Brave farmers, organic cows and and an old dairy
Mala tempora currunt for cattle farming, and not only in this field (however, we do not talk about politics here). In other words, these days, courage is needed to become a farmer. Mainly to manage a cowshed with a large number of livestock (100 in production and 60 intended to restock), because the smallest mistake can cost a high price, from a psychological and financial point of view. One needs even more courage to produce milk in an organic way. 30 tons of consumable liquidwhite per day (Blanc de Blancs French would say, by copying Friulians, like they always do), which shall be sold to make ends meet with dignity and maintain the family avoiding, when possible, all the traps the so called “market” puts on the–uneven already-pathway (La Piovra-The Octopus, a famous Italian TV series-is not only fiction).
Moreover, one needs ever greater courage to process on his/her own a substantial quantity of milk produced.
Nobody knows why the Zanello brothers (and family) from Talmasson decided to walk along this dangerous path. However, I am delighted, because this decision strives towards the so called food self-sufficiency (or even food sovereignty) in the tight relationship between producer and consumer, and many other new ideas circulating these days about food, environment, health, sustainability, etc. Ideas are around, but we need someone that puts them into practice: this is not easy, and more than courage one needs boldness to proceed this way.
The Zanellos have learnt from experience: they took over the old dairy of Turrida and produce-following traditions-Latteria (fresh) cheese and Montasio, but butter and ricotta as well. Every day, they process about half of their milk (15 tons), while the other half is placed on the market of fresh organic milk.
The end of the farming culture turned previously lively towns in drowsy villages and, actually, a dairy can give them a new impetus, even from an economic point of view.
A family run business: brothers Franco and Graziano with his wife Paola. They are all agricultural specialists who graduated in Cividale. The couple has 4 children, this is a sign of hope for the future. Moreover, there are the active “elderly” of the family resulting in four adults occupied full time. The cheese maker and assistant do not belong to the family, nonetheless, with them there are 6 workplaces in the business, which is very good, given the times we live in, like a small company.
Essential: what do cows eat? Exclusively company-produced food. All organic: for the peace of mind of the sellers of chemical products and feed materials that have not been supplying their goods to the Zanellos for many years.
No more corn-out of any antipathy (ah! the smell of polenta!)-, but because of the infamous mycotoxins. Gone corn, comes sorghum, which has been grown in Friuli for a long time (there are grain sorghum and fodder sorghum). Soy as well (it originates from Asia, but these beans play a fundamental role in providing proteins), produced in Talmassons.
However, staple feed of ruminant cows remains fodder and here hay abounds (half alfalfa and half long-duration pasture). This way they ensure cows all-important nutritional factors, even unknown ones, that food scientists with their test tubes may discover in the near future, or maybe not. In the meanwhile, cows feel good and say hello to everybody.
Latteria: raw milk, unpasteurized and non-heat-treated, (not even lysozyme, a harmless protein derived from eggs, they say). We are still light years away from postmodern cheeses with a non-edible rind, whose surfaces may be treated with E235.
There is a cheese shop next to the dairy (via Montello, 7 Turrida of Sedegliano). Here you can find frico, mozzarella and stracchino (ah, modernity, new tastes…) produced by third parties, but with the company’s milk.
Market of dairy products: rural tourist facilities, trattorias and regional restaurants, private citizens. Immediate delivery upon on line order or-old style-phone call.
Names are important: the business is called La Sisile, ‘swallow’, another hint of a green vision and message of hope for the future of environment and society on its whole.
Dairy: via Montello, 7
33039 Turrida of Sedegliano
Tel.: 333 475 6053
Farm “La Sisile”
via Sant’Antonio, 36
Mobile: 335 5250330
Tel and fax: 0432 766618