Elsewhere the farmhouse might be the centre of attention, but on the Molerhof farm in the centre of Latsch/Laces the Palabirne pear tree steals the show.“It has plenty to tell us,” says Thomas Oberhofer about the several hundred year old variety. The tree predates the Molerhof farm itself, which was established by his great grandfather.
Today, Thomas and his father cultivate the 5 hectares of Golden Delicious, Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Pinova and Ambrosia™ apple varieties.
A pioneer of Vinschgau valley fruit growing
In 1965, the farm switched from cattle farming to apple growing, and most other Vinschgau farmers followed suit in the 1970s.
At the same time, the first fruit cooperatives were established. "The small cultivation areas of 2 to 3 hectares per farmer in South Tyrol/Südtirol are simply too small to store and sell large quantities of apples themselves," says Thomas, who’s been chairman of the Mivor fruit cooperative for ten years.
Mivor is one of the seven fruit cooperatives in the Vinschgau valley that operate collectively in the market as a VI.P union.