The Krameterhof is the birthplace of Sepp Holzer and has shattered and redefined the norms of what a farm can be. In the Holzer family for generations, the Krameterhof is presently 110 acres and situated in the region of Lungau in Ramingstein on the slopes of Mount Schwartzenberg at an altitude ranging from 1100 to 1500 meters above sea level and surrounded by a “pine desert” as Sepp describes it. Usually considered marginal farming land with its steep and cold conditions, the unique style of agriculture that Sepp began here has taken best advantage of this situation and been home to a variety of rare and exotic plants and creatures.
At the top of the farm, springs cascade to feed the incredible biodiversity through the network of 72 ponds. The ponds feature a diversity of aquaculture which has seen over thirty different varieties of fish, crayfish, orchids, and a host of aquatic plants. The water journeys down the steep landscape from pond to pond with Sepp’s inventive Holzer monk system which is a food grade “L”-shaped pipe with an adjustable elbow. The Holzer monk allows for the water level to be adjusted by changing the angle of the top pipe at the elbow. The monk also oxygenates and vitalizes the water as it vortexes down the pipe.
A variety of techniques allow the seemingly impossible to happen on the Krameterhof. The water slowly percolates through the earth mineralizing and purifying while also saturating the earth body. The stored moisture gives mycelium plenty of paths to establish. The Krameterhof has been hosting over thirty different kinds of mushrooms. These fungi not only produce food and medicine but also help store moisture and distribute nutrients throughout the fungal pathways. The ponds are surrounded by diverse polycultures throughout the farm's edible agroforestry systems, taking full advantage of the sun’s reflection off the water.
The water along with rocks help regulate temperature, holding heat for the surrounding plants and trees so that a various microclimates are created. The Krameterhof’s rockier areas have been host to many heat lovers like squash and even citrus fruit.
Strong in biodiversity, the Krameterhof is not the typical production farm but a family farm that saw its transformation while largely tended by two people, Sepp and his wife Vroni. In carrying on with the tradition the farm has now been given to their son, Josef. The Krameterhof was a fully functioning permaculture farm before permaculture was even a word, hosting an amazing array of plants, trees, and animals. Under the guidance of a seemingly endless creative hand, Sepp continually transformed and guided the Krameterhof’s complex guilds and parade of unusual exotic animals and aquatic plants and creatures. While the neighboring conventional farms struggled to turn a profit, Sepp was purchasing more land to expand his farm. The Krameterhof provides a beautiful living example of everything that the relationship between farmer and land can be.