Meadow motley

Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg

The Steurer family moves up to the Streichbrunnen alp, close to Hittisau in the Bregenzerwald, during the summer months. They move up there because of the peace and quiet, the view, nature – and because of their animals. They are mountain farmers. Not only that – they are also Vorarlberg Meadow Champions.

“We wish to preserve the beauty of nature, our plants,” says Veronika. “That is why we only mow by hand once a year that which our animals don’t eat and merely weeds. Everything else is left to its own devices.” It is thanks to this time-intensive method that a colourful sea of flowers blossoms and shines on the meadows of the Streichbrunnen alp, flowers going back centuries continue to thrive here – and this delighted the jurors of the Meadow Championship Vorarlberg.

The objective of this competition, held by the state of Vorarlberg, is to reward the energy and time expended by farmers such as the Steurer family in the preservation of the centuries-old use of the areas of unspoilt nature, ensuring the continuing beauty of the Vorarlberg countryside, also creating the basis for its immense relaxation value. One of the criterion considered in the Meadow Championship is the incidence of rare plants on the estate of the pertinent applicant, as well as other endeavours towards farming the meadows in line with the location.

The steep slopes on the alp are only hand-mown once a year, enabling a veritable plant paradise to thrive. The alp is paradise on earth for a multitude of plants.

"We were delighted to win the prize since we put all our life's blood into our work."

A colourful sea of flowers blossoms and shines here on the meadows in the Bregenzerwald.

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