The middle of June, somewhere in Eppan, somewhere in an apple orchard. Blue sky above and light green grass below. To the left and right, spring green leaves on lushly growing trees reach happily towards the sun. Every so often a bee, cheerful, light-hearted and carefree, flies between them. It is an idyllic scene, a day straight from a picture book. Rich green, soft blue and radiant sunshine.

And someone else is glowing in the middle of it all. With a yellow top, a happy grin and sun-kissed hair.

Julia invited us to come here, to Tutzerhof Farm. The name actually comes from Julia’s grandmother. When her father had the holding declared a “closed farm” back in the day, he gave it his mother’s last name. Granny still likes to tell about how she used to cultivate fruit and make wine. About the gigantic, old Granny Smith apple trees and pear trees they used to have. Julia’s father took over the farm, exchanged the pears for apples and switched from conventional cultivation to the biodynamic method. A decision born of conviction. Today, eight old pear trees are still standing on a piece of meadow that the family bought a few years ago. Kaiser and Williams, both excellent varieties.

Julia’s father still helps where he can, but lately he has started to keep out of the day-to-day business and let the younger generation do their thing. Nowadays he spends more time in the mountains: as a guide and naturalist, he has a lot to tell his tour groups. The younger generation is now Julia and her brother Daniel. Both are just starting out: they gained possession of the farm only recently. But they are only beginners on paper, as they have always worked on the farm and provided assistance where it was needed. They watched what their father was doing, asked questions, learned and absorbed knowledge.

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Now Julia takes care of their apples and viticulture, and Daniel cultivates the vegetables and grains. Julia has three hectares of apples. Including Gala and Natyra®. She planted the Gala trees in 2008, which makes them the oldest on the farm. The trees also look old and they haven’t been as productive in recent years. Julia is going to remove these trees as well, use the meadow as crop land for a year and then plant saplings on it. According to Julia, the interim year as farmland will help the young trees get a good start.

They started growing vegetables on the farm only four years ago, and sales have been good since last year. Lettuce, carrots and celery. Her brother Daniel cultivates them on an area of 2500 m2. He used to do most of the work all by himself, but now his girlfriend Michèle helps him.

They also follow the biodynamic method. They buy seeds and organic soil, and raise the young plants themselves. Every Saturday afternoon they sell their produce directly from the farm, and in the morning and on Thursdays they’re at a farmer’s market. Daniel likes selling his organic produce directly to consumers and is happy to know his customers personally – that way, he can often talk to them about what they are buying.

Julia also likes to talk. About her bees, for example, which she has kept for five years now. She wanted something of her own, not only to carry on in her father’s footsteps. 10 bee colonies that happily buzz through the meadows and woods, keeping the cycle intact and – as they did last year for example – supplying amazingly good honey!

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Julia likes it when she knows where her food comes from. When she can make a contribution to it herself, when she sees how everything is growing, flourishing and is fruitful.

She inherited the biodynamic method of cultivation from her father – he was completely convinced that it is the right way to farm. Julia grew up with it and it’s the only way she knows. Plants, the soil, moon phases and other cosmic forces: everything is one. A cycle that includes everything and sees the big picture. The method also uses special natural preparations that supply specific information to the plants. Take “horn manure” for example: the hollow horn of a deceased cow is filled with a handful of fresh cow manure and then buried in the ground from October through May. The fine humus this creates is added to a bucket of water and then sprayed over a hectare of farmland.

Julia attended the FOS technical college in Merano, where her specialism was biology. Biotechnology, microbiology and biochemistry. She already knows a lot about biology, but is eager to find out more. Her parents never pressured her to attend a certain school or pursue a specific profession. And that was good, as Julia found her own way – and her destination ended up being exactly where she had always been. In the interim, she tried working as a confectioner and even started on a course at university. But inside every room, irrespective of where she was, Julia felt locked up and wanted to be outdoors in nature.

She does sports and cycles when she has time. But between the household and garden and the apples, pears, vegetables and bees, there isn’t much time left over. Julia doesn’t complain. She loves what she does. Yes, she is glowing in her green orchard. With a yellow top, a happy grin and shining red hair.