Our company is located on the west coast of Portugal in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina in the municipality of Odemira less than 1 km from the Atlantic Ocean. A unique place for a dairy farm in Europe. The ideas Frans brought with him from his stay on a dairy farm on the west coast of Australia eventually took us to the west coast of Portugal.
At the end of 2006 we emigrated to this beautiful place, where as a young couple we saw the challenge of building a business from scratch with few resources. Without facilities such as electricity and water and with a caravan as a home, many adventures later, we can say that a lot has already been achieved.
The fresh sea breeze makes it possible to graze the cows all year round and enjoy fresh grass every day. With three pivots we can irrigate our grass and keep it tasty and, except for the concentrate for the cows, we are almost completely self-sufficient in terms of forage.
Not only the location makes our company unique, the way of business operations is also unique. Despite our large stock of approximately 350 dairy cows, we can call our dairy farm extensive. The cows are milked twice a day in our modern milking parlor, which was renovated in 2019.
We didn’t want all our tasty grass milk to disappear in bulk, that’s how we came up with the idea to make cheese eight years ago. Since the spring of 2020, we have all permits to start this new company.
We are going to make Gouda Farmer’s cheese from Portuguese soil, a unique concept! Gouda cheese is originally a Dutch cheese, it is one of the most eaten types of cheese. Farmer’s cheese is an extra challenge for the farmer.
The cows milk couldn’t be fresher being piped directly form the first milking of the day into the processing vat. This is therefore only possible on the farm where the cows are milked.
Making farm cheese is traditional work. All cheeses are made by hand, requiring very hygienic and precisely work. Sometimes there can even be a difference in the taste of the cheeses if the cheese comes from the same farmer, because it is a natural product. The breed of the cows, the fresh grass, the sea, the sandy soil, the type of grass, the season and the farmer and his method of preparation and the ripening process ensure that each cheese gets its own characteristic taste.
This makes farm cheese a real regional product. We can also call our Cheese Grass cheese because our cheese is made from milk produced by cows that eat grass.
The pasture milk from our grazing cows is soft, creamy and healthy. In the Netherlands, this cheese is usually available from spring, until the cows go back into the stable. We can make this cheese all year round, so unique cheese!