Farm Abanico

Cuatro caminos, camino la ermita nª16, Tinizara

Santos is a farmer from Tinizara, probably the youngest left in Tijarafe.

He has worked in many things, the last job was in the construction. When things got difficult Goat farming was a job option that allowed him to start anew.

He has been working as a goat farmer since 2009. Because he learned the profession as a child with his parents, “everything except making the cheese”. Today he is enjoying his work and produces an excellent cheese.

He took advantage of the grazing area of his father. This area was not the only one used in the past. He combined a hill on the edge of the ravine, the ravine (current grazing area) and the summit.

In the ravine he went in the months of more abundance of grass. Here the animals had plants like escobones, vinagreras, lechugas and barbusano, but this one is not eaten by goats. In the solanas, flat and sunny areas next to the ravine s is where the cornical comes out. This plant is very beneficial for goats, strengthening the immune system, with good nutritional contribution and beneficial to the digestive system in general.

That ravine was used in December, January and February.

In March they made transhumance to the summit. And there they remained until August, when they led the males back together with the females in the ravine. The goats give birth in January and December, sheltering from the caves of the ravine. Coinciding with the green months of the coast.

There were months when it had snowed late in the year and storms forced them down to take refuge on the coast.

They usually climbed back to the summit in September or October. That’s where there was and is the most food, and that’s where they spent the most time.

  • Cost (ravine): January and February.
  • Summit: March, April, May, June, July, October and November.
  • Flat to ravine: August and September.
  • Coast: December.

In the ravine we can see that there are many covachones (small caves) in which he milked and made the cheese with his father. The cheese was loaded up every two days to the village and the leftover buttermilk – whey – was loaded to the shoulder for the pigs, “As a boy I had to carry it on my shoulder, but there were no computers or mobiles there.”

This grazing area is extremely steep, there are only two passes to access.

From what Santos tells us, the ravine withstands a livestock load of about 100 goats. But only when there is enough rain.

This year and because of the drought, he’s hardly let them go out. Only every 15 days for a walk.

He takes them at five o’clock in the afternoon to the ravine and the goats return by their own to the farm at nine in the morning. They come back alone, to be milked and eat the ration on the farm.

Santos doesn’t believe much in the future of traditional goat farming,he says “young people don’t want and they don’t let them,” “projects have to be started for younger people because there are only three of us left”.

Still, he says it with a smile on his mouth. Like the one who accepts something he no longer sees a solution to.

Grazing area