Albschaf

SEVEN GENERATIONS OF ALB CARE BY HERTLERS’ SHEEP!

In the spring, summer and fall months, my six hundred sheep are on the move throughout the Swabian Alb. They graze our fresh valley meadows and the extremely herb-rich juniper heaths. By the way, their occurrence, which is unique and protected throughout Europe, is thanks to our four-legged landscape gardeners. Apart from that, besides the rare gentian, numerous orchid species bloom, which are typical for the Filsalb like bushes, hedges, oak and beech forests.
Just as typical for our region as flora and fauna, is also the image of the shepherd with his flock. For centuries, our profession has shaped the landscape of the Swabian Alb and has thus contributed significantly to its current image as a cultural landscape. So it is still an ecologically enormously valuable vocation, which is dying due to the price decline of wool and the enormous price pressure of lamb imports from overseas. Many shepherds gave up or retreated to outlying pastures.

As a result, not only did a large part of the grazed Alb areas fall victim to natural succession, but also a large piece of our cultural heritage. Although this fact is sad, it still reminds me daily why I chose this profession.

And so, day in and day out, I move across the pastures with my furry four-legged friends. The unique calcareous meadows and juniper heaths are our responsibility and we carry it gladly and with passion. Grazing preserves habitats for rare plant and animal species that have adapted there to the natural conditions that have existed for centuries.

At the same time, seeds are transported from pasture to pasture in the most natural and sustainable way possible: through the fur of my flock. While my sheep live outdoors throughout the spring, summer and fall months, dams and lambs retreat to sheds over the winter to protect themselves from the elements. And this is what my everyday life looks like – determined by nature and weather, without compromise. On the one hand, this means a challenge for myself, but much more so for my sheep, which in the course of this have developed into very robust and hardy animals. Just as Merinoland sheep should be; excellent, finest Merino wool that gives them protection from the elements all year round. Strengthened and satiated by the wild herbs (thyme, sage and also oregano) and the products of the orchards that are widespread here.

What is particularly close to our hearts is the Hutewald project. A sparse forest pasture (something that has unfortunately long since become a mere rarity in Central Europe), which has immense importance for a wide variety of endangered organisms and is home to a multitude of rare and protected plants. Surrounded by old beech trees, which charmingly stand out from the picture of surrounding woodlands with their spreading, deeply branched treetops, the Hutewald is a fantastic experience. With its 146 settled plant species, it amazes nature lovers and botanists alike. And also tomorrow it will be made possible and preserved by the natural basic care of my sheep.

— Dieter Hertler

CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR “ALBSCHAF”

Albschaf Eigenschaften Landschaft

Fresh valley meadows
and Juniper heaths

Albschaf Eigenschaften Wetter

Fresh valley meadows
and Juniper heaths

Albschaf Eigenschaften Nahrung

Wild herbs and
Orchard meadows

Albschaf Eigenschaften Wolle

Finest soft merino wool

THE ADVENTURE OF OUR WOO

sheep-shearing
spinning mill
dyeing works

Done! Our wool reaches the farm stores..

farm online shop

Done! Our wool reaches the farm stores.

Inselschaf Reetgrau Wolle Ansicht

apfelblüte

Inselschaf Reetgrau dunkel Wolle Ansicht

feuerfalter

Inselschaf Reetgrau hell Wolle Ansicht

hermelin

Inselschaf Sanddorn Wolle Ansicht

trollblume

Inselschaf Sanddorn hell Wolle Ansicht

obstwiese

Inselschaf Sandstrand Wolle Ansicht

vergissmeinnicht

Inselschaf Reetgrau Wolle Ansicht

wollweiss

Inselschaf Reetgrau dunkel Wolle Ansicht

hutewald

Inselschaf Reetgrau hell Wolle Ansicht

kuckuck

Available here in 50g and 100g balls
Textilfärberei Hirschhorn

The textile dyeing Hirschhorn

When passion and expertise come together.