Boisterous goats and a hint of Provence

Their names are Emma, Theodora Bunhilde, Lillibeth and Justine, perfect names for these snow-white goats living in Oberrod in the Westerwald forest. Claudia Schäfer-Trumm can not only name all her goats, she has also been through thick and thin with them over the years.

The White German Alpine goats cope well with the climate of the uplands in the north of Rhineland‑Palatinate, so what was once a little cheese-making venture "Die kleine Fromagerie" in Oberrod has grown into an impressive farm with more than 100 goats. And it has real French flair thanks to Claudia Schäfer-Trumm’s other passion for all things Mediterranean, antiquity and Provence, which was where she discovered her love of goats and making cheese.

She now sells her home-made cheese varieties from a lovely drystone building and serves traditional French and Westerwald cuisine to her guests in the cosy, quirkily decorated dining room on the first floor. “I’ve always wanted this kind of little paradise, with delicacies like garlic and sausage hanging from the ceiling”, she explains with a smile.

The goats are rested and not milked between December and March. The kids, most of which are born around the end of February, stay with their mothers for a week. It all started back in 2005 with matriarch Anna, and her female descendants and some others still get to stay in Oberrod.

Goat farm in Oberrod, Westerwald

Goat farm in Oberrod, Westerwald

The remainder are sold as livestock. “I have slaughtered corn-fed chickens for a meal, but I couldn’t kill a goat. I couldn’t turn them into sausages, especially when they’ve given me milk twice a day for two years. You're only rewarded if you treat your animals well”, explains Claudia Schäfer-Trumm. The story is a little different for the stud males, who end their days as some of the delicious salami hanging from the ceiling. Visitors to the cheese-maker can not only meet the goats in the stables and pasture, they can also take them for a walk all around Oberrod, in the juniper heathland, on the local Knoten mountain, or even take a picnic and wander towards the Krombach dam. It is no quick walk and requires a little patience as the goats tend to stop along the way to munch on leaves, grass and flowers.

Making goat cheese, Westerwald

Making goat cheese in Oberrod, Westerwald

The little cheese-making venture in Oberrod, Westerwald

The little cheese-making venture in Oberrod, Westerwald

The goats are milked twice a day and their milk is used to make a variety of goats’ cheeses, ranging from cream cheese and soft cheese to Camembert, which is available as a round, filled with cream cheese or with apricots and almonds, lavender, rosemary, garlic and chives, or toasted sesame seeds. The range of home-made cheeses is complemented by delicacies from small producers, including chocolate-coated marshmallow treats from the Palatinate, preserved lemons and hazelnut cakes from Piedmont.

There is a two-hour guided tour of the yard, at the end of which visitors can enjoy tasting a few of the cheeses.

Culinary delights of home-made cheese, Westerwald

Culinary delights of home-made cheese in Oberrod, Westerwald

Goat cheese manufactory 'Kleine Fromagerie' in Oberrod, Westerwald

Homemade goat cheese at the 'Kleine Fromagerie' manufactory in Oberrod, Westerwald

More leisure tips in the Westerwald:

More information about holidays in the Westerwald

Find out everything you need to know on events, attractions and other destinations in the Westerwald at Westerwald Touristik-Service.

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