MOOOOOOve On Over…
It’s time to make some Dutch Cheese.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… the farm animals here in The Netherlands are so beautiful. They are healthy, have beautiful coats and just over all look like a picture postcard.
This week, my friends and I who are part of the Cultural Club in Eindhoven, went to Kaasboerderij De Ruurhoeve. The cheese farm is located in Hoogeloon just a short drive from my house. Who could resist an opportunity to make cheese while living in The Netherlands?!
We washed our hands, gathered around tables, put on our aprons and handkerchiefs and were ready to learn about the process to make the award winning Dutch cheese.
Cheese making, according to our leader, begins in the pasture. The cows are allowed to graze all day on the Dutch green grass. Weather outside in the pasture or inside the barn, the ladies enjoy a nonstop eating buffet. The cow’s healthy chew eventually turn in the stomach where it is digested and eventually ends up in the udder to become milk.
Here’s a link to their site that tells the whole process of making cheese.
After we finished making our cheese, we ventured into other areas of the farm… our first stop was the calf barn. And yes, a little calf had been born just that same hour that we were there making our cheese. He was still close to his very tired mommy stumbling around trying to get his little legs to work.
We then moved on to the milking barn. All the ladies were lined up with their precious faces sticking out of the gates chomping on the yummy grass. But at the one end of the barn, was an area where the cows were patiently waiting their turn to go in to be milked.
Each cow has a collar with a chipped tag in it that reports when the cow has been milked and how much milk was produced. I like to think of it as a necklace with a little bling bling on it. Every girl just loves her bling.
When the gate opens a cow may enter the milking area. Her chip is read and either an exit gate is opened if it is not time for her milking or she gets to stay and have a yummy treat while the machine fixes onto her to milk her. Also, if the chip reads that she is allowed to visit with her calf a gate will open welcoming her into the area with her baby to nurse and bond.
These precious ladies, who really do so much for us, really are taken care of lovingly and with pride. De Ruurhoeve has been awarded the prize of Cum Laude for 2015.
On April 19th Kaasboerderij De Ruurhoeve would like to invite everyone to a very special day, Cow Dancing Day. Once a year in celebration of the girls first visit outside, the cheese farm puts on a day of fun. Everyone is happy… the cows, the calfs, but also the people who come to see this remarkable display of joy. The cows come skipping and hopping out of the gates letting their legs stretch and enjoying the sunshine.
(See... a cow looking pretty on a postcard!)
The Cow Dancing Day takes place on April 19th, 2015 from 10:00 – 17:00 with the barn doors opening at 13:30.
5528 NC Hoogeloon
And how do you make the best tasting cheese ever? Keep the Girls Happy...
Happy Cows Make Happy Cheese