Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Tours Continue

JANUARY 4, 2014

Dairy and Diversified Farm Tours

The Tartarin family moved to Argentina in 1902 because of war and economic unrest in Italy. This family now owns and operates a small, but progressive dairy farm. They own 245 acres and milk about 140 Holstein cows which graze on alfalfa and mixed grass pastures. Milk is sold to local ice cream and cheese factories both within 18 miles of the farm.

The SDARL group gathered for a photo with the Tartarin family.
The milking parlor has room for 12 cows. Milking the 140
head of cows takes about one and a half hours.
The cattle are grazed rotating form pasture to pasture throughout the day.  Confinement has
not been an option due to the financial investment needed to set up a confinement facility.
This is the watering system the Tartarins move as they
rotate the cattle from pasture to pasture.
This is the feed grinding station at the Tartarin farm. He bought a larger grinder than he
currently needs because he would like to expand his operation to include hogs in the future. 
Following the dairy farm tour we traveled to La Constancia, a 172 acre farm owned by the Italian Gallo family. La Constancia is a sheep farm featuring the Hampshire Down breed. Over time this farm has had to become more diversified in order to create additional income streams due to the challenges of the smaller farm size. Along with the sheep, La Constancia also has goats, chickens, corn, soybeans, wheat and hosts group events such as weddings, meetings, birthday parties, and foreigners like SDARL.

Goats and sheep are raised at La Constancia.  
These troughs made of heavy weight canvas and plastic
are used to feed the sheep at La Canstancia.
Mr. Gallo explains this is an oven used to make anything from bread, cake, meat, and empanadas. It is built with an outer covering of cement. On the inside from the ground up it has about a foot of dirt and 15 cm crushed glass. Then it is lined with brick on all sides, covered with mud, and finally the cement.
This lamb would be our meal in another hour or so. MMMM....MMMM. GOOD!
The lamb cooked to perfection in two and a half to three hours.

By the time we were done eating, only bones were left.

Here the lamb is being cut from the bone and ready to be served.
Prior to eating the main course of lamb and salad, we were
treated to a spread of meats, cheese, bread, and nuts.
Here is where we enjoyed our meal under the trees. One can
see why this area serves as a great event destination.
The SDARL and La Constancia women decided to have a
little fun by the pool before departing the farm.

With another day of tours completed, we headed back to the hotel to relax.