A Little Witch’s Kitchen on the Farm

Stories from the Farm, 09.11.2017, Eva Krallinger-Gruber

If you close your ears, you can hear the goat bells ringing. And when they stand still for a moment while grazing, you can hear...nothing. We have arrived at Herzoghof im Pinzgau. Anita Widauer and her husband Johannes have concentrated their business on two aspects: end-to-end organic living and herbs. But we’ll start from the beginning.

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Gläser für Salbenherstellung, Biohof Herzog in Leogang, Salzburger Land | © Urlaub am Bauernhof Salzburger Land / Matthias Gruber

Although Anita never wanted to become a farmer, she still ended up on a farm. The things we do for love. And Anita’s love led her to settle at the Herzoghof in 1997. A year later came her son, Johannes, and later a daughter, Magdalena.

So she wasn’t completely helpless when she took over her parents-in-law’s business and developed the hospitality business at the farm. Soon after, the place was renovated and the rooms were made suitable for allergy sufferers. How did that come about? Very simply: Anita herself suffers from allergies, and wanted to be able to offer her guests the thing that she also longed for: an atmosphere you can breathe freely in! Anita is very good at her job. Her organic breakfasts are famous throughout the region – she doesn’t serve anything that doesn’t comply with strict organic guidelines.

And it always takes two.

Anita’s husband is just as committed to the cause of organic farming. Johannes, the heir to the farm, is an organic farmer with every fibre of his being. The couple were awarded the Salzburg organic award in 2014 for their passion and dedication. ‘That spurred us on to continue what we were doing and to get even more closely involved’, Johannes explains. When you hear him talking about the topic, you notice instantly: he is completely sincere. At Herzoghof, organic farming is a duty, not just a marketing ploy.

A herb witch who ended up in Pinzgau.

Anita’s passion is not just for organic produce. She’s also a herb witch. Anita has even completed a degree in traditional European homeopathy in Unken, and as a hard-working farmer, she quickly integrated her new-found knowledge into the range of products and services offered to the guests. While she tells us her plans for her knowledge of herbs, it begins to drizzle. ‘No problem’, Anita smiles. Johannes built her a wooden hut with an open front for exactly this kind of Salzburg weather. That’s where we’re about to take refuge.

Anita has already got everything ready for an ointment workshop. She’s going to make pine resin salve and marigold ointment. Anybody who has knowledge of homeopathy will know the value of both these ointments. We want to know how the participants respond to the workshop. Surprisingly well, Anita explains. It’s not just the tourists visiting the Widauers for a holiday that book the workshop, it also attracts people from the local area who are interested in learning more about herbs. Anita passes on her knowledge with devotion. From the stalk to the glass. Together, we go around the herb garden collecting marigolds, and Johannes already sourced the pine resin before we arrived. We quickly realise: Anita has a real talent for natural cosmetics and takes all of her remedies from nature.

The Herzoghof is special...

...because at the middle of the farm sits a “herb witch”, introducing the guests to the secret healing powers of herbs. And because the Herzoghof is an exemplary organic operation, and you can see the closed loop recycling in action.

The Herzoghof is home to...

...Johannes, Anita, and their children Magdalena and Johannes Junior.

At the Herzoghof, you can...

...learn how to make ointments from natural ingredients, such as marigold or pine resin, and find out what organic farming has to offer. And enjoy possibly the best organic breakfast around with a completely clean conscience.

At the Herzoghof, you can find...

...lots of herbs, cattle, goats, cats, a lovingly furnished wooden hut that offers the perfect refuge in the warm summer rain

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Eva Krallinger-Gruber
www.fraeuleinflora.at, 22 Article(s)
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