Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 2 Biodynamic farm & Cheese maker

Today we went to Sennerei Bachtel which means, cheese house of Bachtel mountain. It is a strictly organic cheese maker. There are 9 dairies that supply milk to this Sennerei. The Farmers use the biodynamic method, which is a way of farming using lunar cycles and keeping everything in harmony. Such as they don't cut the horns off the cows, and use the manure to fertilize the ground.
Also at this Sennerei they made yogurt & Quark which is like a thick yogurt. Their products are not pasteurized except the products that contain fruit & sugar because they will create harmful bacteria. The Senn (cheese-maker) has a degree and then works 3 yrs. as an apprentice before he can head the cheese making. All their cheese is made with a vegetable rennet so that they can market to vegetarians.
The Senn took us down to the cellar to show us the cheese. This black looking cheese is coated with an elderberry juice. The lighter one in the background is a younger cheese and has less coats on it. This was a stronger flavored cheese.
In Switzerland the common practice for preserving their cheese is not to dip it in wax but to soak it in a salt water solution for 24 hrs. Then the brush it daily for 3 days, for 2 weeks every other day, and then once a week. They cure the cheese for about 3 months total. We got to taste test their products we liked it all except the elderberry cheese which was a little strong for Shaun& I.
We then went on a tour of one of the Biodynamic farmers, farm. We walked out to where he was growing grain and by the way side we found some wild cherry trees that were ripe, and very good so we stopped for a snack.
Here are some of the animals on the farm.
Chicken tractor.
The farmer wouldn't get to close to the cows because they would think he was calling them in to milk.
I don't know if you can really see this picture well but it was very fascinating to me. A lot of people had gardens in whatever space they had by their house, but for those that lived in apartments there were these little community plots. There were all these little sheds, some almost looked like tiny cottages by a garden. people would sometimes spend the weekend there in their little shed and tend their garden. It was a garden village. We saw several of these in our travels.
Relaxing after a long day of walking. We had a 11 yr old girl and a 14 yr. old boy in our group. I think that helped us from missing our kids to much. they kept us busy playing games. Our guide was quite the ping pong player, she challenged Shaun to a few games. She is the one on the right with the yellow paddle.


Familie May said...

How great to read about your 2nd day. Did you have the chance to take some cheese with you or worldfamous swiss chocolate? The garden villages you have seen you can find all over Germany too. Love to read about your trip!!

Netti said...

I have been waiting all week to read about your day 2. I am so glad you did. I want to go! :)

verena said...

I remember going with Heike's family to their out of town garden complete with little cottage too. A very peaceful and lovely place with the most amazing strawberries I've ever tasted. What fun that you could see these.