type of beef cattle husbandry, in which the calves are allowed to drink the best herbal milk directly from the udder until they are ten months old. Depending on the weather, the grazing season begins in April and then the cattle enjoy the lush pastures around the farm in the warm season. You spend the winter in the light-flooded straw barn with a large outdoor area and snow paddock. They are fed from hay and silage. This near-natural feeding, a high slaughter age of up to 36 months for the ox and the special breed guarantee exceptional meat quality.
The pigs, which have pronounced social behavior, live on the Huber-Hof in a family group with boars, sows and piglets, in summer on the pasture and the Sauacker. Here the pigs are allowed to live as it suits their species. With their urge to move, they can pursue their natural foraging for clover, herbs, roots and protein or wallow in their self-dug mud bath. In winter there is a straw barn with an additional run for extensive sunbathing. Then they get clover silage, grain and hay to eat.
In addition to four of their own, the horses on the farm are school and boarding horses, which are kept in open stables - without boxes - as close to nature as possible. Lots of light, air, movement and social contact ensure that the animals are balanced and content. Guided rides and riding lessons are also offered here.
The farm shop opens on Saturday
What is produced on the Huber-Hof is almost exclusively sold directly from the farm - up to now provisionally from a trailer at appointments that were spread via word of mouth and the Internet. Now, however, Thomas Reese and Nici Braun are making the final preparations for the expansion of the butcher's shop and the nicely designed farm shop, which will open next Saturday, November 30th, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is also food and drink at reasonable prices, and the farm can be visited.
The last two dates on which the farm shop is open areon Friday, December 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, December 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The cattle are slaughtered by our own butcher on the farm, the pigs in the slaughterhouse in Laufen. While only meat was sold in the beginning, a wide range of products has now developed: from Pressack, liver sausage, Kassler, cooked salami and Lyoner to smoked Wammerl, cooked and smoked ham, sausages, Kaskrainer, blood and liver sausages to special meat specialties like Tomahawk, Porterhouse, T-Bone and from December also Dry Age. The meat and some of the sausage products are offered under the EU organic seal, some of the sausage range is processed using conventional methods. "The most important things for our customers are animal welfare and good taste," says Thomas Reese.
"For us, a direct marketing company like the Huberhof is a stroke of luck," says Marlene Berger-Stöckl from the Waginger See eco-model region. “We are much better equipped with farm shops in the northern part of the region than in the south and are pleased that an interesting business is now being added in Wonneberg. The keeping of organic grazing pigs is so far a rarity, our organic producer list is also enriched by the new offer ”.
The operation also includes the old milker's house, which the two owners have converted into a wonderful holiday home with great taste and which is often rented. The view from here is a postcard idyll with a view far into the country to the mountains - and the old manure place has become a swimming pool. If you want to go on holiday here, you will experience agriculture like out of a picture book, but not an adventure farm, as is expressly emphasized.
Article by Hans Eder on November 28, 2019
- Eco-model region: Waginger See - Rupertiwinkel
- Address: Rathaus, Salzburger Str. 1, 83329 Waging am See
- Phone: 08681 / 4005-37
- Homepage: www.oekomodellregionen.bayern
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