A Great Organic Farm in Tuscany
Every time my family and I go to La Foce for a short or long stay, buying una forma di Pecorino – an entire ewe’s milk cheese – is one of the first things I do on arrival.
“What is an ewe, Mummy? my daughter asked me a few months ago as we were enjoying some fresh pecorino.
– An ewe is a female sheep, I answered.
– I’d like to see one!
– Oh really? Well…”
Well… Fortunately, it crossed my mind that we would most probably be able to find sheep and ewes at Podere Il Casale, a medium-sized organic farm – 170 acres of land – lying between Pienza and Montepulciano, in Southern Tuscany. I had been buying fresh produce from them for a while, but had never thought of visiting the farm before.
Podere Il Casale is just a 10-minute drive from Pienza, and can be reached via a highly scenic country road. For foodies and grown-ups travelling with kids, this friendly and well-organized farm is a must. The things you can do, see and visit there are in plenty.
The premises were bought in the early 90s by a Swiss couple who have since become pioneers of organic agriculture in the Val d’Orcia and Tuscany. Sandra and Ulisse have raised their five children on the farm, so they know what kids are all about. Yours like to stroke the goats, learn about the bees or kick a few goals on a football field? They will find something to their taste at Podere Il Casale.
When I went there with my daughter, we didn’t see any ewes and sheep, who were all busy grazing further afield. But we saw plenty of cheerful goats, donkeys, pigs, bees, and even a couple of peacocks who were roaming the hills around the farm buildings.
After meeting with the animals, I suggest you take sustainance at the 45-seat restaurant, a beautifully renovated stable that now houses the guest dining room with a courtyard and outdoor terrace. Make sure you taste the farm’s delicious ricotta! You can also book a tour with Massimo to find out how this great cheese is produced.
Cheese making tours with tasting and lunch, and wood-oven fired pizza making classes can be booked via Trust&Travel. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Katja will send you a detailed description. Prices start at 60 Euro per person.
I recommend you make a reservation if you plan to stay for lunch or dinner: www.podereilcasale.it.
The sunsets there, by the way, are breathtaking!