Old animal breeds and biodynamic farming
Farming as it
used to be–
a modern twist
Our Arche-Hof is a fairly new farm; it was built in 2013 to be precise. Previously we only had a small scale farm – which had been around for 30 years – but included no more than four to five cows, a few pigs, donkeys and horses. For a long
From the barn to the dairy
We now have a large barn for 16-18 dairy cows besides enclosures for calves, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys and horses. In 2014, we were able to build these on Sammatz land where there had previously been a campsite. We did most of the work ourselves but also had some help from specialist firms. We began the project by excavating a slurry pit and constructing the foundations and ceilings. Then came the actual stable buildings. Everything was built in timber frame and covered with larch wood. Construction of the roof also encompassed installing solar panels and the technology in the milk room and the other stables. A large warehouse in the middle of the stables was built soon after.
The last major building to be completed was the dairy, situated directly adjacent to the barn, where the fresh milk was to be processed and bottled directly. Last but not least, a spacious pen for poultry and was added 2 years later. The open-air stables have already proven their worth in the very short life of the farm. We – and also the many visitors who enjoy a farm visit – can rest assured that the animals live happily in their stables (insofar as this can be said from mere observation). Then there are many other factors as well: from the daily care to grazing, from the feeding to the temperament that the animals adopt in their human environment. Together that’s certainly a lot more work than such a building!
Old animal breeds and biodynamic farming
Our farm combines these two important factors, which although we believe should belong together, are often operated separately: There is everything that has to do on the one hand with ‘Arche-Hof’ husbandry – that is, to keep old and native animal breeds, maintaining and breeding them. On the other hand, the biological which in our case relates to the biodynamic cultivation method, which excludes the use of pesticides as well as other chemically produced substances as well as modern genetic engineering. We think that it is best for species-appropriate husbandry, especially in traditional breeds, to raise the animals in a traditional way. However, the cultivation of feed is supplemented by the use of modern biodynamic compost and spray preparations.
resistant farm animals and agriculture without pesticides»
All in all, we consider our way of working to be very contemporary, or forward-thinking insofar as resistant animal breeds are promoted and the soil is not leached out, but rather preserved and improved in its fertility. Of course, this does not mean that a bio-dynamic operation that utilises hybrid animal husbandry does not still do very valuable work in terms of human nutrition and conservation of the Earth’s eco-system. But we find that both actually belong together and try to implement this as well as possible.
People and animals
A colourful hustle and bustle
By the way, feeding is unfortunately not allowed. If the animals get food that is not appropriate for them, the consequences can be extremely painful.
Our Arche-Hof as a tourist destination – welcome!
In summer, the Arche-Hof is the starting point for carriage rides in the surrounding area with donkeys or horses. Just ask in the farm shop. Also from April, guided tours will be offered, during which you get more information about the individual animal breeds and much more from knowledgeable staff. You can inquire in the farm shop about this.
Finally, it should be mentioned that
You see: the Arche-Hof in Sammatz is a great farm because such a diversity of animal husbandry is rare. This is what we think is a great thing: to look at a farm that accentuates the full breadth of the impressive world of the animals, especially in their original character. This is a daily source of inspiration for visitors and Sammatzians alike.
We look forward to your visit!