Where others might have given up a long time ago, Erwin Blaas always saw a challenge. He was only 20 years old when he took over his father’s farm in 1995, but he first had to rebuild it before bringing all the orchards up to date. Times were tough.
Nowadays, he manages two farms together with his wife and two sons following integrated production principles. One in Latsch/Laces and the other in Latschinig in Kastelbell/Castelbello. By putting in a great deal of effort, they are always leading from the front when it comes to quality.
Nevertheless, Erwin is modest and does not want to place himself above others: “I’m a normal farmer. We simply work conscientiously and very precisely. It has to be like that, otherwise I don’t sleep well,” he says laughing. “I’m only okay if my trees are okay.” Erwin is passionate about fruit cultivation. Except for the “picking” (thinning by hand) and the harvest, he and his family still do all the work themselves. This is particularly important for the yello® variety. The canary-yellow apples with a tropical aroma are particularly difficult to grow and often do not yield much. But there is hardly anything that the family man cannot do with a great deal of hard work and care. To keep up with new trends, he also clears young trees from time to time: “I always want to be one step ahead.”
Erwin deliberately keeps his trees narrow so that a lot of light can reach them. To ensure the trees see even more sunlight shortly before harvesting, he uses special defoliating equipment that removes the leaves by air pressure. In spring he carves small cuts into the trunks to encourage new shoots to grow. He thins the apples by hand in several passes. This is the only way he can achieve a good yield the following year. There are then three to four rounds of harvesting. His sons Simon and Markus are only too happy to help. They are the pride and joy of the farmer and the farm’s future.