Josef Altstätter actually wanted to work in an artistic field at some point. But sometimes life takes a different path from the one you imagined.
Nowadays, Josef is an apple farmer and does not regret his choice: “I still often think of art, but I know that my decision was the right one. I’m happy these days.”
Even as a little boy, Josef helped out on his father’s farm. At that time, they grew cauliflower and apples; the farm was even smaller and more family-oriented. At just 19, Josef became a member of the fruit cooperative. He now runs two farms – the Josefihof and the Kapellhof.
His great passion is variety. “I think that this is the future. Working more sustainably and always planting new varieties,” says the man from Schlanders/Silandro. New varieties such as yello®: The canary-yellow apples are particularly demanding to grow and challenging to harvest.
As with every new variety, Josef initially had to try out a lot himself in order to get to grips with them as well as possible. But he enjoys a challenge. No half measures allowed: “If you are convinced of something, then you have to commit to it wholeheartedly.” Josef does this in all areas.
His apple orchards are distributed from Goldrain/Coldrano at about 660 m above sea level to Schlanders/Silandro, Lasa/Laas and Eyers/Oris at about 880 m above sea level. He tries to farm all these areas as sustainably as possible. What’s more, he has many machines that are also used in the organic sector. Josef grows his apples according to integrated production principles.
So that Josef does not need to use herbicides, he mows the grass under the trees and digs the ground with a roller hoe. “In future, I would like to take further steps in this direction,” says Joseph. “And plant new varieties, of course.”