Gauteng Smallholder December/ January 2018 - Page 21

From page 17 SMART SMALLHOLDERS four women who help farmers. This is particularly produce, clean, cut, pack and helpful in the winter months its fibres. label the cheese. These when their goats are not Rina and Norman believe that women have developed a producing milk. They also the key to their cheese is a love for cheese-making and freeze large quantities of wide range of products in Rina says this is one of the goats' milk curd to carry them small quantities. This has things she's most proud of. through the down season. allowed them to meet the “It's not a certificate I can It's not all work and no play at tastes of a broader range of hang on the wall but when I Belnori. Rina is particularly buyers while maintaining an see one of them take the care fond of their small flock of excellent quality product. that they do in their work, it sheep. Sheep milk cheese- Their first product was a fills my heart with pride.” making is not viable economi- gouda-style cheese, the While Belnori is predomi- cally but Rina does enjoy the Tanglewood. It has a strong nantly a goats' milk cheesery, variety it offers her in her flavour and the Belchers soon they do also use small cheese-making. Their found the palette of a lot of quantities of cows' milk attention to detail carries Gautengers lent itself to a sourced locally from small through even to this small milder cheese, so they developed the Highvelder Classic. Other popular products include the Snowdrop, a camembert style cheese and the Forest Phantom, a charcoal encased log cheese. Their cream- cheese style Chevre continues to be a popular product among their loyal customers. Belnori produces more than a ton of cheese a month. The cheesery has a team of Rina Belcher with the finished product 19 www.sasmallholder.co.za pet-project. Their sheep milk cheese, Benedictus, was awarded a super-gold medal at last years' International Cheese Awards held in Spain and was ranked the best cheese in South Africa for 2016. Add this to being named Farmer of the Year in Gauteng by the Agricultural Writer's Guild and 2016 was a great year for the Belchers. One of the many things Rina and Norman both love about Continued on page 21