Country Buffet

Country Buffet

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

100 Acres = 40.5 Hectares

The above picture is a Swiss farmstead. You will notice that the center building has the house(smaller roofed structure) attached to the larger barn.


Farmers worldwide share the common thread of love for the land, animal husbandry and the desire to feed people. Switzerland is a small country composed of huge mountain ranges and small valleys. The valleys compete with housing for human populations, industry and agriculture. The farmers there make every available hectare count growing a bounty of crops in the dark rich soil. Due to this competition I found that the Swiss urban citizen is very familiar with where their food comes from-- unlike U.S. urban citizens who have no concept that milk comes from a cow and bread is made from wheat. Swiss citizens also pay a premium for their food. Two uncooked boneless chicken breasts were $14.00 and the price for beef is insane. One would pay approximately $40 for a T-bone steak. Vegetables, bread , cheeses and chocolate are reasonably priced and are the mainstay of the diet. Many meals are obviously meatless. The wonderful varieties of breads and cheeses along with potato dishes were amazingly scrumptious. In addition, Regula is a fantastic cook and we dined on a variety of sausages, smoked hams and quiches. Year round, every Saturday and Tuesday morning there is a Farmer's Market in the old town of Schaffhausen. The produce that was available during my visit was asparagus, lettuces, kohlrabi, rhubarb, carrots, radishes and cheeses. The variety changes with the growing season.

This square box was fashioned in a neighbors woodpile for wild bees.

Sheep and goats are utilized as mowers even in urban areas. Farmers will bring them to town to graze small plots on hillsides.

This is a young hops plant. By summers end it will be a huge vine laden with creamy white hops that is picked by hand and used to make beer.

These little guys whinnied my name!

Next to one of the churches we visited was a barn. I couldn't help but to venture inside where I found this calf, the stanchions and a lovely Swiss cow!

All tractors must be licensed and all operators must be older than 14 years. Likewise, the operators must obtain a license which requires they go to special training.

This truck is a Swiss version of a cattle pod.

An average sized farm is anywhere from 100 acres to 200 acres. I took several pictures of farm implements. It was very interesting to see the productivity of their rich black soil .

These are grape seedlings. They eventually will be transplanted to a Swiss arbor for wine production.

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