Reaping What You Sow

Harald Gasser is a new breed of farmer. He cultivates old vegetables. Have you ever seen purple carrots?

  • May 2015

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Reaping What You Sow

Harald Gasser is a new breed of farmer. He cultivates old vegetables. Have you ever seen purple carrots?

Though it might not seem so at first, Harald Gasser, a young organic farmer from Barbiano/Barbian, really loves his work. Formerly a social worker, he now experiments with rare and old varieties of vegetables that very few people even know exist.

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Harald Gasser is one of a new breed of South Tyrolean farmers who are dedicated to alternative crops and, through their regional products, support the system of lesser circulation. Harold Gasser became a passionate farmer only when he could do it his way. Unlike his father, who still had cows in the barn, he wanted to see whether or not he had a knack for growing vegetables. There was a lot he had to learn, he says. And he also knows failure well. 

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Twelve years ago, when Gasser took over Aspingerhof Farm where he grew up, his first vegetable garden was as big as a child’s room. On 15 square meters of soil, he sowed the seeds of 180 different varieties that had disappeared from everyday life into the soil. Today Gasser cultivates 400 different varieties − all truly organically grown − on 3,000 square meters of land. He and his family strive to grow food that is healthy, but still tastes good. As a result, Aspingerhof is considered to be a model farm within South Tyrol. Gasser now sells his vegetable treasures to the masters of South Tyrol’s Michelin-star cuisine.

Photos: Alex Filz
Video: Andreas Pichler

Restauranteurs that swear by Harald Gasser vegetables

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Restauranteurs that swear by Harald Gasser vegetables

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Lodenwirt Restaurat Via Rio Pusteria, 1, 39030 Vandoies +39 0472 867 000

Finsterwirt Restaurant Vicolo del Duomo 3, 39042 Bressanone +39 0472 835 343

St. Hubertus Restaurant Strada Micurá de Rü, 20, 39036 San Cassiano in Badia +39 0471 849 500

La Stüa de Michil Gourmet Restaurant via Col Alt 105, 39033 Corvara +39 0471 831 000

Anna Stuben Gourmet Restaurant Via Vidalong, 3, 39046 Ortisei +39 0471 796 004

Unterwirt Restaurant 39043 Gudon/Chiusa +39 0472 844 000

Zur Rose Restaurant Via Josef Innerhofer 2, 39057 Appiano +39 0471 662 249

Zum Löwen Restaurant Via Principale 72, 3910 Tesimo +39 0473 920 927

Vigilius Mountain Resort Vigiljoch Mountain, 39011 Lana +39 0473 556 600

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