EVELYN AND ANDREAS
I wasn’t born a farmer. Evelyn and I used to own the village bookstore. We spent many happy years in the village, but then one day the opportunity to take over Maso Costes presented itself. Our three children had grown up and were living their own lives.
Over the years, I had become more and more interested in living a simpler life. I liked the idea of living in a more natural environment, of being in direct contact with it, and of having a change in the daily routines and activities.
So we decided to rent out the bookstore. We got planning, and went at reconstructing Costes, and eventually we were able to move in – now we’re busy getting life back into the farm.
And now? What is life like up here, all to ourselves in the mountains?
Good. Life is good. It is demanding – but equally rewarding.
For me, Val Gardena was love at first sight. I am originally from Bolzano, which is not far away. Nonetheless, Val Gardena is a completely different world for me. The Ladin language is only one of many reasons – nature itself, the mountains, the meadows, the forest, or the cry of the Gjajola (spotted nutcracker).
After years of hard work in the bookstore, we decided to make a new start up in the mountains. What would it be like, living surrounded permanently by the silence of the mountains, nothing but the trickling of the river and the rustling of the trees?
Every season is special up here. When the snow starts to melt in April, the coltsfoots are the first to appear, and are awaited with anticipation. Soon I’ll be preparing dishes with stinging nettle, yarrow and primroses and start collecting my herbs. In June, we start gathering hay for our sheep; in winter they’ll be eating nothing but lush hay from our own pastures. There’s Gentian, Daphne and some orchid and lily varieties thriving amongst the grass on the mountain meadows. From July on, we can enjoy the mountain flora even further up, towards Seceda or Sëurasas – and the magnificent sight of Sella, Sassolungo and Fermeda in the distance never fails to impress. In autumn, with all the colours and deep shadows, the mountains become even more calm and quiet and the larches start faintly to glow. The Cisles, Raschötz or Cuecenes areas are beautiful to explore any time of the year – the distinctive rock layers tell the tale of the origins of the Dolomites.
Winter up here is a unique inspiration. Time stands still as I watch the snowflakes falling from within the warm shelter of our living room. We spend our time exploring the surroundings on snowshoes, going on ski-tours or enjoying the diversity the Val Gardena ski resort has to offer.
Later on, it’s off back home and into the sauna, then a quick jump into the snow. When dusk starts to fall, danter eures as we say in Ladin, its nice and warm as we sit and watch the fireplace.
Costes is my little piece of paradise.