04 Feb La Capramica Goat Farm
When you are an active member of an Italian food coop, visiting farms and meeting its owners is one of the duties and often pleasures of the quality team of the coop.
This time, the team went to Litta Parodi, near Alessandria, at the outskirts of Monferrato to meet Marina and Ignazio and their friends at the milking goat farm La Capramica which means my friend the goat. Never a name could have been more appropriate!
The owners started their goat farm only a year ago when they decided to close Ignazio’s horse breeding farm with artificial insemination (Ignazio is a vet) and start their love story with the white Saanen goats, which they bought in France.
The existing facilities have been adopted in goat friendly, spacious sheds and goat pens with direct access to the open air, fences have been installed, milking stands newly built, adequate hay and grain mix storing areas prepared and a complete dairy kitchen built.
We literally met happy goats, social, curious that within seconds came to know us, asking for cuddles.
The bucks live in separate stalls, they cannot be pastured with milking goats because their smell would make the milk taste bad. Today two of the bucks and two does, which have not freshened and give no milk were lazily ruminating under a shed, a sort of a harem like situation. An idyllic picture!
Goats are ruminants, they are eating and chewing their cud and repeat that process all day long. By 3:00 PM they had been given 3 meals, and sure it was not the last one for the day.
We were shown the milking stands where an automatic milking machine works. By the way, goat does love to be milked, their “inner time table” rings and they come in a hurry to get ready for milking. The fresh milk is automatically sent through dairy hoses to the refrigerated milk container.
Now we were told to put on disposable overshoes to visit Marina’s dairy kitchen.
Here we are in Marina’s and her dairy maid’s realm, where they produce pasteurized goat milk and make mostly raw goat milk fresh cheese, as for example Tomino, Caprino, Robiola, yogurt and very soon even goat milk Camembert; we had the pleasure to taste one of the first samples and they were really delicious.
Our food coop is looking for these fresh dairy products for everyday consumption, healthy food with delicious, nutrient and sweet fresh goat milk and fresh cheese.
It was time to leave, Marina’s and Ignazio’s attention was called from their demanding “kids”! A last question needed to be made: How are your three children doing with the goat-competitors, who are taking away most of the attention they had before this challenging new job?
Marina answered us: “You would not believe it (or perhaps you do): the children are very happy about their our decision: they help on the farm – whenever school homework permits it – and they are more and more responsible and manage not only school homework but also housework, cooking etc… while me and Ignazio look after their “sisters and brothers” on the farm“.
You can visit the Capramica goat farm and taste their variety of homemade fresh cheese at:
Azienda Agricola La Capramica di Marina Roncati
Written by Brigitta Hutter (guest writer from Il Paniere Food Coop) | Edited and photographed by Monica Marescalchi