Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Podere Il Casale(Organic Farm)

Driving southeast of the Villa on the one lane road, the driver would pull over & allow other cars to pass us as we traveled to our private excursion to Val d' Orcia.  It was going to be another sunny day in Tuscany!

After about 1 1/2 hours, we reached our destination of the organic farm.  We approached the farm with dust flying in every direction.  As we unloaded from the bus, we were greeted by the piercing call of the Indian peacock.  He strutted around displaying his extravagant royal blue & jade green plumage with the beautiful eyespots.

Uli, the owner greeted us and walked us to one of the most scenic views.  The Val d' Orcia region was breathtaking as we looked out into the rolling hills of vineyards and olive trees.  Parishes and countryside stone homes were seen in the distance as well as a volcano that has not erupted in over 200,000 years.

Uli told us a little bit about himself and his family.  In 1991, Uli and his wife, Sandra, left Zurich and moved to Podere Il Casale.  The 300 year old stone home needed lots of fixing up before they could start on their dream of building an organic farm.  The other buildings on the property were also renovated to be used as workshops, hayloft, stables, cellar & a dairy.

They have a small dairy, which is where they make their organic raw milk sheep's and goat's cheeses. The herd consists of about 200 sheep and 75 goats.

As Uli discussed his farm and the surroundings, the two donkeys felt very comfortable walking in and out of our group.  We toured the area of the goats & got to see the newborns, as well as seeing the sheep and pigs.

Uli discussed the cheese making process without using any chemical preservatives or additives.  He demonstrated the process of making cheese over a gas fire.  He said the three most important steps in making cheese were the temperature, rennet & curds/whey.

After the demonstration, we enjoyed a beautiful lunch of salad, pasta, cheese, wine & dessert, overlooking the valley of the area.

The day ended with us buying cheese, olive oil and wine!

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