Bring Your Own Milk’ Party Rekindles Dairy Farming Traditions (Estonia)

A farm in Võru County is celebrating dairy farming past and present by hosting a full day of seminars followed by a mixer tonight. The cover charge: a liter or two of fresh raw milk.

The event at Kiidi farm in the Haanja uplands is open to the public, but no store-bought milk will be accepted.

The milk truck will roll up around 19:00, lab technicians will jump out and assay the product. Those whose farm-fresh milk makes the cut for purity and wholesomeness will get in for free, while others will have to purchase an admission ticket for a small fee.

The event harks back to the old days, especially 1960-1990, when a milk truck made the rounds picking up milk from farms, placed on special platforms called a piimapukk. Some still survive today, but like deliveries from milkmen in other places, the tradition has faded and only a few of the platforms can still be found on roadsides. One reason was legislation that required plants to buy only milk of a certain quality.

The buying-up point inaugurated tonight will eventually boast a platform, to be built in the coming weeks by an international crew of volunteers working at Kiidi farm.

The milk brought in will be used to make sõir, a kind of fortified curd cheese containing egg and butter – which was the focus of the seminars earlier during the day.


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