Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the farm in Upper Austria

And on and on it grows

In summer, when you travel off the main highway in Upper Austria or Oberösterreich, it's not long before you find yourself amidst the cornfields.  Corn to the left; corn to the right.

Cornfields close to Bad Hall, Austria

We recently went in search of friends who live on a working farm in Oberösterreich.  We followed our GPS, and we were soon traveling a very narrow winding road.  What the GSP correct?  Corn or mais was everywhere.  It was a corn jungle!

Reaching for the sky

In the U.S. we tend to think of corn as an American food.  After all, corn is native to the Americas.  But farmers in Austria have been growing corn on a large scale since just after the second world war.  I was surprised to learn that - after wheat - corn is the most important annual crop in Austria.  Corn is mainly used as animal feed and for the production of biogas.

Cornfields in Upper Austria

Small farms still exist in Austria.  You can see them as you travel the countryside.  The traditional Austrian farmhouse is built like a quad, four joined structures with a courtyard in the center.  These farmhouses are old, and they are lovely.

Our friend's farmhouse was first built in the fourteenth century.  It has been altered over the years.  Some of its building materials include stones from a nearby church.

From lower left: farmhouse courtyard, stones recycled from an old church, the corn cart, happy farm kitty

How fortunate to have experienced this part of Austria!

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