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More than just cows
Everything you need to know about the Baronchelli dairy farm. A trip to Lodi to discover what's behind the milk we drink
Alessia Canella, founder of the blog Style Shouts, visited the Baronchelli Farm to better understand the life cycle of cows and experience the wholesome products first-hand.
Dairy cows are wonderful animals that require a lot of attention in order to produce quality milk and cheese. Few people realise that there are farms that continue to respect their natural life cycle, raising them in clean environments surrounded by fields and caring for them with love. The Baronchelli Farm is one of these places, situated in the Lodi countryside.
What is the life cycle of the cow?
Visiting the Baronchelli Farm will open your eyes and help you understand what lies behind the birth and growth of cattle.
The breeds most commonly used in dairy farms are Friesian, Alpine Brown Swiss and Jersey. The life of the bovine animal starts from the birth which, more often than not, is entirely natural, unless human intervention is required. From the first hours of its life the calf feeds on colostrum, the cow's first milk, which is rich in proteins that are essential for development. Until 2/3 months old, the calf is sustained purely by milk, but from just two weeks old it also starts to eat cereals and hay.
After four months, weaning begins and the calf essentially becomes a herbivore. It will take the heifer another 9 months from this point before it is ready to reproduce. The moment the heifer is pregnant it is separated from the herd so it can spend the gestation period in peace. The last two months are spent grazing, precisely because the natural rhythms of animal life are still important at the Baronchelli Farm.
Happy cows make good cheese
The way in which cows are treated affects their well-being and consequently the quality of the end products. The care and love that the cows receive at the Baronchelli Farm ensures that the milk, yoghurt and cheese products are all high quality.
When things are "done properly" by farmers who are passionate about their animals, like it always used to be, it helps to produce healthy and authentic produce that also taste better. Visiting places like this can help us make more informed and healthier decisions about food.
The Baronchelli Farm organises numerous educational activities for children and youngsters. Whole days are spent on the farm in order to explain the life cycle of dairy cows and the methods used to bring milk to our tables. They are also given the chance to taste typical farm produce, as well as cheese curds.
The aim is to "put youngsters back in touch with agriculture, guide them through meaningful sensory experiences, get them involved in practical activities so that they can experiment and put their know-how into practice, develop their critical thinking."
Baronchelli Farm: aziendaagricolabaronchelli.com