mercredi 19 août 2015

The churra algarvia ewes of senhor Raul and dona Maria Augusta (Falfosa)

End of july. The day is warm. Off to the Algarve, to go and get a new ram and a few extra ewes for our Churra algarvia herd. Last year, we went to visit the herd of the Neto family in Tavira and the one of Senhor Coelho in Algoz. This year, we want to "mix bloods" further. We reach Falfosa, a hamlet in the municipality of Santa Barbara de Nexe, not far from the Estadio Algarve, in the middle of the Algarvian barrocal full of carob trees. At this time of the year, no grass. The soil is bare and the ewes feed themselves with green leftovers from the local tomato greenhouses. Raul Contreiras and his wife Maria Augusta are taking care of a herd of a bit less than 200 animals. They have been doing that their entire life. For several years, they have been producing sheep milk cheese from their churras, each ewe producing around one litre a day. We carefully select a few animals before having lunch at a local restaurant. And then, following Joaquim Inacio's idea, we head back taking the famous Estrada nacional 2, crossing the mountains in innumerable "curvas e contracurvas" until we reach Almodovar, Castro Verde, Beja, etc. Fabulous!

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