Thomas Brunschwig, the non-farming farmer

Thomas Brunschwig leads an unconventional life. He is a self-confessed outsider who has found his sustainable, spiritual paradise in a Bernese farmhouse filled with various Indian and Chinese instruments and sculptures – and four zebu cattle.

This content was published on August 27, 2021 - 10:23

The zebu produce neither milk nor meat. In fact he says the only useful thing they produce is dung, the fuel of fire in the Vedic religion. “Technically, if I calculate the income from selling dried cow pats, they are self-sufficient,” he says.

The wooden building is nestled among lush forest, perfect for foraging for fruit, vegetables and plants. And the cattle share their home with countless butterflies, frogs, snails, lizards and spiders.

“Everyone sees luxury differently,” Brunschwig says. “My water for life comes from mountain springs. There are solar panels on the roof. The fuel used for heating in winter is wood from the forest. Environmentalists could describe it as low carbon, but that’s not what I’m after. It’s not my plan. It’s just a side effect.”

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