The Schuster farm

by admin on 25/06/2012

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We went to another Saxon village called Mosna in order to visit Lavinia and Willy Schuster. Willy Schuster is one of the Saxons who has decided to stay in Romania instead of going to Germany after the fall of communism, while Lavinia is Romanian.

Having entered their kitchen, Lavinia started preparing a large selection of cheese for us. In addition, their children were entering and exiting and guests were arriving. A French volunteer also arrived in need of a break. A lively place, indeed.

Having cut up several types of cheeses and rolled some of them on plates filled with dried herbs like oregano, red pepper and basil, we were served a tray covered with various types of delicious cheese together with homemade jam.

Having 6 cows which are milked manually twice a day, they make cheese and other dairy products daily as shown below:

  • low fat cream cheese
  • cream cheese with herbs, red pepper or horseradish
  • cream cheese with different fruits or berries
  • raw milk cheese with herbs – naturally aged in an old basement
  • fresh cream, homemade yogurt, cottage cheese
  • herbs and teas

After some time, Lavinia’s husband, Willy. also arrived. He had brought his cows inside their barn because they were constantly attacked by large insects.

We were told that they bought the more or less rundown farm in the early 1990’s and had their farm certified as organic in 1999.

After lunch we walked to their barn where 6 cows and one horse were living. Walking barefoot into the barn, walking on a far from clean floor, Willy used a pitchfork to bring some hay to the cows which stood up immediately in order to eat. To our surprise, but not to his, one of the cows pushed the other ones aside, then started eating. We were told that there was a hierarchy among the cows where one of them obviously was the boss. One of the cows didn’t even go to eat, maybe because she was the lowest-ranking one.

Interestingly, Willy started sweeping hay on the floor towards the cows and it seemed like the dust which was made by the sweeping didn’t affect them at all. We were told that he had learned it from an old farmer and that sweeping the hay led to that the cows would get hold of more nutritious stuff.

Last but not least, Willy has been vice president of Eco Ruralis, a grassroots society for small-scale farmers in Romania. Both Willy and Lavinia are very active regarding fighting for agriculture which treats the earth like it was a gift, staying in touch with small-scale farmers and trying to affect the agricultural policy of the EU.

This farm accepts volunteers from April to October as described here.

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