Winter in the provinces: What to study on farms near Moscow

Есть проблема: беспорядок на кухонной столешнице

Recently, Moscow Region farms one after another, they began to open the doors to visitors, offering to communicate with animals, tasty food and buy homemade products. And at the same time – to get the skills of rural life. Participation in the life of a farm can be different: somewhere they give milk to a cow and feed a calf, somewhere they teach how to cook cheese. Active recreation in the fresh air gives all participants the opportunity to revive mind and body – after all, a change of activity, as you know, is the best rest.

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1. Master the art of Italian cheese making
What: Italian farm Pietro Mazza
Where: village Mednoe, Tver region
Website: italianskaiaferma.ru

Pietro Mazza is a fourth generation cheese maker. Tired of confronting the mafia in his native Calabria, he became a police officer in Rome, where he met a Russian girl, Jeanne, and two hours later proposed to her. Once they came to visit Jeanne’s relatives in Russia, and Petro liked it so much that they stayed to cook Italian cheeses. The Mazza spouses were almost the first to take up agritourism in Russia. Through their efforts, the abandoned food processing plant turned into an actively developing eco-farm, where you can feed ostriches, ride horses, try and learn how to cook cheese, and stay overnight in a guest house.

Anna Demchikova

Jeanne conducts master classes on making cheese herself. The whey is heated to the desired temperature in a huge copper vat on a real wood-fired oven – the process is reproduced in strict accordance with Italian traditions. Zhanna devotes the participants to professional subtleties: for example, when forming cheese, you need to scroll a jar, not cheese, so as not to break it. Of course, only fresh cheeses can be cooked in real time: usually calata, as well as fresh kachiotta, junkata and ricotta. But Jeanne tells in detail how to prepare aged cheeses on the basis of these cheeses. The price of the master class includes a tasting of nine cheeses and a farm lunch with dessert.

Photo: Anna Demchikova

Anna Demchikova

2. Fry steaks, cook cheeses and drive a horse-drawn carriage
What: complex “Bogdarnya” by John Kopiski
Where: the village of Kruglovo under Petushki, Vladimir region
Site: bogdarnya.ru

Advice: The place can be reached by the Moscow-Petushki retro train, and a transfer can be ordered at the farm.

Orthodox Englishman John Kopiski proudly calls himself Russian. In the mid-1990s, he, a successful coal industrialist from London, rode the Moscow-Petushki route, fell in love with Russia and decided to become a Russian farmer. Now John has two related projects: the Christmas dairy farm and the Bogdarnya agrarian and tourist complex with a cheese dairy, a stable and a meat shop (Angus and Hereford gobies are supplied by a friendly farm).

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Photo: “Bogdarnya”

Anna Demchikova

John has a lot to learn and is passionate about sharing. He often conducts master classes on cooking cheese and steaks himself, for him it is more than a business: his dream is to raise agriculture, and he tries to inspire as many people as possible. “Find a farmer nearby, support him, help him develop – this is how we will do a great job together,” they call at master classes.

Photo: Anna Demchikova

Anna Demchikova

John cooks cheeses based on Gouda, adding dill, garlic, Sichuan pepper to it. The most delicious are “Italian Garden” with sweet peppers and “Shambala” with a pooper, which is collected here, on the banks of the Klyazma River.

Photo: Anna Demchikova

Anna Demchikova

A regular master class allows you to look at the workflow in a cheese dairy, learn about the details of production and taste all the cheeses. To cook the cheese yourself, you need to come at least two days. Ready cheese is considered to be from four to six weeks of aging. If time is short and you want to cook cheese, they can teach you how to cook ricotta on request. And soon John will start brewing Roquefort as well.

Photo: “Bogdarnya”

Anna Demchikova

In a steak master class, they teach to distinguish between the degrees of roasting of meat. Finally, Bogdarnya is the only place in Russia where you can learn the art of carriage driving. Marina Velikanova, President of the Vladimirsky Trakt Foundation, gives lessons and guides detailed excursions, and also regularly holds tournaments. On February 12-13, the Governor’s Cup of the Vladimir Region for Russian triplets will take place – the largest competition of triplets in Russia. There are two real Russian troikas on the farm – Vladimir and Vyatka.

Photo: “Bogdarnya”

Anna Demchikova

3. Milk the goat, comb the horse’s mane, boil the mozzarella and do skijoring
What: Eco-farm Teterins in Ryzhevo
Where: Moscow region, Yegoryevsky district, Ryzhevo village, building 46A
Site: ryzhevo.ru

The cozy family farm of Andrey and Zhanna is another great place for agritourism in the Moscow region. It is located in the village of Ryzhevo near Yegoryevsk. The hospitable owners are not only ready to show the guests the farm, but also let them take part in its management: comb the horse’s mane, milk a cow or goat, and even feed the little lambs from a bottle.

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Photo: Teterins’ farm

Anna Demchikova

There will be enough entertainment and various activities for several days. Participants in a master class on making cheese (naturally, from fresh farm milk, which you can milk yourself) will learn how to cook mozzarella on their own – the process is short-lived and quite simple, the skills gained can be easily used at home.

There are a number of workshops for children: on making toys from paper tubes, shortbread cookies.

Photo: Teterins’ farm

Anna Demchikova

And of course, there are many outdoor activities here – from downhill skiing to skijoring (as they call riding a horse or snowmobile on downhill skiing or snowboarding along an obstacle course). You can drive a snowmobile or tubing after a snowmobile, go skiing to the old church in Ryzhevo, ride a horse in a sleigh or horseback. There is an ice rink on the pond, skates can be rented. The most courageous can dive into the ice hole after the bath. And after active walks, everyone will have a hearty lunch made from natural farm products. When leaving, you can take home homemade cheese, cow and goat milk, cottage cheese, ayran, sour cream, cream, eggs and steamed mutton.

Advice: It is advisable to book excursions and master classes a week in advance. Excursion – 500 rubles, master classes – from 300 to 800 rubles.

Photo: Teterins’ farm

Anna Demchikova

Similar addresses

  • Eco-farm Vankovo. Those interested can learn how to milk a cow and cook homemade cottage cheese, take care of animals and watch the production of farm products.

Site: eco-vankovo.ru

  • Konovalovo. You can help almost everywhere: milk a cow, cook in the kitchen. Children will love collecting eggs and feeding the rabbits, while adults will enjoy riding lessons. And the work of the dairy shop can be observed through the window.

Site: konovalovo.com

Photo: Eco-farm Vankovo

Anna Demchikova

4. Lasso the reindeer and learn how to drive the team
What: farm “Reindeer”
Where: Antsiferovo, Orekhovo-Zuevsky district
Site: severolen.ru

A piece of the Far North is located just 90 km from Moscow. The reindeer farm appeared almost by accident – to save two reindeer, but quickly turned into one of the main attractions of agritourism in the Moscow region. Now there are about 20 deer on the farm. Winter is the season here: as soon as the snow falls, Santa’s helpers get to work. Harnessed in a Russian troika, they ride the guests across the field on wooden sledges, and then return them to the farm to drink tea and listen to the stories of the mushers.

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Photo: “Reindeer”

Anna Demchikova

Passive entertainment is not limited to. Those wishing to participate in the life of the farm can feed the animals. Professional reindeer herders are ready to teach guests how to catch a deer with a lasso: you need to throw a lasso over its horns, and then gradually approach the animal. If you want to ride a trio of deer not as a passenger, but as a coachman – try it. And for the most dexterous and courageous there is another active entertainment – downhill skiing after a deer.

On the street you can play the national games of the northern peoples. And those who are cold are invited to bask in the yaranga (plague) with warm skins. And in the farm’s shop you can buy real northern amulets made of horn and fur, many with engraving. They do not do master classes on them, because the production of horn is dangerous for health, almost like dentistry (due to flying fine dust). But farmers are always ready to talk about how this process looks like. Other national household items of the northern peoples are also sold here.

On New Year’s holidays, there is a festive two-hour visit program with a fabulous show about Santa Claus and Baba Yaga, contests and gifts. The usual program (600-700 rubles) lasts about an hour and includes tea drinking in the yaranga and lassoing a deer. Riding a troika – another 200 rubles, per person, and children under five years old – free.

Photo: “Reindeer”

Shannon Ggem Design

5. Paint an ostrich egg
What: farm “Russian ostrich”
Where: Old Kuzmenki, not far from Serpukhov
Site: straus.ru

The first ostrich farm in Russia covers an area of ​​about 30 hectares. Here you can not only feed African ostriches and cook ostrich eggs. There are also master classes on making and painting toys and shell jewelry.

Idea from photo: Installation on the wall of a mansion in Los Angeles; in the center of the composition is an ostrich egg mounted on the lid of a vintage toothpowder box (1940s).

About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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