The reason to take all these people on a trip to the countryside is the little cheese shop that I visit every week. The wife of the farmer started her own little cheese makery and she uses their own milk to produce the cheese. She invited us in, we tasted all the cheeses and her buttermilk (WOW!). But her farmers stories also saddened me a bit. The big dairy companies pay her 44 cent a liter. She and her husband own a small farm, and farm in an old fashion way; slow and with lots of care for the animals. It is very difficult to compete with big farmers, who, with their effective factory-like-ways, manage to take as much as 50 liters of milk from a cow. (opposed to 8 liters that a 'normal' cow would give) FIFTY liters each day. MAN! That is just mind-blowing.
The farmers wife now tries to double the 44 cents to 88 cents by making her own cheese, milk, butter and yoghurt. I love her cheese, and so do many others because she is getting busier and busier. I love to support all these small, hardworking businesses run by individuals. If I buy all my dairy at her farm I pay less than I would in the shop, but she has a higher income. I hope that all my cheese buying makes a difference in the end. And I feel so blessed that I have found many little stores who sell locally produced food, and little by little my cupboard and fridge is filled with local honey, local jam etc.
On the pic you see the happy cows, and here some interesting links to the farms we visited; Hartstocht, sells meat and milk from own cows. Anna Haen sells locally produced products as honey, jam, and chutney. And my favorite; Geingenoegen, lovely cheese, really nice milk and yoghurt. For all those people in Amsterdam, visitors and tourists; visit them. Buy lots of cheese, go see some cows and spend your money locally. It really does make our neighborhood (and the world) a little nicer.
Oh yeah and don't forget; IT IS SPRING, jump a little, like those cows, or make a little dance, it is good for you. Xmarike.