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Visiting Weiler-la-Tour

Tanja Conter-Ruppert

With a flock of 40 East Frisian dairy sheep, Tanja Conter and her mother-in-law Fernande Conter-Lehners made their first experiences in sheep farming. In the beginning, the farm in Weiler-la-Tour was purely a dairy farm. Alain and his wife Tanja Conter both changed career and took over the grandparents' farm. The livestock now includes 150 sheep and, again, dairy cows. In spring, summer and at the beginning of autumn the sheep graze on the meadows of the An Dottësch sheep farm. For Fernande and Tanja Conter, it was clear right from the start that they wanted to make something special: namely yoghurt and ice cream from sheep’s milk. "Sheep’s milk is healthy and a good alternative for people who don’t tolerate cow’s milk well," says Fernande Conter-Lehners.

They both joined the Association for Artisanal Dairy Processing in Germany, where they took training courses to learn how to make cheese and ice cream from cow's milk. "At home, we then delved into the subject so that we could also make cheese, ice cream and yoghurt from sheep's milk," says Fernande Conter. Gradually they improved their recipes: "For example, most ice creams contain skimmed milk powder. However, we really wanted to offer a product with only sheep's milk in it, so we looked for another binding agent. Sheep's milk also contains more fat, so we don't need to add cream to our product." 

The fruit for the ice cream and yoghurts comes either from their own orchard (mirabelle plums, damsons and apples), their garden (rhubarb), from family (raspberries and blackcurrants) or from local farms (strawberries and elderflowers). "We are happy to be able to process products from home. There are no flavourings or colourings in our foodstuffs," says Fernande Conter-Lehners, who sees this as a good reason for customers to buy regionally and seasonally produced food.

We are happy to be able to process products from home. There are no flavourings or colourings in our foodstuffs.

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