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Bio permaculture 04d3: Sepp Holzer and his Krameter Farm - permaculture of the Alps

Biodiversity and water with 72 ponds on the slope and low forest grazing

Pond management with 72 ponds on a slope - crayfish breeding - terracing with embankments with grazed low forest
Langteiche im
              obersten Bereich mit dem obersten Haus des Krameterhofs
              von Sepp Holzer   Krameterhof
              mit dem oberen, grossen, halbkreisförmigen Teich,
              Luftaufnahme   Krameterhof von Sepp Holzer: Krebs
              und Krebszucht von Edelkrebsen   Krameterhof: Terrasse mit Roggen zweijährig 03
Krameterhof: long ponds in the uppermost area with the uppermost house - semicircular pond around the middle house [2] - crayfish breeding - terrace with rye biennial
Schweine werden
              sektorenweise in die Weidehaltung geführt, um dort die
              Erde umzugraben   Krameterhof: Schwarze Kühe und Rinder im
              Mittelwald 02   Krameterhof, ein Pferd auf einer Weide  Krameterhof, Seerosenteich, Frontalansicht
Pigs are led sector by sector into the pasture to dig up the earth - Black cows and cattle in the middle forest 2 - Horse in a pasture - Lily pond

by Michael Palomino (2018)



1. Krameter Farm (Krameterhof): Biodiversity and water with 72 ponds on a slope

The principle is the following: We have to restore all the ponds and lakes that the stock market capitalists have destroyed by filling them up since 1700 to gain land. The blind capitalist man, with his criminal speculative stock exchange, thought he would gain new land by destroying ponds and small lakes, but the consequences are a horror: 1) he lowered the groundwater level, 2) he destroyed springs and kept brooks to a minimum, 3) he destroyed a large part of fauna and flora of their biodiversity, 4) the water reserves are largely destroyed, and 5) he is defining good and bad animals fighting them with toxic pesticides contaminating earth, remaining waters, vegetables and fruits. All this must be reversed. Sepp Holzer has done that:

Farmer pioneer Sepp Holzer has created on his farm "Krameterhof" on the mountainside 72 small and large ponds to be self-sufficient even with relatively little rainfall in terms of water:

                  vom Krameterhof, Totalansicht mit unteren und oberen
Satellite photo of Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), total view with lower and upper ponds, bing satellite photo [1]

The upper house with the ponds around:

Krameterhof mit dem oberen, grossen,
                    halbkreisförmigen Teich, Luftaufnahme
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) with the upper, large, semi-circular pond, aerial view [2]

2. The elements of Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) with Holzer's permaculture of the Alps

                    Eingangsschild "Krameterhof" aus Holz mit
                    einem Hand-Baum  
The entrance sign "Krameterhof" made of wood with a hand-tree [18]

Holzer's permaculture includes

-- a distinctive landscape design on the mountainside:

     -- Terrace construction
     -- Installation of hill and raised beds
     -- Humus retention basin [before leaving the area of the farm, the brook is filtered so that no humus flows away]
     -- Dry biotopes [special sites with a special structure] and humid biotopes [ponds with the entire biodiversity]
     -- Small climate zones, etc. [web02]

-- a pronounced water balance on the mountainside with relatively little quantities of rain [web02]:

     -- water gardens
     -- ponds

Holzer's permaculture also includes

-- Agroforestry (inclusion of trees and shrubs in agricultural use)
-- Fisheries
-- Aquatic plant breeding
-- Livestock farming
-- Fruit production
-- Alpine farming
-- Cultivation of alpine plants and medicinal herbs [web02].

Holzer's permaculture is based on decades of experience and practice [web02].

Holzer's permaculture
-- shows alternative methods of use in extreme zones (from alpine regions such as the Krameterhof in Lungau to drylands in Spain and Portugal)

Holzer's Permaculture deals
-- with the recultivation by intensive agriculture of damaged areas [where ponds were destroyed and machines+pesticides destroyed the soil]
-- with disaster prevention (building works against floods, erosion, storm damage, etc.)
-- with the planning of holistic projects [installation of ponds and lakes to install water systems and natural agriculture again with all biodiversity]
-- with the creation of nature experience landscapes to alternative golf courses
-- with alternative energy systems
-- with the regulation of "pests" or their natural predators, which are missing when other "pests" occur in order to realize a "symbiotic" agriculture [web02]

Also tourism is not excluded [web02].

Führung durch den Krameterhof mit Josef
                    Holzer   Brotzeit (Lunch) auf dem
                    Kranacherhof der Familie Holzer
Guided tour passing the Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) with Josef Holzer [10] - Lunch at Kranacherhof owned by the Holzer family [9]

3. Sepp Holzer and his biodiversity at Krameterhof

Krameterhof von Sepp
                    Holzer: Waldgarten auf Terrassen angelegt   Sepp Holzer gibt den Schweinen Futter
Krameterhof by Sepp Holzer: Forest garden on terraces [12] - Sepp Holzer gives food to the pigs [23]

The soil becomes more fertile every year: terraces and ponds

Pioneer Sepp Holzer has achieved with permaculture principles that his soil is becoming ever more fertile [by combinations of vegetables with other plants, roots remain in the soil, humus is filtered from the brook etc.]. He terraced his mountainside, inspired by Asian, terraced rice fields. He "sought for solutions for his farm to prevent the drainage of rainwater and to prevent the loss of valuable nutrients.This permaculture technique has made the Black Mountain (Schwarzenberg) a place of life, a fertile paradise with ponds and terraces, and healthy food for generations." [web03]

[And every mountain farmer can do it!]

Insektenhotel auf dem Krameterhof von
                    Sepp Holzer   Eber Oskar auf dem Kramterhof von Sepp
Insect hotel on Krameterhof by Sepp Holzer [3] - boar Oskar on Kramterhof by Sepp Holzer [4]

Each small field contains about 40 to 50 plant species: vegetables and wildflowers - practically no pests, no erosion

Every walk on Krameterhof is worth a discovery. Sepp Holzer learnt from the permaculture experience that the more plant species grow in a field, the fewer parasites there are and the more stable the system is. Each piece of land is planted with a mixture of 40 to 50 different plants (vegetable seeds, partner plants, partly also rare wildflowers) whose root system stabilizes the soil and prevents erosion. The stabilization also involves hedges and bushes. Thus on every m2 will be a harvest, vegetables next to flowers, foxglove next to lettuce, there grow pumpkins piles of stones, there grow old potato varieties or black corn. [web03]

Sepp Holzer proved with old, robust and nutritious seed varieties that even under extreme conditions organic farming and permaculture are possible. The synergy of a natural balance of the elements in the field (animals, plants, elements, humans) maintains the ecosystem [web03].
Krameterhof von Sepp
                    Holzer: Rinder und Kühe weiden steile Weiden ab   Das mobile
                    Hühnerhaus auf Rädern auf dem Krameterhof von Sepp
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) of Sepp Holzer: Cattle and cows grazing on steep pastures [15] - The mobile chicken house on wheels [16]

There are no fertilizers, insecticides, monocultures, hybrids or genetic plants that would only leach out the soil, but there is a multitude of plants and animals used that mix with each other and live in harmony with each other. Sepp Holzer noted that the interdependence between fauna and flora also has an effect to the crops on his farm - thus without a rich wildlife will be no rich plant life and vice versa [web03].

Weeds have no chance, resp. weeds do not exist, but there just exists balance or imbalance. This kind of Holzer agriculture is meanwhile copied all over the world [web03].

Setting up micro-climates: terraces, waters, rock faces - cherries, citrus fruits, kiwis, and cereals in the mountains

The change of terraces, waters [with the effect of sun reflection] and rocky depressions [with the effect of reflecting sun's heat] creates real microclimates. The thermal energy traps with their sunny rock walls store the heat during the day and radiate it again at night. This avoids excessive temperature fluctuations. Thanks to this technique, on Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) also grow 15 cherry species on over 1000m, also lemons and kiwis as well as cereals of old crops [web03]. In the rockier areas of Krameterhof, there are many heat-loving plants such as pumpkins and even citrus fruits can be found [web01].

Krameterhof von
                    Sepp Holzer: Mikroklima an einer Felswand mit
                    Strohmulch   Krameterhof von Sepp Holzer:
                    Flachlandgemüse wächst im Mikroklima an einer
                    Felswand mit Strohmulch
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) by Sepp Holzer: Microclimate on a rock face with straw mulch [f78] - Flatland vegetables growing in a microclimate on a rock face with straw mulch on 1400m over sea level [f79]

4. Sepp Holzer's pond system with 72 ponds on the slope - "water castles" on the mountainside

At the highest point of the farmland, the springs are bubbling and the creeks are running passing a network of 72 ponds, producing incredible biodiversity. The ponds are home to a variety of aquaculture species, fish, crabs, orchids and a variety of aquatic plants [web01].

On the satellite map (see beginning of the web site) you can see only the largest ponds, about 15 in number. The three large "water castles" are positioned into the upper, middle and lower pond systems.

Langteiche im obersten Bereich mit dem obersten
                    Haus des Krameterhofs von Sepp Holzer
Long ponds in the uppermost area with the uppermost house of Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) by Sepp Holzer [14]

Krameterhof mit dem oberen, grossen,
                    halbkreisförmigen Teich, Luftaufnahme
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) with the middle, large, semi-circular pond system, aerial view [2]

Krameterhof von Sepp Holzer,
                    unteres Haus mit Teichanlagen   Krameterhof von Sepp
                    Holzer, unteres Haus mit Teichanlagen, Nahaufnahme  
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) by Sepp Holzer, lower house with pond systems [19] - close up [20]

Krameterhof von Sepp Holzer,
                    die Mühle mit Stromproduktion  
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) by Sepp Holzer, the mill with electricity production [22]

The water saturation on the slope - mushroom mechanisms are storing nutrients

Different techniques let the seemingly impossible happen on the Krameterhof. The water slowly seeps through the earth, mineralizing and purifying and at the same time saturating the Earth's body. The stored moisture gives the fungus mechanisms (mycelium) many ways to establish themselves. The Krameterhof was home to over thirty different types of mushrooms. These mushrooms not only produce food and medicines but also help to store moisture and distribute nutrients in the fungal pathways [web01].

Ponds and mixed cultures around it: Sun reflection of the water is fully exploited - plus rock walls

Ein Teich am Kramterhof von Sepp Holzer 01   Ein Teich am Kramterhof von Sepp Holzer 02
A pond at the Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) of Sepp Holzer 1,2 [5,6]

The ponds are surrounded by various mixed cultures that are used in the farm's agroforestry systems and make full use of the sun's reflection of the water [web01].

The water together with the rocky walls regulates the temperature and keeps the heat for the surrounding plants and trees, so that different micro-climates are created. [web01]

The art of keeping the water - AND producing electricity AND operating fish AND crayfish farming

Das mittlere Haus mit seinem
                    ringförmigen Teichsystem   Kramterhof von Sepp Hlzer, die
                    oberen Teiche, Sicht von oben
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) by Sepp Holzer: The middle house with its circular pond system [8] - The upper ponds, view from above [17]

In his permaculture model on Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), Sepp Holzer has also included renewable water energy. Water, without which no life would be possible, was given the highest priority. The sources were channeled, more than 70 ponds, lakes and ponds were designed with a multiple purpose:
-- using hydropower to power the entire farm [web03],
-- using sun's reflection of the water provoking warmer microclimates [web01],
-- enabling fish farms with many fish species and crayfish species [web03].

Krameterhof von
                    Sepp Holzer: Krebs und Krebszucht von Edelkrebsen
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) of Sepp Holzer: crayfish farming [11]

A new tool: The Holzer spillway regulates the pond level

Pioneer Sepp Holzer developped a level control tube system in "L" form wich is adjustable to the wanted level. The Holzer spillway allows to adjust the water level by changing the angle. The water is whirling down the tube and the brook bed being revitalized [web01].

Der Überlauf am Teich
                    kann gekippt werden, um den Teichpegel zu senken   Der Überlauf am
                    Teich kann gekippt werden, um den Teichpegel zu
                    senken 02
The pond's overflow at the pond can be tilted to lower the pond level 1,2

5. The son Mr. Josef Holzer: Guided tour passing the Krameterhof - Alpine permaculture with pond systems and free-range farming in low forest systems (video protocol)

Video: Sepp Holzer Josef Holzer Krameterhof (33'44'')

Video: Sepp Holzer Josef Holzer Krameterhof (33'44'')
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P81ZLODRQo - YouTube-Kanal: Richard Perkins

45 hectares with 400m of height difference with ponds and terraces

Josef Holzer is speaking:

The farm Krameterhof has about 45 hectares [upload of the video was in 2012] with about 400m of difference in altitude, beginning at the bottom of the valley with almost 1100m going up the slope to about 1500m above sea level (50''). The steep terrain has advantages and disadvantages (1'10''). The location on the slope gives the possibility for whole pond systems and even electricity production (1'23''). In addition, one can stretch the harvest a bit using the height differences (1'38''). Nothing works without terraces (1'48''). The precipitation is barely 750mm, that's not very much, so everything is done to save the water, so with ponds and terraces (2'5'').

Rinder und Kühe an einer Terrassenböschung   Ein Teich
                    auf dem Krameterhof   Josef
                    Holzer auf dem Krameterhof
Cattle and cows on a terrace embankment - pond - Josef Holzer on the Krameterhof

Das mittlere Haus mit Halbkreisteich   Krameterhof: Das untere Haus von oben
                    gesehen   Krameterhof: Das untere Haus von oben gesehen,
                    der Steilhang ist ganz schön steil
The middle house with a semi-circle pond - Krameterhof: The lower house seen from above - the steep slope is quite steep
Krameterhof: Obstbäume und brache, von
                    Schweinen beackerte und vorbereitete Felder   Kramterhof, eine Terrasse mit Brunnen   Krameterhof, das untere Haus mit Steilhang
Krameterhof: fruit trees and fallow fields, plowed and prepared fields by swines - a terrace with a fountain - the lower house with a steep slope
Seerosenteich 01 Frontansicht   Seerosenteich 02, Seitenansicht   Krameterhof: Noch ein Teich
Lily pond 01 Front view - Side view - Another pond
Krameterhof mit Wassermühle
                    zur Stromproduktion   Krameterhof mit Obstbaumwiese   Krameterhof: Der oberste Teich
                    mit dem obersten Haus
Krameterhof with a watermill for electricity production - Orchard Meadow - The uppermost pond with the uppermost house
Krameterhof: Hügelbeet mit Strohmulch   Krameterhof: Hügelbeet mit
                    Strohmulch, Nahaufnahme   Krameterhof:
Krameterhof: Hillside with straw mulch - close up - square field
Krameterhof: Geschlagenes Holz,
                    Brennholz, Energieholz  
Krameterhof: firewood, energy wood

Climate at Krameterhof

The annual temperature is 5 degrees C, statistically there are 1.7 hot days per year with over 30 degrees (2'27 ''), 25 summer days per year with between 25 and 30 degrees (2'32 ''), but 166 frost days with -0 during some time, and 50 ice days with temperatures day and night below 0ºC (2'50 '').

The Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) and its pond systems

Krameterhof, die obere Teichanlage   Krameterhof, ein Teich im hohen Teichsystem   Krameterhof, das hohe Teichsystem, Sicht
                    von oben
Krameterhof: The upper pond - a pond in the high pond system - the high pond system, view from above

Keep the water on the property as long as possible

Pond systems: The goal is to keep the spring water of the territory as long as possible on the property. The ponds begin at the highest possible position and are spread over the entire property (3'56 '').

Ponds on "several floors" with structure - productive flat areas for small fish and crayfish - deep zones for adult fish

The ponds contain a lot of structure, this means wood and plants as a shelter for water animals (4'24 ''). The ponds remain without additives, without artificial food, but the ponds develop themselves (4'39 ''). Important for this is the structure in the pond [with old branches, with many shelters], productive flat areas [with the breeding grounds and spawning grounds]. Other ponds have deep zones, where the adult fish live, with sufficient volume of water, with the right water temperature, and with the opportunity to spend the winter in a frozen pond (5'3 '').

Krameterhof: Teich mit Struktur 01, Holz   Krameterhof: Teich mit Struktur
                    02, Holz und Wasserpflanzen   Teich mit Struktur 03, Holz und Kaulquappen
Krameterhof: pond with structure 01, wood - pond with structure 02, wood and water plants - 03, wood and tadpoles
Krameterhof, ein Teich mit Steg 01   Krameterhof, ein Teich mit
                    blauen Teichmuscheln   Krameterhof, ein Holzbrunnen
Krameterhof, a pond with jetty 01 - a pond with blue pond shells - a wooden well

The flat zones and structures with branches in the ponds also favor crayfish breeding. The crayfish, the local crayfish of the region, is one of the main products of the Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) (5'25 ''). Big ponds are not very suitable on a slope, but it is very easy to put several ponds in one system (5'49 ''). So there are shallow ponds as a "productive flat zone", and there are deeper ponds for mature fish, and these two elements can be combined well, which is a huge advantage (6'9 ''). The ponds are thus distributed on "several floors" (6'19 '').

In the ponds live crayfish, predatory fish (trout, pike, zander), and non-predatory fisch (carp and tench) (6'35 ''). At Krameterhof, the main topic is crayfish, which need a lot of structure (6'45 ''). In a crayfish pond live crayfish and a few trouts in it, with a lot of structure. The pond produces a lot of food, and this feed flows into the ponds below, where the predators live and then partially eat the food (7'10 '').

Krameterhof, 2 Teiche des hohen Teichsystems   Krameterhof: Lupinen mit langen Wurzeln   Krameterhof, Teich mit Steg 02
Krameterhof, 2 ponds of the high pond system - lupins with long roots - pond with jetty 02
Krameterhof, ein seichter Teich   Kramterhof, tiefer Seerosenteich
                    als Fischteich   Krameterhof, ein seichter Krebsteich
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), a shallow pond - deep lily pond as a fishpond - a shallow crab pond

Krameterhof and its low forest system with grazing animals between the terraces

Robust and small animal breeds on the mountainside

Animals on the Krameterhof are cattle (bovine and cows), horses, sheep, pigs, living in free range in the pastures all year round (7'35 ''). The breeds must be robust, and must also be relatively small, so that they do not provoke great damage on the slope due to their weight (7'50 ''). Terraces were installed and the slopes of the terraces are protected by a kind of low forest system (8'9 '').

Krameterhof, Rinder am Hang   Krameterhof
                    mit Schweinen   Krameterhof, ein Pferd auf einer Weide
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), cattle on the slope - pigs - horse in a pasture
Krameterhof: Schwarze Kühe und
                    Rinder im Mittelwald 01   Krameterhof: Schwarze Kühe und
                    Rinder im Mittelwald 02  
Krameterhof: Black cows and cattle in the low forest 1,2

The animals are grazing the low forest systems on the terrace slopes

The grazing animals graze the low forest systems on the terrace slopes (8'14 '') and keep the areas free [so they do not turn into dense forest] (8'58 ''). But for this one must have relatively small animals on the terrace slopes. The cattle on Krameterhof are therefore a cross breed between dwarf bovine and Scottish High Cattle (8'35 ''). The cattle graze steep slopes, graze the forest pastures, and at the same time the forest is used (9'37 '').

Krameterhof: Schwarze Kühe und
                    Rinder im Mittelwald 03   Krameterhof: Hang mit
                    Hügelbeeten mit Vogelbeersträuchern   Krameterhof: Pferd
                    mit Rindern weiden zusammen den Mittelwald ab
Krameterhof: Black cows and cattle in the low forest 3 - Slope with hillbeds with rowanberry bushes - Horse with cattle grazing together the low forest

An embankment is e.g. overgrown and secured with rowan berries. Of the rowan berries jam and schnapps etc. are made (10'2 ''). The area between the trees and shrubs is grazed by the livestock again and again (10'14 '').

Without the grazing animals the slope would soon be converted into a dense forest (10'22 ''). The grazing animals cultivate the land as a precondition for field agriculture (10'33 ''). The slopes are used agro-forestry (10'46 ''). The grazers also care for the fruit trees by grazing the soil (11'0 '').

Terraces: working horizontally, building the ground, no erosion

With terraces one can work much better, one can build the soil layer by layer, there is no major erosion during tillage, the flowing rainwater is soon stopped and can slowly infiltrate into the soil and can not wash or erode anything (11'50 '').

The rye field at Krameter Farm (Krameterhof)

Krameterhof: Terrasse mit Roggen zweijährig   Krameterhof: Terrasse mit Roggen zweijährig
                    02   Krameterhof: Terrasse mit Roggen zweijährig
Krameterhof: Terrace with rye biennial 1,2,3

Rye field on a terrace: The rye grows biennial: is sown in early summer, when it's tall it is grazed in the autumn and grows a second time in the coming spring, then it grows more beautiful, grows denser, can better contain the wild herbs, becomes in the end without pesticides a very nice grain, without that you have to do anything (12'57 ''). One year old rye would have a lot more wild herbs in between and would not grow so well and harvestable (13'7 ''). The biennial rye grows more freely and purer (13'15 ''), the grazers have additional food, the soil experiences a longer regeneration phase and thus is building up humus (13'32 '').

The terraces and the embankments with low forest - optimal population with beneficials

Due to the small units with terraces and slopes, there is always a very good mix of biodiversity, [photo: clover grows at the bottom of the rye field] (14'9 ''). There is always a very high biodiversity at the edge of the embankment, and with these small terraces there are never any problems as large monocultures have (14'34 ''), because from the slopes the beneficials migrate immediately to the field - with a maximum width of a terrace of 2m - and there is a guarantee for a maximum of soil life (15'2 ''). The rye grain is for independence of Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) (15'20 '').

Krameterhof mit
                    Roggengetreide kurz vor der Ernte, Nahaufnahme   Krameterhof mit
                    Roggengetreide kurz vor der Ernte, da wächst Klee am
                    Boden [reichert den Boden mit Stickstoff an]
Kramter Farm (Krameterhof) with rye grain just before the harvest, close up - clover grows on the ground [enriching the soil with nitrogen]

The earth cellar: Storage at earth temperature and ventilation trick

In earth cellars the bulk of fruits and vegetables are stored, at earth temperature, with ventilation system (16'1 ''), with output pipe above, and with a long, underground, somewhat rising inlet pipe. The incoming air is adjusted by the long underground route to the earth temperature and the condensing moisture drips down through the inlet pipe and does not enter the interior (17'5 '').

                    mit Erdkeller   Krameterhof, der Eingang des Erdkellers   Erdkeller am Krameterhof, das
                    Entlüftungsrohr am oberen Ende   Erdkeller am Krameterhof, das
                    etwas ansteigende, unterirdische Zuluftrohr mit
Kramter Farm (Krameterhof) with earth cellar - the entrance of the earth cellar - the vent pipe at the upper end - the somewhat rising, underground inlet pipe with dehumidification

Fruit tree meadow on 3 terraces - grazing animals - pigs eat windfalls

Here are 3 terraces with fruit trees as orchards (17'13 ''), so the grazing animals graze here, in the upper zone the cattle, in the lower zone the pigs, and on the trees are growing fruits with pears and apples (17'35 ''). The fruit is partly used for cider production and juice production, and the excess fruit is eaten by the pigs (17'44 ''). The fruit trees thus serve the animals partly also as feed trees (17'48 ''). So also this area is used multiple times, and it is an essential supplementary food for the animals (18'22 '').

Krameterhof, die
                    Streuobstwiese über 3 Terrassen hinweg   Krameterhof, Streuobstwiese
                    für Schweine, Rinder und Pferde  
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), the orchard over 3 terraces - orchard for pigs, cattle and horses

Pigs grazing and pruning

Pigs graze areas and prune areas

Here is a pig paddock, the pigs are outdoors all year round, for winter they have draft-free shelters (18'36 ''). They are grazing areas throughout the year, and the pigs change their place over and over again (18'50 ''). Most of the food is fetched by the pigs from the area, so they eat the grass, rake the soil, eat roots, worms, snails, whatever they find (19'13 ''). Then they are fed by the farmer, so they also eat the last rest on the field, and then the pasture is changed (19'28 ''). This is how surfaces are cleaned, and then plants grow, and the pigs enjoy doing so (19'35 '').

Schweinehaltung am Krameterhof in
                    Freilandhaltung mit windgeschütztem Unterstand   Schweinehaltung am
                    Krameterhof in Freilandhaltung 02  
Pig husbandry at Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) in free range with wind-protected shelter 1.2

Pigs are actually forest animals, so the best are forested areas (19'47 ''). In the low forest they find enough food, and there they can not do much damage (19'51 ''). Pigs dig and dig where the terrain is unfavorable to the peasants, especially on areas where stones are encountered [which could harm machines] (20'4 '').

Pigs plow up areas that can neither be farmed nor managed by hand (20'11 ''). The digging of the pigs is like a barking and then you can sow again (20'25 ''). Pigs are also useful against weeds to get rid of "unwanted growth," [including roots]: "There is no animal that can remove "unwanted growth" as well as pigs." (20'40 '')

Schweine werden sektorenweise in die
                    Weidehaltung geführt, um dort die Erde umzugraben   Krameterhof: Ein Schwein kriegt
                    zum Spass Gras gefüttert
Pigs are led sector by sector into the grazing areas for digging up the soil there - a pig gets fed grass for fun

The low forest at the terrace slopes

The low forest on the terrace slopes: fruit trees, berry bushes, energy wood, timber

On the terrace slopes there is an agro-forestry system with a low forest: on the slopes wood or fruits are growing (21'43 ''), at the same time the roots of trees and shrubs secure the slopes against erosion (21'48 ''), but at the same time, the terraces have to get enough light because productivity must not drop (21'58 ''). The forest at the terrace slope must therefore be very light, and must always be maintained a little bit (22'8 '').

Krameterhof: Terrassenhänge mit Mittelwald
                    (Agroforst-System) mit Sträuchern und Bäumen   Krameterhof, eine
                    Terrassenböschung ist in einer Regenerationsphase
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof): Terrace slopes with low forest (agroforest system) with shrubs and trees - a terrace embankment is in a regeneration phase

Krameterhof has created the low forest on the terraces with fruit trees and shrubs, so there are elder, rowan berries and fruit trees in between (22'20 ''). Individual trees are used for wood production like a larch or a birch (22'26 ''). Young trees are firewood (energy wood), tall trees are timber, the slopes are grazed (22'55 ''). So the terraces get enough light, you have fruit, berries, lumber, energy wood for heating, the roots stabilize the terrace slopes (23'15 ''). And in winter, the terraces serve as roads to harvest wood (23'21 '').

The full-grown low forest on the embankment - the decision what will remain and what not

                    Beispiel einer zugewachsenen Böschung zwischen 2
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), example of a grown embankment between 2 terraces

When a terrace is "fully grown", you have to decide which trees and shrubs remain and which not, for example birch, elder, which grew up by itself (23'49 ''). The trees and shrubs grow where nature decides, and when the slope is full, the farmer has to decide what will remain and what not (24'4 ''). What is more important: the wood? The fruit trees? The berry bushes? (24'16 '')

The middle forest on the terrace slope - multiple benefits for the embankment

Low forest management was a traditional form of forest management in Europe until 1900, but then fell into oblivion [by the greed for money by the mono afforestations] (24'28 ''). Mid-forest crops are ideal for the steep terrain, so that the roots protect the terrace slopes, and berries, fruits and wood are added as products of the embankment (24'51 ''). Thus, stability is created and productivity is increased - this is a "wonderful multiple benefit" (25'1 ''). The terraces are managed differently, this can be a terrace with potatoes, or can be a fallow, so a terrace that "is taking a rest", or it can be a terrace with cereals (25'20 '').

All areas are used: terrace - low forest embankment - terrace etc.

The Krameterhof has created its own forest system, a terrace system with low forest between the terraces (25'28 ''). The neighbors stuck to their steep slopes, did not build any terraces and did not grow potatoes or cereals because they simply say: "This is not going to work here on this territory." ("Das geht hier nicht in diesem Gelände"). (25'45 '')

[Low forest embankments - NO construction of expensive terrace walls necessary
The middle forest slopes not only guarantee the presence of beneficials, fruits, berries and wood, but the mountain farmer can do all this without the construction of expensive terrace walls].

The pond systems with bio-treatment plants and open creeks for oxygenation

The ponds of Krameter Farm (Krameterhof) of the Holzer family are built in several "floors" (26'0 ''). The overwater is passed through an overflow and a ditch into the next lower pond (26'16 '').

Krameterhof, Teichsystem
                    mit Zufluss von einem oberen Teich  
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), pond system with inflow from an upper pond

Krameterhof, Teichsystem mit Überlauf   Krameterhof, Teich mit Ablauf in Graben   Krameterhof, ein Teichsystem mit
                    einem unteren Teich
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), pond with overflow - Krameterhof, pond with drain ot the ditch - the lower pond of a pond system

Pond systems as bio-wastewater treatment plants

The water needs to be able to regenerate: some ponds are used more intensively, other ponds have plants and work like organic sewage treatment plants to regenerate the water (27'13 ''). There the water is enriched with oxygen, there the water is a habitat for microorganisms, etc. Since the water is "prepared" for the next pond (27'24 '').

Some ponds are full of aquatic plants forming a natural flat zone with clarifying effect (28'8 '').

In this case it's essential to let the water flow in creeks over open rocks so the water is enriching itself with oxygen regenerating itself. So the water is "perfectly prepared" for the next pond (27'43 ''). The water flows passing a natural creek up to 100m in length [the water accumulates oxygen on the gravel and rocks], so gets a perfect water quality and flows into the next pond (28'43 ''). Thus, the scarce water of the region is used optimally, the regeneration of the water is very important (28'55 ''). These structures and functions can be divided on the slope (29'12 ''): ponds with flat zones, shallow ponds, deeper ponds, open creeks, etc. This only works on a slope (29'25 '').

Krameterhof, ruhiger, seichter Teich 01   Krameterhof, ruhiger, seichter Teich 02   Krameterhof, ruhiger, seichter Teich 03
Krameterhof, quiet, shallow pond 1,2,3
Krameterhof, Seerosenteich, Frontalansicht   Krameterhof, Seerosenteich, Seitenansicht   Krameterhof, Seerosenteich, Seitenansicht
Krameterhof, water lily pond, frontal view - side view
Krameterhof, Teich mit Fischen
                    unter Wasserpflanzen  
Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), pond with fish under aquatic plants

Fishing with lowering of the pond level

It is relatively difficult to catch the fish if there is much structure in the pond. You can lower the pond level and make the pond fishable, this goes over [swiveling] pipes (30'0 ''). The drained water is collected in the lower pond and is not lost unless water is drained from the last bottom pond (30'12 ''). Plankton and small crabs flow with and are not lost (30'26 ''). After fishing, the pond can be refilled immediately with water from the upper pond (30'37 ''). The ponds give a lot of water in a short time, whereas the springs themselves give only little (30'49 ''). So, after a fishing action, soil life takes no damage, but the pond is replenished quickly from the pond of the higher level, so that nothing can happen (31'0 '').

The movable overflow permits to lower the pond level without fishes (31'34 ''). The swiveling pipe is maintenance-free (32'50 '').

Krameterhof, Überlauf kippen und
                    Teichpegel absenken 01   Krameterhof, Überlauf kippen und
                    Teichpegel absenken 02
Krameterhof, overflow is moved sinking the pond level 1,2
Krameterhof,das Ausgangsrohr ohne Zufluss   Krameterhof,das Ausgangsrohr mit Zufluss
Krameterhof, the end tube without water coming - and with water coming

Krameterhof, mittleres Haus mit
                    Halbkreis-Teichsystem, Sicht von oben   Krameterhof, mittleres Haus mit
                    Halbkreis-Teichsystem, Seitenansicht 02   Krameterhof, mittleres Haus mit
                    Halbkreis-Teichsystem, Seitenansicht 01
Krameterhof, middle house with semi-circle pond system, view from above - side view 1,2

Vegetables at 1400m altitude on the rock face

Microclimate on the rock face at 1400m: At the foot of the rock face, earth is poured up and mulched with straw so that flatland vegetables can grow there (33'30 '').

Krameterhof, warmes
                    Mikroklima an einer Felswand auf 1400m mit
                    Strohmulch lässt Flachlandgemüse wachsen   Krameterhof, warmes Mikroklima an einer
                    Felswand auf 1400m mit Strohmulch lässt
                    Flachlandgemüse wachsen, Nahaufnahme
Krameterhof, warmes Mikroklima an einer Felswand auf 1400m mit Strohmulch lässt Flachlandgemüse wachsen- Nahaufnahme

Krameter Farm (Krameterhof), warm microclimate on a rock wall at 1400m with straw mulch, flatland vegetables are growing - closeup

Sepp Holzers hillbeds

Sepp Holzer style in Austria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KafYj_AcVs

Sepp Holzer style in Washington ("USA"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sso4UWObxXg

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[web01] http://www.holzerpermaculture.us/krameterhof.html
[web02] https://www.seppholzer.at/cms/index.php?id=7
[web03] https://www.permaculturedesign.fr/ferme-permaculture-sepp-holzer-krameterhof-autriche-modele/

Photo sources
[1] Krameterhof on bing maps satellite photo
[2-13] http://www.holzerpermaculture.us/krameterhof.html
[14] Krameterhof: long ponds: http://permacultureapprentice.com/how-to-set-up-a-permaculture-farm/
[15] Krameterhof: cattle on slope meadow: https://www.permaculturedesign.fr/ferme-permaculture-sepp-holzer-krameterhof-autriche-modele/
[16] Krameterhof: mobile chicken house on wheels: https://www.permaculturedesign.fr/ferme-permaculture-sepp-holzer-krameterhof-autriche-modele/
[17] Krameterhof: upper ponds, view from above: https://www.permaculturedesign.fr/ferme-permaculture-sepp-holzer-krameterhof-autriche-modele/
[18] Krameterhof: entrance shield of wood: https://www.permaculturedesign.fr/ferme-permaculture-sepp-holzer-krameterhof-autriche-modele/
[19] Krameterhof: lower house with pond systems: http://wikimapia.org/4641281/de/Krameterhof
[20] Krameterhof: lower house, closeup with pond systems: http://wikimapia.org/4641281/de/Krameterhof
[21] Krameterhof: middle house with snow, pond frozen: http://wikimapia.org/4641281/de/Krameterhof
[22] Krameterhof: mill: http://wikimapia.org/4641281/de/Krameterhof
[23] Krameterhof: Sepp Holzer giving food to pigs: http://wikimapia.org/4641281/de/Krameterhof

[f1-75] Video: Sepp Holzer Josef Holzer Krameterhof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P81ZLODRQo