The Forest is my Source of Relaxation
When Gerti Willberger needs a break from her everyday life as a young farmer she loves to go to the waterfall in the forest. There, where the silence is only broken by the sounds of the waterfall, she can let her mind roam and gather her thoughts.
"I grew up here in the region, that's why I have a close connection to this area", says Gertraud, "Gerti", Willberger. We are sitting on a bench with Gerti and her seven-year-old son Tobias, not far from her favourite place in Unken. As background music, we hear the waterfall splashing. The birds twitter in the branches and sing about the sunny spring day. "I treasure our region because it is so diverse", Gerti continues, "You can do all kinds of sports such as cycling, mountain biking, hiking or climbing. The four seasons are also very attractive." Gerti smiles as her son Tobias snuggles up closer to her. "We simply love it here in the mountains, we grew up with it".
Draw new strength at the waterfall
Gerti has been living with her husband Thomas and their children for around eight years at the Ennsmanngut, an inherited farm from the year 1399, on the edge of the village of Unken. These days four generations live on the farm: Thomas' grandparents and parents and the young farmers Gerti and Thomas with seven-year-old Tobias and four-year-old Annika. "My parents-in-law still work in the business with us, they support us where they can", says Gerti because there is more than enough work on the farm. When the 32-year-old needs a break from everyday life, she comes here to the waterfall. "Often 10 minutes are enough for me to draw new strength", says Gerti. The waterfall lies behind Ennsmanngut directly on the publicly accessible Gsengsteig. It rushes into the river in imposing cascades, especially in the spring when the meltwater comes down from the mountains. The beautiful day hike "Rund um den Achberg" (Around the Achberg) of the Hiking Village Unken, comes past here. You also walk from Unken via the Gsengsteig, through the Aschauerklamm, the Innersbachklamm and the Gaissteig back to Unken.
"Children should feel nature“
"When I go to the waterfall I often take both of our children with me", says Gerti and lovingly tugs Tobias' headband. "I think it is very important to bring children out into nature – because of the exercise and fresh air, but also so that they can learn to treasure nature. They should know how it feels to be out in nature – what a special climate it is here under the trees for example. The children have to learn to feel that." Gerti leans back on the bench and breathes deeply. "The forest is the best source of relaxation for me when the birds sing and I can breathe in the good air. Forests provide air, oxygen. When you wander along the Gsengsteig you go through the forest, I like that and at the waterfall I always like to sit a bit longer." Gerti turns around and indicates a point far above us. "The source which produces this waterfall lies up there", she explains. "At the same time, this source also brings us water for our fishery."
Fish from our own pond, cheese from our neighbour,
Talking about the fishery: the fish from the Ennsmangut pond can be bought in their own farm shop. "We have four sources of income", says Gerti. "That's the dairy farm, the rental of our holiday apartments, the wood and forestry business and also the direct sales in our farm shop. This is mainly my job." We have a look inside the welcoming farm shop and try the fish specialities. "We rear salmon trout, rainbow trout and char in our own pond", explains Gerti. "The fishpond was built by Thomas' granddad. We have now expanded this with the farm shop." You can buy all kinds of fish products in the Ennsmanngut farm shop – from smoked fillets to brawn, from fish spread to pickled salmon. But there are also products from neighbouring farms available to purchase in the cozy shop. "For example, we have cheese from the Köstlerhof or goats' milk products from the Reitbauer, that's our next-door neighbour."
Everyone helps to make everything run smoothly
Lots of locals come to the farm shop which is open on Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings. "We are very proud that so many people from Unken come", says Gerti and smiles. "Regular customers are very important for a farm shop." The work in the shop is a lot of fun for the former teacher. To make sure everything runs well, the family sticks together and helps each other. "Our fish are caught fresh every day and that means a lot of work of course", says Gerti. "Everyone mucks in. My mother-in-law and father-in-law help with the fishing and gutting of the fish. My parents look after the children. Dad smokes the fish", Gerti stops and laughs. "We are a well-practised team. Everyone helps to make everything run smoothly."