How things used to be…
back in Grandmothers and Grandfathers day…
The Ottingerhof Farm has been family owned since 1740 and has been lovingly cared for and handed down from generation to generation. Grandmother likes to talk about how things used to be different in the past. She remembers how every grain, vegetable or fruit was planted by hand. From Poppies, Linseed, Turnips and Potatoes, to Rye, Barley, Oats and Wheat, these were all planted and harvested by hand. All the food you would need throughout the year. Aside from a little sugar and salt, very few things were bought, you lived on the supplies you had.
“There was a lot of manual labor” she remembers. “We didn’t have any machines, but we had nearly 20 people in the field. In the evenings we would all sit together, chatting and eating. It was nice”, she says, and I can imagine it truly was.
The Farm used to have 20 heads of cattle. This included several milk cows and breeding stock. The milk was sold to the neighbors and a small store. Two Noriker horses were also kept. The horses were used exclusively for work in the fields and forests. Later on, during wintertime, Grandfather started using them to give guests sleigh rides through the snowed in valley. During this time, in the late 60’s, tourism started to spring up around Bad Kleinkirchheim. This gave the Ottingerhof farm, a second leg to stand on economically.
In the morning, there would be a hearty breakfast made from cornmeal Polenta. Bread was baked only once a month and kept in the attic for storage, until the supply was used up. Meat was usually available only once a year. If one had a sheep or a pig in fall, fresh bacon could be made. Later on, it became possible to keep several pigs and sell the meat. During the summer, they had to walk the mountain pastures every Sunday to check on the livestock. Back then, almost all distances had to be covered on foot. Kilometers to the job or to church on Sunday were easily mastered.
Due to the lack of machines, most work was done by hand or with the help of Oxen and Horses. At lunchtime, a bell was rung from the roof so that all the families in the field would know that lunch was ready.
Community and cooperation was very important in those days, all the work couldn’t be done alone. Whether it was work or celebration, people were always together.
Since then, one thing has remained the same, the entire family still runs the farm collectively with great care for nature and animals.