I Put My Heart and Soul Into Farming

Stories from the Farm, 28.06.2021, Farm Holidays in Upper Austria

Johanna Rebhandl hosts guests on her farm “Ferienhof Kandler” in the Kalkalpen National Park region. She tells us about her childhood on the farm, the importance of sharing traditional knowledge and a farm life in harmony with nature. 

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Johanna und Josef vom Ferienhof Kandler in Roßleithen, Nationalparkregion Kalkalpen | © Urlaub am Bauernhof Oberösterreich / Daniel Gollner

I Put My Heart and Soul Into Farming

Authenticity and traditions are of utmost importance to the farmers on the Ferienhof Kandler in the Kalkalpen National Park region. Johanna Rebhandl puts her heart and soul into her farm that she runs in harmony with nature and her livestock. That’s what guests enjoy!

Since I Was Little

Johanna’s father died at a young age. From that day on, the whole family had to pull together. Johanna and her three siblings helped their mother with the daily work on the farm. Together, they got through these hard times. There was no lack of tasks for all the helping hands on the farm. With combined forces, the family managed to keep the farm afloat. "For me, work has never been a burden. I am glad that I grew up like this. You need to work to get the feeling of having accomplished something. It makes you feel grateful. That’s a part of life! I would like to share these values with my kids and with the kids who spend their holidays on our farm", Johanna points out.

Farming Is My Life

Although it was her brother who took over the farm she grew up on, Johanna’s strong bonds with agriculture have remained ever since. She completed training courses and acquired the necessary agricultural skills for running a farm. Today, she and her husband call the farm Ferienhof Kandler in Roßleithen in the Kalkalpen National Park region, Upper Austria, their home. Grandma Gerti and the couple’s five children also live here. The diverse dairy farm is home to 110 head of cattle, 55 of which are dairy cows and about 60 calves. The female cattle spends summer on the alpine pastures in the surroundings. A love of animals is one of the family’s guidelines. You can tell by the variety of four-pawed friends that live in the barn. There’s a few pigs, a pot-bellied pig, pygmy goats, chicken, ducks, cats and bunnies. Johanna knows the name of every single animal. "I’m spending so much time with my animals, every day. I know them!"

"We can create something, every single day!"

Johanna Rebhandl

Johanna cares a lot about locally sourced food. Yes, it takes a lot of work and responsibility to produce food and to raise awareness about how precious home-made products are. Johanna, however, is ready to take up this challenge. She shows her guests where food comes from and how it’s produced: milk, cider, bacon, yoghurt and eggs, for example. When it comes to producing cider, the Rebhandl family gets really excited. They only use fruit from their own orchards. The whole family pitches in when the apples and pears need to be collected. It’s important that everyone likes what he or she is doing. "In the end, you can taste that it’s made with love", Johanna is convinced.

Our Priority: Animal Welfare

Nina, the oldest cow on the farm, has given birth to 12 calves and produced more than 130,000 litres of milk. This is a sign that the animals here want for nothing. Johanna can be proud of that! The animals can do what they want, sleep, eat or lie outside the whole day long. "I think it’s very important that our kids help on the farm. For a child, there’s nothing better than growing up on a farm!"

Guests Are More Than That

Farm life is fascinating for guests who spend their holiday here. "A lot of our guests return year after year", Johanna says with a radiant smile. On her farm, you’re not only a guest. You can actually take part in farming activities and create something new. The barn door is always open. You can watch the farmers milk the cows or lend a hand. Once a week, everyone gets together around the barbecue. The highlight: having a chat and tasting home-made cider or milk from the dairy cows in the barn. Spend your holiday on the farm Ferienhof Kandler. You will take home unforgettable insights into farm life and beautiful memories of the Kalkalpen National Park region.

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