National Geographic : 1961 Jul
"Just like the mountains," I said to Max. Max said: "It's the same rock." What about Tirolers without castles? The 100,000 Innsbruckers live much like townspeople everywhere, watching television and dodging traffic, except that in winter they may extend their twelve-to-two lunch period and ski in the city's back yard. The remaining 350,000 Tirolers include 110,000 farmers and foresters, and of these, thousands live on the mountains, as high as crops will grow. Their fields are steep. Moun tain shadows keep some holdings without sunshine from October to March. Wheat, rye, and oats grow where the mountains let the warm south wind in. Elsewhere the north wind tolerates only potatoes and grass. "We have 6,000 farms still without access to roads," explained Josef Muigg, President of the Landeslandwirtschaftskammer, the province's central agricultural authority. "Where the mountains won't let us mecha nize farming, men must continue to do the work by hand." Women, too. Here is a housewife's descrip tion of her typical summer day: "You get up at four, make a fire, feed the chickens, clean the stable, milk the cows, separate the cream from the milk with a cen trifuge, wash the centrifuge, and cook break fast, wash dishes, make the beds. Then up the mountainside to mow the fields, if the weather is good. If not, you bundle grass or bring home hay. "At noon, half an hour for bread and cheese. More field work until six. Cook sup per and eat until the cows come home at seven, do the milking, and out to the field again until it gets really dark at nine-thirty." High Village Seems to Defy Time Frau Maria Lechleitner, who told me this, was 60 years old, a grandmother. I can tes tify that her work was as hard as it was long, because I stayed with her and shared her chores in Pfafflar, 5,000 feet up in the Lech tal Alps, a cluster of houses without a road, population 35. When I arrived, puffing under my rucksack after a steep climb, Pfafflar seemed touched with magic. It wasn't just the Alpine setting. Or the brook. Or the charming houses-five here and six there - made of logs laid in the blockhouse manner, their protruding, criss- Fresh scent of new-mown hay wafts over the fields as all hands rake the August har vest. Six-year-old Idamaria Reinstadler, one of the few children in the village of Pfafflar, works on one of 6,000 Tirolean farms still lacking access by road. KODACHROMEBY PETERT. WHITE. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC STAFF n(IN.Gr.