Horgen farm

by admin on 18/04/2009

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We visited the farm of Trond Qvale at Horgen farm located about 50 km from Oslo in the commune of Nes in Akershus. He was proud to show us his Angus cattle which are outside all year. It started when he imported a fertilised egg and used a Norwegian cow as a surrogate mother, resulting in tens of Angus cattle in the following years.

He began organic farming in 1989 and has been doing organic farming only from 1999. By cultivating meadow grasses and Timothy grass, the Qvale family is able to cover 90-95% of what their animals need, while they buy organic fodder from farms nearby to cover the remainder. However, depending on the yield of their own produce, they may have to buy up to 30% from other farms. Anyway, the meat of their cattle contains more nutrients and is more tasty than cattle raised on compound feed. For those who want to know more about grass-fed beef, this article is a good starting point.

Having raised cattle for many years, Trond has learnt how to assess the weight of his cattle before they are sent to the slaughterhouse. In fact, he uses a tape measure, measuring the size of the animal across its front and back, resulting in a fairly accurate measure.

Having departed from the conventional way of raising cattle where the goal is to let the animals grow quickly and give a lot of meat, Trond lets his animals grow slowly. By limiting the size of the cattle and only letting quiet animals have calves, they get more harmonious and the work of the farmer is easier. All breeding takes place such that births happen in spring and the calves stay with their mothers for 7-8 months before they are separated in small flocks.

Spelt, barley for malting, oats together with wheat are also grown at this farm.

Please see this web site for advice on grilling meat from Angus cattle.

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