Transhumance is the moving of the herds from the plain to the alpine pastures at high altitude, so that the cows can enjoy fresh and valuable forage in summer.
Nowadays it is practice almost totally fallen into disuse, only few families in our valley are still following this ancient ritual preserving its millennial tradition.
We felt the need to honor and provide evidence of this tradition with a docufilm (summer 2020), to show everybody that it still happens today. We would like to prevent it from becoming just a melancholy memory of a distant past.
Director: Alessandra Beltrame, from an idea by Adele Ravasio
Second operator: Andrea Zambelli
Color correction: Stefano Testa
Sound: Jonathan Locatelli
Collaboration: Società Agricola Locatelli Guglielmo
Our map is inspired by several community mapping experiences, but at the same time it is also a unique and new project: we have chosen to ask ourselves about our relationship with the Taleggio Valley, which is for us “Taleggio Valley Eco-System”. The creation of our personalized map wants to take you along the paths of an “Eco-System” that includes not only our awareness and knowledge as seasoners, but also the the expertise of farmers and cheese producers, and all those who have been making the dairy history of the Valley since centuries ago. We have all helped to create the territory that we can admire today and that we want to protect through a supply chain that starts from the mowing of the hay and reaches the aging rooms at casArrigoni, right up to your tables.
The map shows our "important places", defining our identity and our work.
The 87 herbs of the pastures in the Taleggio Valley are an essential organic heritage of biodiversity and great forage for the Brown breed cows. It is a botanical heritage protected by the activity of the farmers, who work to prevent these herbs from disappearing, replaced by woods.
Achillea Millefolium and Trifolium Pratensis, for example, are two very common herbaceous plants which has been known for their nutritional and organoleptic properties for centuries. They are suitable for dairy cows and help in the production of high quality cheeses.
All the herbs growing in in the meadows and pastures of the Taleggio Valley were studied in the degree thesis by Luca Giupponi, entitled “The woods of the Taleggio Valley: synecology, syntaxonomy and syndynamics (2010-2011).
If the Taleggio Valley is so beautiful, rich and varied, it is thanks to its geological and chemical composition, its climatic condition and the combination of nature’s forces. Thanks to these factors, it is rich in waterways enabling a particular set of plant species to take root, a varied bouquet ranging from humble grass to the big beech tree.
But if our territory is so beautiful, rich and varied, it is also due to human presence, to his centuries-old work, and to the livestock that has been bred for centuries. Without human presence, there would be no meadows, no pastures, no mule-tracks, no typical walls, no fountains, no stables, no small houses, no casere*, no roccoli*.
The Taleggio Valley is what local people have been able to produce over the centuries, which is still partly there. They have not taken away but added, modified and also enriched this “Eco-System”: a great contribution to a unique valley, to its own identity and features.
Almost an exclusive brand made up of thousands of different, iconic elements, such as the biological fertilizers, the typical farming tools like the ranza*, the planned grazing, and the wide range of species of herbs and flowers. And then the animals, especially Brown cows, and the families around their cattle.
The great journey to refine farming, cheese production and maturing techniques has been very long but it is what has led the Taleggio Valley to reach the highest quality standards with its Stracchino cheese.
All this makes up our patrimony, legacy, and heritage.
* casere - dairy huts
* roccoli - hunting posts
* ranza - traditional sickle