When others need a break, they go up the mountain or to the outdoor pool. Karlheinz Dalsant not only finds relaxation there, but also at home and at work.
From the outside, the house in Kurtatsch/Cortaccia looks like any other and yet it is different. Very different. The walls are completely made of wood and straw bales. Karlheinz was the first person to own a straw house in Italy.
There’s a small bathing pond and a vineyard in front of the house. Karlheinz’s apple orchards are only a few minutes away by car. And they are something special, too. The father of three not only goes there to work, but also to recharge his batteries.
Kestrels nest here, where the valley meets the mountain that rises vertically as a rocky wall. Old willows, shrubs, trees and hedges grow here. There are two natural ponds, lone palm trees and a narrow moat runs around the apple orchards.
“I’ve always been fascinated by fruit cultivation and intervening in nature as little as possible,” explains the organic farmer. Karlheinz likes to try something new. He is a doer. Unlike most apple farmers, he did not attend an agricultural school, but learned most of it through ‘learning by doing’: “This meant I could look at the world first and didn’t let myself be influenced by certain guidelines.”
In 1997, Karlheinz switched to organic cultivation. Nowadays, he runs the farm by himself. His son David helps him with the harvest. The organic farmer does not hint at his natural cultivation method, but would like to encourage other farmers to switch to organic farming. “Some are afraid to change and think it’s harder or doesn’t work. I want to show them that there’s another way.”