What started in 1999 with a fresh milk vending machine, is continued today in 2019 with a wide range of agricultural and regional produce.
Simon Schiefer Jun. (26) took the plunge and together with his parents has realised his dream of his own farm shop including restaurant and seminar room.
Sitting opposite me is Simon, a determined young man, who is a farmer with heart and soul. He went to the Agriculture School in Tamsweg and after completing his apprenticeship as a mechanic he passed his masters examination in farming. He runs the “Vorderklinglhub“ farm in the centre of Flachau with his parents.
I met up with Simon for an interview in his cosy Dorfalm, furnished with lots of wood, in order to find out more about the philosophy behind this project, which goes well beyond that of a farm shop.
What exactly is the Dorfalm and how did the idea come about?
Simon: “The idea and the desire to take charge of marketing our own farm produce, has of course existed for a long time. Thus, we’ve been utilizing our central location for many years now, offering our milk and eggs via vending machines to locals and guests. In the region there are many farms making products of excellent quality. However, up until now it was difficult to offer these individually to the consumer. That’s why the idea came about, to set up a central farm shop and with the help of lots of regional partners we can now offer a wide selection of goods. In addition to milk, cheese, quark and butter there’s meat and sausage products, game, schnapps, liqueurs, jams, honey, eggs, but also leather and felt products from our local craft workshops. We also have flour and baking products from the Ottingermühle in Tamsweg in our range, which is sure to please the many fans of “Baking with Christina”.
Sustainability and the conscious use of resources is very important to you? How do you achieve this at the Dorfalm?
Short transportation routes, bringing the wares to the customer alone are not enough for me. For example, it always annoyed me that only certain parts of a cow were used. That’s how I got the idea of not just adding a café to the farm shop, as is usually the case, but a really cosy restaurant too. In addition to our small, but fine “basic menu“ with traditional dishes, there are also weekly, seasonal dishes. We set great store on using all meat parts. And so now and again you’ll find, according to availability, home-made brawn, innards or roast liver on the menu.“
And as of this summer you can head off around the farm?
Simon: “Exactly. Inspired by talking to guests, and farm visitors, which we’ve had due to long-standing contact with my former school, we had the idea of offering guided tours of the farm and stables from this coming summer. Our aim is to give people a real insight into farming today and to convince them of the quality of our produce. And to round off the concept, the Dorfalm offers a fully-equipped seminar room for 20 to 30 persons and offering the opportunity to hold training courses.
Photo credits: Elisabeth Hartl, Christian Fischbacher