Monday, July 25, 2011

Ricki's Visit to a Small Dairy in South Africa

A Destination Spot for Organic Cheese and Produce

Our intrepid traveller
Last January, Ricki and Jamie went to South Africa to participate in a Village Harmony singing camp.  (We admit we are running a little late with this article but it was worth the wait because we now have a cute video of Ricki and Jamie trying to dance at Prestige College in Hammanskraal- click here.)  

Ricki and Jamie LOVE these singing camps and in the past 5 years, they have been to Corsica, Ghana, France, Italy, Republic of Georgia and Holland.  ( They have even hosted summer camps at their own home in Ashfield.

At the camp in South Africa, the group moved around the country with the participants staying with host families in different areas. While they were spending 3 days at one house, Ricki and Jamie were able to help their host with a project. They volunteered to tile the shower!  The host didn't have any brown grout, so they mixed some red sand from the driveway into white grout to create this beautiful effect:

When they arrived in Haenertsburg, Ricki heard about a dairy in the town.  There was another cheese maker on the trip- Sophie Starr of Cobb Hill in Vermont, so she and Ricki set out to see it.
Sophie Starr and Jamie (Ricki's fiancee).  Ricki took this picture at their host's house
right before she and Sophie went to the dairy.
Wegraakbosch Organic Dairy Farm
Outside the door of the make room.
Sophie admiring the gorgeous copper pot
Pouring milk into the copper pot
Sylvia Thompson, who owns the dairy with her husband, chatting with one of the workers
Scrubbing the milk cans
Keeping the room immaculately clean is a priority
Cooling the milk to the proper temperature after it has been heated on the fire
Testing the temperature
Adding starter culture
Waiting while the curd sets
Cutting the curd
Taking a turn with the curd cutter
Showing off!
"Off the wall" press waiting for action
A well-used mold
The aging room
According to Ricki, the samples were yummy
Like the dairy, the rest of the farm is open to the public for tours, strolls and picnics.

Ricki with the owner, Nipper Thompson
That's a bee box on the roof!
The farm has won awards for its organic produce.

Kruger Park 

After the camp was over, Ricki and Jamie stayed on for a few weeks in South Africa to see Kruger Park, a large game reserve.

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