Criss crossing Austria with Marcin

May 16th: at 7 p.m. Marcin was scheduled to meet with people at the Villa Kreativ in Neulengbach – I was not part of the official itinerary but a few phone calls by Franz Nahrada cleared the way and Marcin and I were off to the railway station in Linz.

On the train Marcin made that ‘famous’ video showing my transformation from Inga – The English Trainer to Inga – The Village Elder. Not only the train was moving fast towards Neulengbach and points beyond….

What lovely, dedicated and hospitable people we met at the creative villa, we were still talking at the house of Florence and Reinhold till 1 a.m. Up at 6 a.m. onto the train, back to Linz where Michaela and Erich were waiting for us to take us to Wels and the Gruber family.

All the names of people we met are recorded in Marcin’s ‘paper’ brain (his ever present notebook) and all the corresponding videos are on his camera. [nb -  I will put these up in here in the next few days – as always, there’s more footage than can be published in our ample spare time- Marcin] I’ll have to ask him to insert the videos into the right slots on my Blog. The whole Gruber Family is into Permagardening, you should see (on the videos) the huge variety of plants they have on their property! Father Gruber knows the Latin name of every plant!! He is truly amazing.

There is a video of Marcin running after the sheep, another one of him using the scythe almost like an expert. After having inspected everything and after testing the solar cooker mother Gruber put on an enormous spread for us. I’m certain their must be a video of it on M.’s camera. We ate a lot and we had some excellent (home-made, of course) Schnaps and liqueur to go with the meal. Again the magic hour was 1 a.m. and wake-up time at 6 a.m.

May 18th: Michaela and Erich drove us down to Carinthia where our first stop was the little recording studio of Bad Kleinkirchheim. They have their own, local TV station BKK TV. Birgit Morelli interviewed Marcin about OSE. She promised to send a copy of the video to Michaela. We’ll see it eventually, I’m sure.

Next stop was at Friedrich’s farm. Let me tell you, this fellow knows how to let others work for him. Want an example? He lets his pigs do the plowing for him (video). Unfortunately, nobody was quick enough to catch Marcin on film while he was riding a big pig!! He stayed on, too! Friedrich and his mother are quite a pair and Marcin fit right in. Again we were fed wonderful food: the beef was from a neighbor who raises his animals the natural, biological way, and boy could you taste the difference!

May 19th: Marcin’s talk was scheduled for 7 p.m. at the University of Klagenfurt. Michaela who had organized everything for this evening expected a handful of people to show up. Well, she was wrong, the large room was pretty full and people listened and asked question way past the allotted time. We finally all trooped into a pizza place close by and continued talking… you guessed it, bedtime was again 1 a.m.

May 20th: …. I have to consult Marcin’s paper brain, I can’t remember.

Enough for today, see you hopefully tomorrow.

Inga- The Village Elder


  1. Marcin

    Inga, thanks for the colorful descriptions from a fresh perspective.

  2. David

    It’s great that there are frequent updates and news on the blog recently. Keep it on! I like to read news about this fascinating conception (OSE). Best regards.

  3. Inga

    Hi David,

    I’m glad you like my updates, I love writing them. There is lots more to come. I have some very special news up my sleeve, need to wait a few days before I can post it.

    Hang in there friends!

    Inga – The Village Elder

  4. Franz

    OK, please accept my apologies that the map is not as precise as the story….first of all the red line /From Linz to Neulengbach – Creative Villa and back) is marked with 15th, but we had to postpone it one day….One should mention that Florence and Reini are two architects and planners themselves, but Florence is also a legend in Austria for starting the first really free school, the Studierwerkstatt. This is the first school that was primarilly planned from the point of the needs of the students, much freer than a Montessori school. Florence is also working closely with Frithjof Bergmann as a “Mentor” to find out what people “really, really want”.

    I am glad there were some good hosts in the Linz area and looking forward to meet the Grubers myself. I have not put Kleinkirchheim on the map, its a little bit north of Klagenfurt. There is something that you unfortunately did not see, a close cooperation between a biological farm with a very sophisticated biogas plant and two fine hotels. Bad Kleinkirchheim is a touristical village higher in the mountains and famous for its thermal spas and skiing slopes. What the example tells us is the power of proximity that can lead to unexpected synergies.Its what Paolo Soleri called the “urban effect”, the magic of mutual enrichment by cooperation and communication. I think the urban effect can also happen in a village.

    BKK TV did not publish the interview on the web yet but I hope this will happen soon.

    (to be continued)

  5. Inga

    Thanks for clarifying things, Franz. Of course, you have known all these wonderful people for some time. I was overwhelmed and my brain (I don’t have my paper brain yet!)was not able to keep track of everything and everyone. Sorry guys, next time I’ll be better prepared.

    Good night all!

  6. Franz

    Inga your brain works very well, you do great in considering this new world and thats the beauty of this whole approach that we can indeed contribute to each others endavours, observations and stories. I consider this Open Source Storytelling 😉

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