Sandra and Ulisse at Podere Il Casale see to it that all of their sheep are milked by hand.

Podere Il Casale is a small organic farm outside of Pienza, dedicated to helping their guests get closer to the source of their food. Podere Il Casale is a sheep farm, creamery, cheese operation, and restaurant.The milking of sheep by hand was noteworthy to me because of the economic reasons, as well as the philosophical ones.

By milking the sheep this way, they are able to “feel” any potential health issues of the sheep long before serious problems develop. If the udders are hot, the animals sluggish, or if the milk has an off-odor, they can address the issue before it becomes a problem. This enables them to remove the sheep from production and care for them earlier than if they used machines for milking.

They save money on veterinary care and the overall quality of the milk for cheese-making remains extremely high. This is one of the many methods they use to ensure their farm is one of the best in Italy.