The Organic Breakfast Queen

Stories from the Farm, 18.09.2018, Stefan Heinisch

Organic food, tranquility, health & relaxation - the best things in life. These are the Unterwalcher family’s priorities on their farm Bacherhof. The “Bacherhof” is a self-sufficient farm. The farmers’ philosophy: “home-made of course”. Sustainable farming and a sustainable lifestyle is not just a statement here. It’s an inherent part of life. The facilities and treatments for a spa and wellness break on the farm can compete with a hotel. And the setting, well, it’s like the piano nobile in a palazzo with a fine view of Lake Millstättersee, a gem of a lake. It certainly adds to the feeling of well-being.

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Frau schiebt das Brot in den Ofen | © Urlaub am Bauernhof Kärnten/ Daniel Gollner

Anita’s life script did not necessarily contain taking over her parent’s farm. The fact that her husband was deeply rooted in the province of Salzburg did not make it easier to return to her home in Carinthia. When he was finally ready to say goodbye to “his” Salzburg, as he says, a new chapter began in the lives of the two. On the farm where she grew up. At home, where her heart is. Now, both of them are in tune with the times, in a world that’s more and more inspired by organic and vegan lifestyles.

From the very beginning, it was clear that the Unterwalcher family would focus 100% on organic farming, without compromises. Since the farm is set on a hillside in Carinthia’s Nock Mountains, intensive agriculture wouldn’t have been an option. But that’s not what they aimed for anyways. Today, it’s Anita’s and her family’s mission or task to raise awareness and to tell people that organic food is so much more than just expensive. Well, at least they start with the part of humanity that finds the way to their farm. It was completely different when she was a child. “Back then, everything that could be bought in the markets was so much more valuable than the things that people produced themselves”, the farmer reflects on a mindset that’s hard to grasp from today’s perspective. It’s good that nowadays authentic products are rated higher than anonymous, industrial products.

Home-Made of Course!

When Anita travelled and especially when she stayed in hotels, she became aware that the quality of food and breakfast could not compete with the products on their farm “Bacherhof” at all. This awareness showed her that it was important to continue. It encouraged her not only to follow her way but also to talk even more about food quality. Informing people about it is still necessary. Also in her organic thinking workshop. But nobody raises the index finger here. It’s learning by tasting right where the food is produced.

There’s also a young generation of travellers, 20+ years, who travel with great social and environmental awareness and specifically ask for organic food. A few years ago, nobody would have imagined that young guests without kids would even consider spending their holidays on a farm. The people who come here are (still) mostly city dwellers who’d like to take a break from the urban setting and escape to the countryside to feel alive again. In the future, our society probably needs to find a balance between city and countryside, rural, local and urban. A lot of factors indicate that we will lead multi-local lives. Not the worst trend for Anita Unterwalcher and her colleagues who live and work in the countryside.

Degrees Self-Sufficiency

“Actually, we have missed the trend of specialisation in agriculture”, Anita says somewhat critical of herself. “However, now we are at the forefront. Even though, it’s a lot of work.” They process their own grain in their mill and produce whole grain bread, milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, beef and pork. Furthermore, they manage to close the loop by producing energy and electricity in a private power station using timber from their own forests.

The Taste of Childhood

In terms of spa and wellness breaks, the Unterwalcher family doesn’t need to hide its light under a bushel. The facilities and treatments can certainly compete with a hotel. Warm up in the sauna named “Heukraxnofen” and take in the scent of herbs from the alpine pastures that belong to the farm. Enjoy a poultice with Austrian stone pine as you lie in a bed of grain. Take a bath in the jacuzzi or the barrel bath. Sounds like elaborate, genuine, alpine spa treatments. Plus, her sister Edith is a professional massage therapist and offers massages on the farm twice a week.

Conclusion: You don’t even need to leave the farm if you’d like to indulge in soothing spa treatments and enjoy culinary delights. Still, the country walks across the alpine pastures around Millstatt and the quiet lake certainly add to the beauty of a holiday here. On the other hand, the piano nobile (literally “noble level”) might be just the right place to make the most of the contrary landscapes - lake and mountains. An impassioned plea against stress in your free time and for more leisure. On the farm “Bacherhof”, this idea can be turned into reality. You should absolutely try it.

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Stefan Heinisch
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