Haff Tempels farm is one of the largest in the Minett region. In Oberkorn, in the commune of Differdange, Guy Tempels produces meat, cereals, eggs and… pumpkins!
Tempels farm begins where the town of Differdange ends. Whichever way you look and as far as the eye can see, you are now on Tempels land. When we ask Guy, the farm’s owner, if he’s the biggest landowner in this Terres Rouges town, alongside ArcelorMittal, he smiles humbly: “Possibly…”
So, exactly what does Guy Tempels do with his 225 hectares of land? “There are 120 hectares of crops and 105 hectares of meadows,” explains the farmer, who is also a member of Differdange town council. Elected as a councillor on 11 June, he gave up his seat to another candidate on the list: “I’m staying on at the council, but not as a councillor. I simply don’t have the time to do the job properly, what with everything I’ve already got to do on the farm…” And we believe him.
This farm, which his grandfather took on in 1939, is near enough a closed-cycle farm, with very few hands on deck. “We’ve got 100 cows that give birth to around 90 calves a year. We only keep Charolais sucklers now. All the male calves are sold to producers in Luxembourg, who fatten them up and then sell them on for their meat. You’ll find the meat in Cactus shops and restaurants, for example. There are breeders and there are fatteners; we’re breeders,” he says. Most of the cattle feed is also produced on the farm: hay, cereals, peas etc.
Although the farming here is sustainable, it is not, however, organic: “But we do follow a set of strict criteria,” says Guy Tempels. The farm is certified by nature protection association ‘Natur Genéissen’, an initiative that encourages active protection of nature, in collaboration with a number of eco-conscious farmers and various inter-municipal nature conservation associations (SICONA) across Luxembourg. “Our animals are fed GMO-free feed, and wherever possible from the farm’s own produce.”
A little shop open round the clock
The farm’s 120 hectares are planted with a variety of crops: bread wheat (or soft wheat), rapeseed, barley for fodder and a small amount for brewing, a little maize “for winter rations”, oats “for the calves” and peas. Its hundred or so cows graze peacefully on the grass in the surrounding meadows and return to the barn in winter, where everything has already been collected from the fields and brought in for the year, to ensure the best possible season.
On rue de la Gare, in Oberkorn, in the courtyard bordered by a vegetable garden and two houses belonging to the family, with barns in the background, there is a small room that’s always open. Simply push open the door and you’ll find yourself in Tempels farm’s little farm shop. Here, you’ll find fresh milk (“from my sister’s farm”), jams (“made by my sister”), eggs from the farm’s chickens, lettuces, courgettes and all the farm’s freshly picked fruit and vegetables (tomatoes, watermelons, squashes etc.), potatoes (“from my brother-in-law’s farm”), and even vinegar “made by a neighbour”. Sometimes, there’s even wild boar burgers for sale, for game lovers! As for the Charolais meat, you have to order it directly from the owner; likewise for the chickens that he raises in certain seasons.
Another Tempels farm highlight is its magnificent ‘autumn barn’: Every year, Guy Tempels plants more than 50 varieties of squash, transforming this old barn into a pumpkin paradise. Head down to the barn from late September and marvel at the thousands of squashes and pumpkins that fill it. From the most delicious to the most decorative, not forgetting the most frightening for Halloween, of course! There’s something for everyone!