Mr. Hofrat auf der Maisäß
Once again, we have chosen a special farm from the Schau aufs Land range.
The organically certified Madlenserhof is located in Dafins, a district of Zwischenwasser, above Rankweil in Vorarlberg. The farm can be visited all year round, only Sunday is excluded as a regular day of rest.
The organic farm is basically a mother cow farm, but when we arrive they spend their holiday of several months on the alp. As befits a farm dog, there are also rabbits, geese and common laying hens.
In order to make use of the cattle's empty barn, broiler chickens are bred during their absence.
The farm owner Peter, his wife Susanne and their son Balthasar are very likeable people who welcome us extremely warmly.
The pitch for us was about 200 m above the farm next to a wooden barn in a completely isolated location.
After a short visit of our Mr. Hofrat by the family, we enjoy the fantastic view and extreme peace up here.
This dream spot gives us a far-reaching view of Lichtenstein and beyond, far into Switzerland.
The feeling is even more intense with a glass of wine.
We activated the outdoor kitchen and our gas barbecue in beautiful weather and fried up some Käsekrainer. We had a Greek salad to go with it. Having dinner with this special view is something very special.
Our curiosity about farm life is great, so in the early evening we set off for the farm's own cider tavern with a fantastic view terrace. Despite slight language barriers, we learned a lot about life up here over a few glasses of cider and high-proof drinks.
On this balmy summer evening we laughed a lot together with Susanne and her family, talked about our tour through Vorarlberg, got tips and suggestions for our next days and enjoyed the feeling of being guests with friends.
We learn that a visit to the alpine pastures and a herb hike can also be arranged with advance notice. As we had already planned our tour very tightly, we unfortunately had to do without these experiences.
Whereas in other places, in addition to the farm economy, there is also an alpine pasture economy where dairymen and dairywomen do their work, in Vorarlberg there is a centuries-old three-stage economy. Due to the altitude of the mountains and the alpine pastures, a further stage, the Maisäss, was introduced at around 1,200-1,600 metres above sea level.
There the cattle could acclimatise from May-June before they were moved on to the Hochalm/Alp for the rest of the summer.
Another special feature in this area is that an entire workforce stays with the animals on the mountain pastures. This means that the milk can be processed immediately, which benefits the quality of the products.
Since Peter's farm is already at the level of the Maisäss (at about 1,200 m), his mother animals, as well as the animals of the surrounding neighbourhood, are looked after by the young people of the area (Peter's sons also help out up there) under adult supervision on the high alp.
We enjoyed this special quality of Vorarlberg cheese the next morning at breakfast.
Before we continue our journey, we filled our tanks with fresh water, thanked them for their great hospitality and set off on the rest of our tour through Vorarlberg.
With the beautiful photos shown below, we say goodbye to you from the Mühltobeltal near Rankweil.
Images © The2Nomads