A Country Palate

free state farm photography sunset

I have quickly developed a country palate, out here in rural South Africa, amongst the golden veld lands, horses, dogs, owls, wild rabbits, blue skies… Coming from Vancouver, Canada, this is a stark contrast to the concrete and noise. And the rain. The farm is a vast sanctuary in South Africa’s Free State. It produces maize, cattle for Angus beef (I have become a ferocious carnivore, but more on this later), and best of all – Jersey milk. Rich, creamy (and raw, unpasteurized) Jersey milk from the most beautiful cows I have ever seen. With their pretty brown eyes and long eyelashes they graze most of the day feasting on grasses and other roughage. They are milked twice a day – in the early mornings and afternoons. No antibiotics or hormones are given to the animals, and so the milk is of the best possible quality. Jersey milk is naturally higher in protein and fat than other milk and the cows are given a nutritious silage of grasses, maize and other cereals using the whole green plant (not just the grain). This “power feed” undergoes an anabolic fermentation process which makes it smell slightly sweet, similar to that of a brewery.


This has me dreaming of opening a deli or dairy shop someday where I would sell my homemade yogurt, ricotta cheese, and Jersey cream and butter – all organic and hormone-free. I could sell homemade jams, coffee, and maybe some breakfast granola or free-range eggs… My farm fantasies continue to grow!


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