Buffalo Farm

“Is it dangerous?” I look at Alfons. “No. But just watch out for the bull.” “Which one is the bull?” He takes his hand out of is pocket and points to a large buffalo. “Ah, yes. I see him now.” “Yeah? And if you’re scared you can always crawl underneath the wire and get out. Is it okay I get back to work?” I nod and walk through the dirt into the meadow. Alfons still has a lot of work to do. He is going to package their homemade cheese.

I walk up to a moon-eyed buffalo. She looks like a demon! These animals are so curious. I can tell because within a minute three of them are sniffing me. That’s convenient for the photo’s I guess. Just to be sure I stay close to the wire. There are around forty buffalos with me in this meadow and I already don’t know where the bull is.

The business of farming

Buffalo Farm Twente has a herd of buffels. Most located at their farm, but the younger buffalos are located at four different locations in Twente, roaming the meadows. Alfons takes care of the stable, the animals, the milking, the sales and the deliveries. His partner Andra does the bookkeeping, administration, tours and hiring. She also makes cheese, ice and yoghurt.

When a buffalo comes rushing towards me I feel like I am done taking photo’s. It’s been a good run, but damn I am so clumsy. Don’t want to fall and trip. Before I get back I take a look through the photo’s I’ve got. I think I got what I need. And of course, I can always come back!

I stroll back through the mud, and take some last photos. When I reach the barbed wire, I hold my camera close to my body. I bend down and crawl underneath it. At the farm house I take my dirty shoes off and I Alfons hands me a white suit. “What’s your shoe size?” “40.” “Here you are!” I change my clothes so that Andra can take me around their own little cheese factory, where Andra makes artisanal buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and other cheeses.

Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
Preparing smoked mozzarella
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
Mozzarella laying in water
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
The calves in their nursery room
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente
An elderly man looking how mozzarella is made.
Farmers and Growers - Buffalo Farm Twente

The buffalo shot with a black background wasn’t the easiest thing to do. A lot of patience was involved. Here a little behind the scenes:

Interested in other Farmers and Growers Loes Heerink follows for this project? Check out the project page! Loes is currently in contact with loads more farmers and growers to also include in the project. It takes some time because Loes visits all the participants multiple times throughout the year. But a patient mind, can get pretty far!

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