Pratale organic farm

Staying with us on the farm

The animals

The 20 sheep are Sardinian. We milk them between February and July and we make pecorino cheese, ricotta and yogurt.  These sheep are wild and goatlike, intelligent and robust and we have had the same families in our flock for thirty years, so they are all recognisable and have names.

At the end of May, we shear the sheep and wash the wool, which we use for spinning and weaving . Anyone who wants wool is welcome to come and get it. If you want to learn to shear or make cheese, end May is the moment.

 Picture by Ryan Taylor

Please don’t bring dogs because the sheep can smell a strange dog even if he’s out of sight and they don’t know if he’s good or bad, they just think WOLF and are frightened. They have lost members of their flock to wolves and wild dogs.

The donkeys are a small, Sardinian breed. The male is called Teseo (successor to splendid old Otello, who was Head Donkey for 28 years!) and his wives are Titania and Olivia, who have a baby each every year. Teseo has just finished learning to carry wood and pull the cart.

 

 

There are three horses at the moment: Papu, Toby and Ursula. They are Camargue-Delta horses. Martin works with the stallion Papu carrying wood and Toby is learning. There have been several foals born here in the last few years: Kokopelli, Leila, Nico, Natasha, Orazio, Orfeo, Patrizio and Quincey.

Picture by Ryan Taylor

We keep the hens and ducks mostly for eggs.  If we have a lot of chicks hatch, we eat the males but we don’t eat much meat.  When we do, we know the animal has had a good free life in the open air.

Our diet is mostly vegetarian and we have no problem with people who don’t eat meat. We respect their diet and hope they will respect ours.

We eat what we produce: cheese, ricotta, eggs, yogurt, vegetables, fruit, jam, olive oil, wine.  We make organic bread with Jesse’s famous sour dough and bake it in the wood oven.  We buy in what we don’t produce, and barter with other small farmers.

Picture by Ryan Taylor