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The story of a farm and its family

We are lucky enough to live on a farm that is over 700 years old and has been spared destruction through mudflow, flood or fire. The entire spectrum of construction development in the Schnalstal Valley over the past 700 years is represented here. Despite the numerous renovations, additions and expansions carried out over the last seven centuries, each construction phase can still be clearly seen. Our farm has not only been used for farming purposes, but also as a court, a prison and an inn.

A history of the Oberniederhof

Our history
The first documented mention of the “Old House” of the Oberniederhof. At that time it was owned by the Tyrolean prince Heinrich of Bohemia. The first builder and farmer whose name is known was Mecza de Niderhouen (1317)
The Tyrolean Prince Heinrich of Bohemia donates the “Niederhof”, together with six other farms, to the Allerengelsberg monastery in Karthaus. Annual tithes to the monastery: 50 pf.P, 4 shoulders, 1 lamb, 1 fawn, 3 sheep, 4 chickens, 7 Mark Perner Despite resistance from the monastery council, in 1334 the Niederhof is divided in two. The reason was probably an argument over a farm track. Official confirmation by the Allerengelsberg monastery of the division of the farm in 1441.

The Tappeiners

Our ancestral farm is a family business, with each individual contributing to making the farm what it is today, so it can continue and develop in the future.

Johann (Johnny) is head of operations, lord of the cheese dairy and always full of new ideas. His wife Petra, a high-spirited Berliner with an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs, helps run the show and looks after the guests, keeping them happy with a wealth of interesting anecdotes.
Fabian takes care of the farming and is following in Johnny’s footsteps. Lisa helps out with the guided tours and in the farm shop and is currently training as a childminder. Sarah takes care of the creative side, while Leoni, culinary professional and human whirlwind, keeps everyone on their toes. Baby Paul is always there too, as cute as he is charming.


Older breeds in modern times

Many people are aware that wild plants and animals are dying out, but only a few are aware that the same happens in agriculture as regards cultivated plants and livestock. Only a few high-yield varieties and breeds are still used to produce food for us humans today. In order to prevent such monotony and ensure that no breed that is adapted to its climate and location – thus representing a genetic heritage and a cultural asset – completely disappears from the Earth, we carry on the breeding and keeping of old breeds that are worth protecting or are endangered.

We are a recognised “ArcheHof [Ark Farm]” and a member of the GEH (Society for the Preservation of Protected Domesticated and Farm Animal Breeds). We have made it our task to integrate old breeds into our farming operations, while also offering fascinating tours that provide an insight into the history of these breeds and their current situation.


Tyrolean grey cattle

The “Tyrolean grey” is an old, very robust breed of cow that produces very good meat and milk, and can easily cope with our steeply sloping meadows. As the horns are part of the cow, we naturally leave the horns on.


Deutscher Sperber and Vorwerk chickens

Our endangered breeds – Deutscher Sperber and Vorwerk – lay eggs that have an excellent taste and are low in cholesterol, so you can treat yourself to another one. These breeds also know how exactly how “hatching” works, and with luck we will have chicks after 21 days.


The Swabian-Hall pig

Our farm is home to an endangered breed: the Swabian-Hall pig. It was one of the most popular domestic breeds until the middle of the 20th century but was almost entirely eradicated by the introduction of “lean pigs”.


Bernese mountain collie

Fortunately our Abby is not a member of an endangered breed; nor do we want to keep her away from you. Abby diligently guards the farm and has all the other animals (including us humans) firmly under control. She is both a watchdog and a cuddly pet and soon enchants one and all. She loves playing with the children of guests or simply lying in the shade outside the house, happy to enjoy her own version of a dog’s life.