In Biei's summer, take a moment to relax with a rich ice cream
In this post we talked about hay bales, round shapes that appear in Biei's summer, but there are in fact two kinds of bales—hay bales and grass bales.
As their name would suggest, grass bales are made of just that, grass. Although they are only made from grass, one roll is a hugely heavy object of about 300kg!
There are even cases where they tumble down the hills and into ditches at the side of the road!
Oh, did the hill drop something?!
Grass is reaped several times throughout the year but grass bales are wrapped in a plastic packaging.
This becomes food preserved for the winter, a meal for cows living through Hokkaido's deep snows.
Since we're talking about dairy farms, let's also take a moment to talk about the very best soft serve ice cream.
At Biei Farm they raise a large number of brown Jersey and Brown Swiss cows, grazing on wild grasses and living a carefree life. In fact, you may even be surprised to learn that this dairy farm does not have a cattle shed. They have one solely for calves, but none for adult cows.
You might be worrying about where the cows sleep, but on the pasture's vast grounds trees have sprung up into forests and it seems that the cows sleep and pass the time away in the forests as they please.
You might also have your doubts as to what the cows do in winter but it looks like the cows also sleep outside in winter, too! A cow's body temperature is close to 40oC so while it seems that they don't do too well in the heat, they cope very well with the cold.
It really is a surprise to see that the cows graze totally normally, even in the midst of Hokkaido's winter temperatures of -20oC or below!
Biei Farm's Japanese name uses the characters meaning “pasture dairy farming” and we really take our hats off to that—it is exactly as it says on the sign!
And there's no way that the milk that the carefree cows make doesn't taste good-- not in that much of a stress-free environment, eating and sleeping as they please! The farm's soft serve ice cream, made from their milk, is of the highest quality-- rich in flavour and has a smooth, clag-free aftertaste.
Now serve it on top of Biei Farm's fragrant, home-made waffle cones and enjoy!