October 30, 2013

Last summer for the summer mountain farm

Seen here the remains of a summer farm in Valdres, Norway, which up to resently sheltered cows and sheeps in the summer from June to September. Traditionally the animals was walked up from the farms in the valley and to the summer farm. The last years they was transported in trucks.

The practice of summer pasture farming is ancient, almost as old as farming is here in this country. Archaeological finds uncovered in mountain valleys witness that summer farming took place already in the Iron Age, in the 7th century.

Summer pasture farming has been – and is – an integrated element of Norwegian agriculture, that is, first and foremost with regard to production of milk from cows and goats. Summer farming was first regulated in the laws that were laid down in the 12th century. According to the Gulatingslova (old Norwegian law) if a farmer did not herd his cows and goats to the summer pasture, he could be reported for illegal grazing – "grass robbery". In olden times cows produced 2⁄3 of their annual production in the summer farming period, and in a wintry country (like Norway) it was vital to process this raw material into food that could be stored and used throughout the long winter.

For more of the summer farms visit the complete article at "Olavsrosa" right here:

www.olavsrosa.no/en/redaksjonelt.aspx?id=146726

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