Why "Holzer Permaculture"?
Roots and Naming
In 1962 Sepp Holzer took over his parents’ mountain farm Krameterhof. In the alpine region in Lungau, farming life can be harsh and unforgiving. He started experimenting with various agricultural methods and developed a business called „Landwirtschaftliche Spezialkulturen Krameterhof“ („Agricultural Solutions Krameterhof“).
Sepp Holzers’ work caused quite a stir and drew attention to his farm. More and more people wanted to experience and see his work. In 1995 he was introduced to the term „permaculture“ by students and professors of the University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences. They confronted the mountain farmer with the fact that he had indeed established a system that was designed along permaculture principles. Sepp became curious. He decided to learn more. The few books on Bill Mollisons’ work that were available in the German language impressed him enough to continue on the permaculture path.
Eventually Krameterhof became an internationally well known example of permaculture on a farm-scale. Meanwhile a permaculture scene had emerged in the German-speaking countries. This movement was primarily an urban phenomenon, which might explain the diverging approaches taken by the young movement and the mountain farmer.
Sepp Holzer established the term „Holzer Permakultur“ (formerly „Holzer’sche Permakultur“) for his way of farming to clearly differentiate his design approach from that of the urban movement.
We are frequently asked about the differences between „permaculture“ and „Holzer Permakultur“. Many seem to expect a list of contradictions. However, we do not seek to dwell on the differences - we rather want to explore common ground. Permaculture means lifelong observation and learning. Different people will reach different conclusions.
"Education is not to fill a pail but to light a fire." (Heraclitus of Ephesus)
We do believe that the flame has already been lit. We welcome any further development in farming and permaculture, no matter which direction it takes. Nevertheless, we’d like to point to something we are very proud of:
Our Roots – Family Farming
Unfortunately permaculture principles are rarely applied in „modern agriculture“. Communication problems, misconceptions and prejudices cloud people’s perceptions. Most farmers think of permaculture as yet another „fashionable urban phenomenon“. Permaculture devotees without practical farming experience nourish their mistrust. Without wanting to diminish the importance of appreciative consumers and alternative life stylers, change in agriculture has to be initiated by farmers.
Our family has been working and farming Krameterhof for four generations. We are proud to be farmers! Our strengths are professional competence in regard to ecological agriculture, healthy scepticism to passing fads and overly simplistic concepts and openness to new ideas. On Krameterhof we demonstrate that alternative farming methods allow profitable farming and sensitive and respectful dealings with nature and her resources. We have the experience and knowledge to direct people who are interested in practical solutions.