Ten Questions for Gregor Hoffmann

  • The most important questions first: do you refer to tomatoes as Tomaten, or Paradeiser?

I actually say both: my father was from Vienna, so Paradeiser, and my mother is from Upper Austria, so Tomaten.

  • Breeding fish and growing veg all in one – how does that work?

Aquaponics is the combination of fish breeding (aquaculture) and vegetable growing (hydroponics). The wastewater from the fish tanks provides the basis of the vegetable growing system.

  • How did this innovative project on the outskirts of Vienna come to fruition?

Four partners and friends working in gardening and agriculture came up with an idea together: creating a form of agriculture fit for our grandchildren, in the form of a modern closed economic cycle.

  • What fish is best suited for this kind of system?

Catfish, especially the African species, which is perfectly suited due to its natural habitat.

  • What do the fish eat – surely not the produce?

They eat organic cereal mixed with animal protein that we are continuing to fine-tune in an ongoing research project – high-quality, certified-organic feed.

  • Where can I find blün products?

On restaurant menus, at the farm gate, or in our online store.

  • Which Viennese restaurants do you supply?

We now have more or less pride of place on around 50 menus.

  • Are the products themselves organic?

Our production methods actually take things a step further. There is currently no certification for that in the conventional sense – but our core values of local, transparent, and eco-effective are very much in evidence.

  • What is it like being a farmer in Vienna?

In short: it’s great! We see ourselves as part of the land and part of the city – something that is only possible in Vienna. The close ties we have with the city and the people around us as customers, stakeholders and the like are unique.

  • Where do you spend your free time?

I live with my family in the 18th district, Währing. A wonderful district with lots of parks.

 

Interview: Karoline Gasienica-Bryjak

There are even more cool stories, exciting interviews, and curious tales about Vienna in the new Vienna, Intl.

 

 

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