PASTURE LAND & VEGETATION
Animals that produce milk for the robiola cheese (typical Piedmont cheese), have their principal meal outside.
The type of grass and shrubs that the animals eat affects the quality of the milk produced. For example coak's head (Onobrychis sativa) makes the cheese sweet. For this reason some breeders feed their animals with dry hay, instead of letting them graze in different areas.
In the robiola cheese production area thera are five different kind of vegetation: wood, meadow, badlands vegetation, river bank vegetation and underwood.
the wood there are: durmast (Quercus pubescens), turkey oak (Quercus cerris), manna-ash (Fraxinus ornus), hophornbean (Ostrya carpinifoglia), hazel (Corylus avellana), hawhorn (Crataegus monogyna), broom, privet (Ligustrum vulgare). In some woods we can also find Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris), false acacia (an exotic kind of pioneer plants, that grows in abandoned fields, street slopes and recently cut woods), chestnut and ash (preferably in sheltered areas).
In the last years the woods have become impenetrable and the goats have a cleaning function limiting the overgrowing of brambles and other infesting weeds.
The meadows are seminatural, because in the past they were human cultivated fields. In meadows we can find: wild orchids, lucerne and other plants that grow naturally ("erba barca", "lana'd gat", "zunconia", "loietto", "treinazza", etc...). The grass in this land is cut twice a year, in summer. The cut grass dries up to become the dry hay that animals eat in winter, when they are in the shed.
badlands vegetation is a pioneer vegetation and it is costituted by shrubs few centimetres high (thyme). On marly badlands we can also find gramineous grass.
The river bank vegetation is characterized by vegetable species that grow up on the banks of small brooks, called "retani" in the local dialet. They are narrow ditches not having an owner, but belonging to the local authorities. In this kind of vegetation we can see: wild hazel, elder, false acacia, oak, cestnut.
Like the wooden areas also in the brook banks of the goats have a cleaning function. The period of the year in which, as it's a very cold and damp area, they more frequently graze in summer.
was when people abandoned the fields and meadows that the underwood was formed. Here we can frequently find: broom, wild thyme, juniper, heather, camomile.
YESTERDAY AND TODAY PASTURE
|of the contents of this page are taken or inspired by the book: "VERSO I CRU DEL ROCCAVERANO, GAL BORBA 2 LEADER".|