Adventurous. This characteristic describes Emil Pichler particularly well. The farmer based at Nainerhof farm trod new paths, even in the early days.
1965 was a time when cattle breeding was still common in Glaning/Cologna, above Bolzano/Bozen. Emil dared to try something new and planted two hectares of apples. The family was initially ridiculed for taking such a step. And the same happened when Emil set up the first anti-hail net in South Tyrol in 1989.
There were no anti-hail nets around at that time and the fruit grower even had difficulties in procuring them at all in the beginning. But he managed it. And all those who sneered at Emil to start with followed suit over the years.
“Actually, it was only a trial,” remembers the farmer from Jenesien/San Genesio. Today, the anti-hail nets not only offer him protection, but also create a little shade. This is particularly important here – at 700 metres above sea level – where the warm air rises up from the Bolzano valley basin.
The Pichler family business is a pure fruit growing business. It’s not always easy working with the equipment on steep slopes. Nevertheless, the next generation is enthusiastic about farming. His son Florian has been working on the farm since 2014 and, just like his father, he is showing courage to do something new.
In 2018, alongside an orchard of large crimson Red Delicious apples, he also planted a hectare of new apple varieties, Sinfonia and Tessa: “A risk, but you can’t always do the same thing as everyone else,” says Florian grinning. The new varieties also have the advantage that they are more resistant to diseases.
One day, Florian will take over the historic 12th century estate and continue to run it together with his family. He’s motivated and certainly always showing great willingness to take risks.