The Return of Austria’s Rebel Farmer

Chef Alex welcomes Austria’s “Rebel Farmer” Sepp Holzer to the Zingerman’s Roadhouse for a very special dinner and lecture, Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Sepp Holzer is an interesting fellow. He grew up in a traditional Austrian farming family, and in 1962, he took over the running of his parents’ mountain farm business. After he was unsuccessful using traditional farming methods, he began to apply the principles of ecological farming, or permaculture, techniques at his high altitude farm.

At first, he ran afoul of local authorities who disapproved of some of his practices (such as not pruning his fruit trees), and eventually even threatened Sepp with prison. It was this experience that earned him his “Rebel Farmer” nickname, and his willingness to try unconventional farming methods have helped it stick.

Sepp Holzer

Eventually, he developed his own system, Holzer Permaculture, a natural form of agriculture based on the cycles and interactions found in nature.  These strategies have proven that working in harmony with nature is not only ecologically sound, but can also be very economically successful. Sepp’s Krameterhoff farm in the Austrian Alps receives thousands of students and visitors each year.

“Learn to speak with Nature,” says Sepp, “Learn to assess her accurately. Ask yourself what she offers you. Those who learn to observe will identify niches in production and in all areas of farming, making it possible for a good living.”

You can read more about Sepp Holzer here and here.

Sepp’s latest book Desert or Paradise outlines strategies for restoring damaged ecosystems with biodiversity, organic food production, water conservation, and drought protection.

​In honor of Sepp’s visit, Chef Alex has created a delicious menu of locally sourced gourmet cuisine and guests will watch a short movie highlighting Sepp’s inspirational methods. Afterward, Sepp will answer questions during the lecture Q&A.

​Please join us for this very special event!

Purchase tickets and learn more about the event here