Yuge Dairy Farm Japan

99 images Created 14 Mar 2017

The Yuge (pronounced yoo-gay) Ranch, known in Japanese as Yuge Bokujo and by cheese lovers at Laitiere Yuge, sits on a mountain in the outskirts of Kobe. A third-generation family farm, Yuge Bokujo was the first cheese maker in Western Japan. Their operation works as a holistic system, with different family members and long-term staff managing each linked component. They have fewer than 40 cows, which provide milk for their cheese and milk production. They operate a bakery that extensively utilizes their milk, whey from cheese-making and wheat grown onsite. Their manure feeds into a biogas system, from which they draw energy and fertilizer, which they in turn use to grow salad greens, wheat, and field crops. For fun they also grow fruits, nuts, and shiitake mushrooms. And everything is utilized in their on-site restaurant, which they see as an educational space to introduce Japanese diners to cheese.

Tadao Yuge, son of the founder of the ranch, spent time in Northern California in the late 1960s studying dairy farming. He returned with a textbook from University of Wisconsin about making cheese. At the time, Kobe was rolling in money, so he decided to make a camembert. Slowly, he translated the textbook sections he was most interested in. He took a picture of camembert mold culture to a friend and they developed their own culture, which they have been using ever since.
(Adapted from https://www.umiorganic.com/lolas-noodle/2016/11/25/bringing-portland-to-japan)
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