Exciting & Eventful Years
According to oral tradition, three brothers came from Switzerland to live in Tyrol. One of the brothers settled in the hamlet of St. Georgen in Serfaus and later moved to the hamlet of Madatschen.
The family name Greiter appeared in the registry of Serfaus as early as 1653.
Our great grandfather Franz Greiter was born in Madatschen in 1858, but moved to the village and later settled in the hamlet of Serfauser Feld, where the land was easier for his wife Apollonia and their children to farm. Franz was forced to work on another farm at that time to save money and managed to save enough to buy a house with a stable in the centre of Serfaus shortly after the turn of the century.
Grandfather Josef Greiter was born in 1893 and, as was the fate of so many children of Tyrolean farmers, was sent to work in Swabia in Germany. At the young age of 12, he worked as a farmhand from March until November in Swabia. Upon his return from fighting in the First World War, he took over part of his parent’s farm in Serfaus. He tended around 4-5 cows, young cattle and bullocks – between 10 and 15 animals altogether. Farming the land was also key to survival as a farmer and putting food on the table for the family.
Josef married the lovely Adelheid Illmer from Fiss in 1927. They already had the excellent idea of sharing their home with guests visiting the area. They started by renting out four rooms in the farmhouse building and changed the layout to suit the guests.
In 1930, they set up a grocery shop on the ground floor.
Due to their success, Josef and his son Franz Greiter decided to build the beautiful “House Greiter” guesthouse in 1952-53.
Josef and Franz Greiter were also successful livestock traders – they bought some of the cattle on the mountain pastures and sold them at the many cattle markets in the area. The transportation of the livestock was almost always conducted on foot. Later they were able to make use of bicycles and then cars when they became available.
In 1962 and 1963, Franz Greiter and his wife Annathres built the “Darrehof”, which was named after the location called the “Darre” and was located on the other side of the “Platz” (German for square) close to his parents’ farm. The Darrehof was their new home, had a small grocery store, a stable for their livestock, and ample space to rent out to their guests.
There have been major changes in farming over the past 50 years, which have made specialisation essential. Agriculture was abandoned and gave way to the use of the land for cattle and grazing. The livestock are sold directly from the farm or at auctions and our business has increasingly been dedicated to the breeding of “Haflinger” horses.
Our horses play a pivotal role in our lives and we pay special attention to their well-being. This is why we relocated to a modern stable on the edge of the village in 2004 to give our horses everything they need to be happy and healthy. The riding arena was added in 2009 to exercise the horses all year round. Our farm is now one of the largest working farms in Serfaus.
We cultivate 19 hectares of grassland organically, including double-cut meadows and single-cut alpine meadows, some of which must still be harvested manually. This enables us to produce all the roughage for our animals ourselves.
The focus of our animal management is on Haflinger breeding and taking care of the horses on the farm. The majority of the Haflingers at the farm are bred directly here at the Darrehof. Our stables are inhabited by Haflinger horses and ponies. The landscaping of our meadows that are difficult to reach is taken care of by our beautiful llamas and a handful of Tyrolean mountain sheep. We also look after and feed many other friendly animals the whole year round who are popular with our guests in the petting zoo.
At the farmstead in St. Georgen we also grow a lot of different fruit which never goes to waste! We produce unfiltered apple juice as well as fruit schnapps and Spenling schnapps (from a rare fruit related to the wild plum). Even the homemade jam served at the breakfast buffet is mostly made from the fruit from St. Georgen.
Due to the increased specialisation in regional agriculture, the formation of cooperatives enables individual farmers to help each other. For our breakfast buffet in particular, we are proud to use products from local cooperation partners.
- Milk, butter and yoghurt from the organic farm "Fergl’s Hof" run by farmer Kurt Klinec from Serfaus
- Mountain cheese from the "Komperdell" dairy using locally produced milk
- Aromatic herbal teas come from the "Kauner Kräuterecke" and the delicious Tyrolean Alpine honey is supplied by local beekeeper Hans Köhle from Fiss