Vista Alegre Baserria Month by month in the farm
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August 2020 PDF Print E-mail

What did we do on the farm in August?

Elena and Jandra ended their contracts with us in July and in

August Azucena started work in the dairy.


What was the weather like?

The 90 litres of rain we collected in the raingauge is a lot for August.

However most of it fell in the thunderstorms we had at the beginning

of the month and on the 29th, a very wet, rainy day. On the whole

the rest of the month was very dry and, unfortunately we suffered

several days of hot, drying south winds which left very little grazing

in the fields. There are some very characteristic clouds associated with

south winds.

We had some spectacular sunrises.

We had a maximum temperature of 33.5ºC (in the shade) whilst the thermo-

meter dropped to 13ºC one morning.

What did the cows eat?

The cows grazed every day, but the increasingly sparse amount of

grass available (due to the weather) meant we also gave them fo-

rage such as dried peas, alfalfa and grass silage, plus a little feed


We always let the last of the summer grass go to seed giving us

natural regeneration of the fields. Once the seed falls we mow the

grass and the cows can graze the new grass shoots.

The heifers grazed every day

and, as always, we took them whey from cheese making to supple-

ment their diet, turning a potential waste product into a valuable

feed material.


Recipe of the month: Cucumber gazpacho

Hot weather and loads of cucumbers in the allotment has made us

look for cucumber recipes. This one is an adaptation of the tradi-

tional Spanish recipe for gazpacho usually made with tomatoes.

Highly recommended for a lunch starter on hot days and it is easy

to prepare.

1 small shallot (or white onion)

1 small garlic clove

1 large cucumber (12 ounces) sliced (if of a thin skinned variety do not peel)

1/4– 1/2 cup fresh coriander (or dill, parsley or even basil)

1–2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon)

1        cup plain greek or natural yogurt

1/4 cup sour cream (or creme fraiche)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Optional Garnishes:

  • poached shrimp ( optional) drizzled with lime, olive oil and salt
  • 1/2 cup cucumber- very finely diced
  • 1 –2 tablespoons shallots- very finely diced
  • 2 chives thinly sliced at a diagonal

Place all the ingredients (except the optional garnishes) in a blender

and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until serving. You can make this

a day ahead. Taste and adjust salt, spice level, and lemon to your


If you wish to use garnishes, finely dice.

To serve: divide chilled soup among bowls and garnish.

Three cows calved in August, giving us three more bull calves. The

lack of heifer calf births is now “curious” to say the least, or more like


Flower of the month: Marrow. Cucurbita sp.

Marrows are another component of farm biodiversity….plants that

are not “wild” or native to a particular area but have been aclima-

tised for food purposes. Marrows, like all squash, originated in the

Americas. A marrow is a vegetable, the mature fruit of certain

Cucurbita pepo cultivars. The immature fruit of the same or similar

cultivars is called courgette (in Britain, Ireland, France, the Ne-

therlands, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand) or zucchini (in

North America, Australia, Czechia, Italy, Germany and Austria).

Whereas botanically marrows are fruit, a type of botanical berry,

being the swollen ovary of the marrow flower, (see photo) in a

culinary context, marrows are treated as a vegetable.


We have seen many butterflies and moths this year, including the

day flying Jersey garden moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria).


The farmers’ market in Bilbao has been held every Saturday, but

the critical situation regarding the Corona Virus pandemic means

it may be cancelled again. All our other usual annual fairs are

being cancelled due to COVID-19.

The quality of our milk


Optimum result

Farm result

Fat content









Somatic cell count



Presence  / absence antibiotics




Special corner for schools: visit our special corner for schools for special information about our farm and the farm dairy. There are resource materials for teachers. In this corner you can find out how to arrange a class outing to our farm.

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