„As if I Lived There Myself“
Michaela Pitterl, farmer on the “Erbhof Hofer”, wants to offer her guests peace and tranquility.
An Anchor in a Hectic World
In times when “place of residence” is becoming more of a temporary thing, the historic farm “Erbhof Hofer” in Tessenberg seems to be an anchor in a world that is getting more hectic by the day. Back in 1777, the farmhouse passed into the possession of the Pitterl family. Precisely 220 years later, Peter-Paul Pitterl took over the farm. Today, he and his wife Michaela cultivate 21 hectares of land as a part-time activity. Peter-Paul works as a stove fitter and tiler. Michaela has her own realm. She’s passionate about hosting guests. Everyone who spends a holiday here, appreciates that.
Look for Peace - Find Peace
The Pitterl family offers three holiday apartments, one of them directly in the farmhouse and two in the former local school. All of them are tasteful retreats with timber furnishings. They make every visitor marvel. “When I furnished the apartments, I did it in a way that I’d like if I was to live there myself”, Michaela tells us. “For me, it’s important that the furnishings are of high quality, the mattresses, the beds. Then, I can rent out the apartments with a clear conscience.”
The guests appreciate it. And yet, in the beginning, the Pitterl family was not sure if accommodating guests was a good idea. “I thought it over for a long time”, the farmer admits. “I assumed that guests would expect entertainment. And that’s quite difficult if it’s a part-time job. Actually, we’re not a typical farm stay.” Today, Michaela knows that there was no reason to worry. A lot of guests don’t want to be entertained. On the contrary, they are looking for peace and tranquility. That’s what they find on the historic farm.
An Agricultural Network
Would you like to take a look behind the scenes of a farm? Here, there are plenty of ways to get familiar with farm life. Cows, calves, pigs, sheep, chicken and a rooster call this place their home. Taste delicious food that’s produced right on the spot or on farms in the surroundings. Michaela Pitterl was the representative of female farmers in her district. She’s an active networker. Her guests can grab a “farmer’s basket” and set out on a shopping tour in the region. Those who don’t enjoy cooking can go to one of the taverns and restaurants that the Pitterl family cooperates with and indulge in the local cuisine.
Cooperation is also the main reason why Michaela Pitterl is an active member of the association “Urlaub am Bauernhof” (“Farm Holidays in Austria”). “They represent family farms just like ours. They are there for you at any time, they come up with new ideas and they care if you need help.” Although the Pitterl family promotes their accommodation “Haus Pitterl” and “Erbhof Pitterl” on a beautiful private website, the host emphasises that the association’s website (www.farmholidays.com) is “simply great”. Just like other members she likes the so-called “channel manager”. What’s this? “The moment a booking is confirmed, the system guarantees that the apartment is not available on any of our channels anymore, be it Booking, Feratel or our private website. That makes our work a lot easier. The annual membership fee pays off. This channel manager would already be very expensive if you had to buy it exclusively.”
For her, the regular quality controls of the members are another positive factor. Her farm got awarded 4 flowers. “It gives guests an idea of what to expect.” Also during the summer of the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional farm in Tessenberg was fully booked. Michaela Pitterl had been happy with the season until Germany issued a travel warning. However, she’s still optimistic about the future and doesn’t stop making new plans. A beautiful historic mill is part of the farm. They want to restore it and grind their own flour - the basic ingredient for delicious, home-made bread and for “Nigelen”, a traditional delight.
Promoting Authentic Values
They don’t plan to build more rooms. Even though, her older daughters are eager to help on the farm, it’s simply not possible as a part-time economic activity, the landlady tells us. Finally, she has some advice for all those who think about starting to offer farm holidays: “If you’re authentic and passionate about what you do, you’ll welcome exactly the guests who will feel good at your place.”
The association “Urlaub am Bauernhof” (“Farm Holidays in Austria”) counts more than 2,500 members all across Austria, 347 of which are in Tyrol. The cooperation sees itself as “ambassadors of farm life”. Members can benefit from a range of tools designed for promoting their travel offers in an extensive and professional way. The website and online booking engine www.farmholidays.com is at the heart of the offer. The platform only promotes farms that have met the quality criteria and are certified with “flowers”.