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Day in the Life of a Gozo Shepherd

The population of the tiny nation of Malta live predominantly on two islands – Malta, the larger, more developed island, and her rural sister island of Gozo. Life in Gozo moves at a slower pace, and traditional ways of life are still common. SAS students spent a day visiting a goat farmer on Gozo, taking the opportunity to learn about the arts of wine- and cheese-making, care for farm animals, and even milk a goat. At the end of the day, they were served a delicious, fresh meal made from the farm’s products.

Students Lori Dilger (Business Administration, Depaul University), Julie Wanous (Psychology, Wright State University), and Sam Henry (Neuroscience, Ohio State University), chat on the half hour ride to Gozo Island.
Passengers lean over the railings on the ferry between the island of Malta and the smaller, more rural island of Gozo.
Penned goats curiously study the new arrivals as they arrive at the farm in Gozo.
Bettina Mangiaracina, a Liberal Studies major at CUNY Hunter College, laughs as she attempts to milk a goat for the first time. The milk will later be used to make cheese.
Julie Caruccio reacts as an orphaned 2-week old lamb licks her neck and face.
Besides goats, this Gozo farm has a number of other animals, including chickens, sheep, and dogs.
The farm also produces its own red and white wines.
Rikardu Zammit, a farmer and shepherd, shows SAS students how to make traditional Gozo cheese using both sheep and goat milk.
Traditional baskets give the cheese shape while allowing excess liquid to drain.
Rikardu Zammit has lived in Gozo his entire life, working first as a stone mason, then farmer, and, more recently, he has started his own restaurant on the island serving fresh, traditional meals.
Fresh bread, cheese, honey, and vegetables are on display outside of Rikardu’s restaurant – Ta-Rikardu.
Topics
  • Culture

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