Adopt a Merina sheep from the flock of "Quesería Oliva" in Villaluenga del Rosario (Spain) and receive your organic merino sheep's cheese at home. Delia María will take care of your adoption and take its picture. You will also be able to download the adoption certificate, and if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one Merina sheep is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you have received your organic merino sheep's cheese and enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.
You adopt a Merina sheep from our farm in Villaluenga del Rosario (Spain). The livestock farming and the produce are both certified as organic by the European Union since 2006. Our flock is made up of a very particular and revered breed of sheep: the Grazalema merino. It's an animal that comes from the Sierra de Grazalema and is only found in mountainous areas of Andalusia with high rainfall. And in addition to this mountain range, it lives in the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de Huelva. It's therefore a sheep whose breed is native to Andalusia with a long history. The Grazalema merino sheep is characterised by its hardiness and its adaptability to extreme climate conditions. It feeds on the many rich forest resources to survive and gives a milk with exceptional properties for the production of cheeses thanks to its high level of fat, which is needed to secure creaminess and an intense flavour. And then there's its precious and thick wool, which has been used to produce warm clothing since medieval times, thanks to the textile industry that existed in our village, Villaluenga del Rosario. Interestingly, its milk production is lower than that of other breeds. But the unique thing about the milk is its quality, which gives a higher yield for the production of cheeses. The flock has an average lifespan of ten years. They live alongside Payoya goats, which are also native to Andalusia and an endangered species. Once they reach this age, we sell our sheep (and some lambs) for organic meat production. Our cheeses reflect the tradition of four generations dedicated to livestock life. At our cheese factory, there are no machines or utensils that my ancestors wouldn't have recognised, except for the vacuum-packing machine that we use to make sure your cheeses arrive in a perfect condition. Everything is done by hand, from milking to curing the cheeses. Our cheeses have been awarded third place in the international Roma Award for the best sheep cheese, and won the artisan cheesemaking prize awarded by the Andalusian Association of Artisan Cheesemakers. What's more, we've won several awards for our flock, such as the first prize for the best sheep husbandry at the Benaocaz Livestock Fair. Your adoption is 6 years old and its productive life is around 5 years. For as long as you want to keep it and we can continue taking care of it, you can renew your adoption year after year. If your adoption dies, we will replace it with no additional cost assuring the delivery of your harvest from others. Your adoption produces an average of 100l of milk each season. With this amount we can produce around 48kg of organic merino sheep's cheese. 20 CrowdFarmers share an adoption who receive a box with 2kg of organic merino sheep's cheese.
Each season we will send you a box with: 1 x__ organic cheese made from merino sheep milk,__ aged for at least one year in organic olive oil (1 kg vacuum-packed) 1 x __organic cheese made from merino sheep milk, __aged for at least one year in organic Iberian lard (1 kg vacuum-packed) Traditional unpasteurised raw milk cheese from native Grazalema merino sheep, made by hand and aged at room temperature between 10ºC and 16ºC. Its flavour is strong, with spicy and flavourful notes that remain on the palate long after the cheese has been consumed. And it has a crumbly, grainy or coarse texture, typical of aged cheeses. Our cheeses are aged in a completely natural way, as we don't pasteurise them to preserve the properties of the raw milk, which gives all its flavour to our cheeses. We spend a minimum of four months and a maximum of four years resting the cheeses at room temperature in the semi-basement of our cheese factory. We use utensils such as pitchers, palm leaf moulds and a long piece of banana wood, and our hands for pressing and milking. To achieve the perfect creaminess and flavour, we use organic olive oil and organic Iberian lard as preservatives. It's best to remove the rind before eating the cheese. Ideal for aperitifs and starters, paired with red wine or sherry to enhance its flavour. When grated, it's a wonderful ingredient for pizzas and pastas. In the past, villagers even used to dunk it in their coffee. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for it to last as long as possible.
When will you receive it?
We choose the spring to produce our cheeses, as this is the season when there's more food in the mountains, meaning that the milk reaches its optimal level of fat and protein. What's more, the weather is perfect for ageing thanks to the low temperatures and high humidity, which means we can produce creamy cheeses with an intense flavour. They then spend a maximum of four years ageing. Your cheeses come from the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and you'll receive them in the second half of January.