“As the saying goes: A healing herb grows for every ill. And where do the tastiest herbs and best herbs grow? Naturally, here in the mountains on meadows and pastures” says Margarethe Balla, who is a trained herbalist and TEH practitioner so she knows what she is tal king about.
She passes her experience on, once a week in the summer, as part of a leisurely Herb.Discovery Walk through Altenmarkt. “Whether in the kitchen, in cosmetics or as a medicinal herb, the wild herbs do a very good job of helping people,” says Margarethe Balla.
During her guided 2 ½ hour herbal walk, which begins in the garden of her country house, then leads along a fence into the nearby forest, the guests get to know the often overlooked plants and learn a lot about the plants and their effects: “So many inconspicuous blossoms on the verges have a lot of power in them that the previous generations used for the healing of illnesses or for spicing food”.
In the kitchen, Margarethe Balla swears by stinging nettle. “It can be used for donuts, dumplings and foam soup, and Gout weed, an unpopular, invasive weed in the garden that tastes like parsley when harvested regularly.” Margarethe Balla collects medicinal herbs for teas and natural cosmetics and processes spruce resin traditionally into a healing ointment.
Summer Farm Hikes
The alpine hike with Margarethe Balla – also once a week from June to September – is just as exciting as the Herb.Discovery walk. It starts in Zauchensee and continues over the Stubhöhe to the Tauernkarleiten Alm, one of the most pristine mountain pastures in the region.
Here the landlords Michi and Vroni welcome the hikers and offer them a well-earned snack: homebaked bread and Radstädter cheese.
photo credits: Nadia Jabli Photography, Matthias Fritzenwallner