There is a South Tyrolean saying: “You’re either born a farmer or you marry a woman from a farming family.” Othmar Malleier is the exception to the rule: He was a lithographic artist and definitely didn’t marry with a view to becoming a farmer. As technological progress meant printing machines increasingly took over his job, he found a new professional home in nature. Together with a friend, he established a market garden. He poured his time and energy into it. Days, hours, minutes were eaten up by it and too little remained for his family. Finally, he decided to sell the market garden and acquired a small piece of land a comfortable cycling distance from the family home. Othmar has now become a part-time farmer. On the side, he tends his garden and for ten years he has guided visitors around the gardens of Castle Trauttmansdorff in Meran.

Biosuedtirol Othmar Malleier 2 Biosuedtirol Othmar Malleier 1
“I dream of an event that implants the idea of organic farming deeper into the consciousness of people.”

His meadow is located next to a footpath. Passers-by are always asking him what makes an organic meadow so special. And there’s a lot to say about the apple trees, wild flowerbeds, hedges, woodpiles, cairns and brushwood. And if Othmar had time – after looking after his family, his job and the guests of his family’s holiday home, Aronia – he would be able to reply fully. But his lack of time gives him an idea: Othmar, one-time lithographic artist and born motivator, designs signs to provide explanations for his organic meadow. It doesn’t take long for his organic farming colleagues to start ordering similar signs from him for their own meadows.

Diversity is a principle that this multi-talented individual consumed with his mother’s milk. Just having apples in his meadow is not enough for him. His passion for gardening shows as he began introducing hollyhocks, sunflowers and other flowers. Hedges surround the orchard, which also contains ripening beans and even peaches. Only in the middle is there an open space – where a vegetable patch flourishes, which Othmar nourishes with a special herbal tea concoction. Apples and other fruit, vegetables and flowers – that’s how diverse commercially cultivated land can be.