Vista Alegre Baserria Month by month in the farm
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April 2022 PDF Print E-mail

What happened on the farm in April?

The weather has been very varied. We started the month with snow,

frost and hail and then had a mix of sunny dry days with dry southerly

winds and other rainy cooler days, plus, towards the end of the month,

thunderstorms. The thermometer registered a high of 23ºC, whilst at

the start of the month we had a low of minus 0.7ºC. We collected a total

of 117 litres in the rain gauge.


The sunny weather favoured much insect activity.


Recipe of the month: savoury plait

Plaits can be savoury or sweet and there is a huge variety of

possible fillings. This particular recipe is for a savoury plait and

depending on how hungry you are is for three or four people.


For the shortcrust pastry:

120 g fat (butter or margarine)
420 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
Water to mix

(or bought pastry that only needs to be rolled out)

For the filling:
1 finely sliced medium onion

1 roughly chopped medium tomato or six whole cherry tomatoes.

300g sliced mushrooms

150g grated cheese (Vista Alegre fine cheese, for example)

100g tuna in flakes

Basil, pepper and salt to taste (or other herbs to taste)

2 tablespoons olive oil

200ml milk

30g butter

2 tablespoons plain flour


1 beaten egg for basting


Preheat oven to 180/200ºC

Make the pastry by mixing the flour and the salt in a large bowl,

and adding cubes of the vegetable fat. Using your fingertips, rub

the fat into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Using

a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough to-

gether. Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and chill in the fridge for about

15 minutes.

Then, roll the pastry out to a rectangle and trim to approx. 12" x 9".

Using a sharp knife, make 3/4" wide slits in both sides, slightly obli-

quely. The slits should be 3" long.

Add olive oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the onion and mushrooms

with the herbs and then add the tuna.

In the meantime make a bechamel: melt the 30g butter in a frying

pan, sprinkle the flour over the melted butter stirring continually and

when reaches a paste texture, slowly add the milk stirring all the time.

A thick bechamel would be ideal so use more or less milk if necessary.

Place the onion mixture in the centre of the rolled out pastry in an ob-

long without covering the slits, spread the bechamel on top, dot the

cherry tomatoes  over the bechamel and, lastly, sprinkle on top the

grated cheese.

Start plaiting the pastry, working from one end to the other.

Glaze the plait with beaten egg,

Bake in a pre-heated hot oven (200C/180 fan/400F, Gas mark 6) for

30-35 minutes, until the pastry is golden. and the filling cooked through.

What did the cows eat?

The sunny days all the animals were able to graze. The milkers left

the barn for the first time this year on April 12th, later in the year

than usual. We also gave the milkers dried forage, grass silage, a

little feedstuff and some freshly mown grass.

Flower of the month. Quince (Cydonia oblonga)


The quince tree is deciduous and bears hard, bright golden-yellow

fruit which even when ripe are hard, tart and very seldom eaten raw.

They are mainly processed into marmalade, jam, jelly or alcoholic

drinks. The quince tree is often grown as an ornamental plant for its

pink showy flowers. We have one quince tree on the farm and it pro-

vides sufficient fruit for the jellies and jams we make and eat each

year. Quince is native to a particular forest region to the south of the

Caspian Sea but is now grown in many parts of the world.

2 heifer calves were born in April, including “Cokoon”, so

named after the café in Bilbao that uses our milk and whose

owners wished to “adopt” a cow.


Three farmers from the Bizkaigane farm in Errigoiti (Bizkaia) came to

visit our farm and dairy on the 3rd of April and we also exchanged a

lot of information and ideas. Farmer to farmer visits always prove to

be very advantageous to all.

On April 28th we went to a course on harassment at work run by the

local parish council and which we hope will complement the Protocol

for the prevention of Harassment we have drawn up for the dairy

The yearly organic farm fair was held in Urduña on the lst day of April,

for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

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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