I love farm expos – the smell of farm animals takes me back to my childhood, and I often think about how lucky I was to have that kind of upbringing.  The kind of childhood where you knew the name of the cow who’d provided the milk for your breakfast cereal and understood, moreover, how it got from being inside the cow to filling up your bowl (I even tried my hand at milking… though I was never any good at it).

And then I wonder how many kids these days even know where milk comes from… (other than from neatly lined up milk bottles on supermarket shelves).  I think it’s a really important connection to make, not just with cows and dairy, but with all food.  Knowing how your food got to you gives you an appreciation of its value, and leads to less waste and to better choices (free range versus battery chickens, for example – not really any contest there).

So, I’m looking forward to the upcoming ‘Cape Dairy Experience‘, to be held on the 4th and 5th of November 2011 at Sandringham (same location as this year’s Cheese Festival – just off the N1 between Cape Town and Paarl).  It’s an opportunity for city kids (and addleds) to come and see all shapes and sizes of cows and goats, and even try their hands at a few farm activities:

For the young ones there is loads of fun: ice cream eating competitions, milk demonstrations, dog jumping competitions and tractor shows.  They can milk a dummy cow and see how experienced learners show their beautifully groomed animals in the ring.  There is even an opportunity for them to try their hand at ‘showing’ a goat or cow themselves! While the boeresport games and jumping castles will rid them of extra energy, self made stokbrood with melting butter and jam will no doubt please the hungry tummies.

Okay, so the ice-cream might be the greater enticement than milking a cow, but at least some important connections will be made, right?

And for us addleds, there’s plenty too.  I particularly like the sound of the Dairy Pantry:

Few foods match the variety, versatility and sheer eating and cooking pleasure of dairy.  The Woolworths Dairy Pantry promises an unparalleled country experience: learn to bake traditional milk tart, roosterkoek and pot bread on an open coal fire, churn your own butter the old fashioned way and make cottage cheese – easy-easy.  Each day at 12:30 you can see the well known food blogger, Nina Timm from My-easy-cooking fame, in action in a cook-off with other bloggers like Candice le Noury, the gorgeous gourmet, using a surprise bag of ingredients.  Puglia Cheese will show you how to make Italian cheeses and Huguenot Chocolate, the boutique chocolaterie in Franschhoek, brings you sweet seductions in an interactive demo and tasting session.

Mmmm… and, then there are the Western Cape Milk Goat Championships and – not to be missed – the crowning of the 2011 Absa Cape Dairy Queen (“more than 200 of the country’s finest Ayrshire, Holstein and Jersey cows from as far as KwaZulu-Natal, the Southern Cape, the Free State and the corners of the Western Cape will try their utmost to be heralded South Africa’s top dairy animal”).  Never a dull moment!

As those of you who went to this year’s Cheese Festival will know, Sandringham is the perfect venue for an event like this.  Easy to get to, plenty of parking, and it’s a real farm when there aren’t events and expos on the go.

Cape Dairy Experience Details:

Venue: Sandringham (halfway between Cape Town and Paarl on the N1)
Dates & Times: Friday 4 November – 10am to 5pm (aimed at dairy producers)
and Saturday 5 November – 9am to 9pm (aimed at the public)
Cost: R30 pp. This entitles you to a shopping bag, programme for the day and show programme, inspirational demonstrations, fun and games and tastings where applicable. Tickets available at the gates.
FREE entry for children 13 years and under.
Groups of school children get free entry with prior booking at the organiser’s office – phone Liezel at 021 975 4440 or email her at liezel@agriexpo.co.za
Website: www.capedairy.co.za

%d bloggers like this: