“When I took over the farm from my uncle 16 years ago, I knew that animals alone no longer work for a full-time farm. That’s why I was looking for alternatives and we’ve always had apples,” says “Zerza Bauer” Heimo Oberauner from Treßdorf in the Gail Valley.
After the 40-year-old considered ordinary potatoes too boring, he tried to grow old and grow new potato varieties – with success. “In the meantime, we offer 18 different species for sale, seven varieties are still in the testing phase, whether they grow at all or not,” says the full-time farmer and forester. This variety also includes La Bonnotte, the most expensive potato in the world, which originally comes from France and costs up to 500 euros per kilogram.
The “Zerza-Bauer” became known above all for his violet earth fruits. “Breeding leads to the special color. It should be said that the original potato varieties have always had a colouring,” explains Oberauner. Together with his family, the farmer is currently also catching up with the main harvest: “Normally it should be completed, but due to the heavy rainfall everything has been delayed this year.”
Almost all the proceeds are sold from the farm, but some are also delivered to catering establishments. But not only the strong demand fills the “Zerza farmers” with pride, but above all his third place in the Agragrinnovation Award “Vifzack 2020” of the Carinthian Chamber of Agriculture.