Close to Besalú, near the little village of Maià de Montcal in the area known as Brugués you can find Can Garriga, one of the most environmentally-friendly dairy farms where animal welfare is of prime importance. Tomàs Grau Sastre and Roser Jiménez began to produce Raphel Lladó ecological milk in 1994. They own eleven Friesian cows. The scale of the whole farm is tailored to suit the size of the herd: “The secret of our milk lies with the cows: numbers are kept low, they are well-fed and kept in real contact with the soil.”
Their farm consists of 26.6 hectares of arable and meadowland, 8 ha of holm oak woods and a further 3 ha of the typical vegetation lining the banks of the river Fluvià. They are proud to be self-sufficient, able to support their 11 cows and 3 steers with such radical respect for the environment and the life cycle of nature, always following criteria of biodynamics.
Their farm, which is managed in line with the strictest ecological criteria, has its cowsheds and milking parlour up at the farm-house, dating back to the fourth century, and rebuilt in 1625 by Raphel Lladó. The house remains almost as he left it. Lladó was a skilled builder who specialised in constructions related to the harnessing of water power.
Sending the cattle out to grass every day and using a system of rotation to allow the regeneration of the fields means that Raphel Lladó fresh ecological milk is unbeatable: tasty and well-balanced, it may well be the best on earth! Apart from fresh milk and yoghourts, the owners are also branching out into cottage cheese and soft cheese. Their soft cheese is sold under the “Roca Pastora” label, referring to the most spectacular limestone face of the Mare de Deu del Mont mountain, whose origin during an earthquake which took place in 1882, is mentioned by the emblematic Catalonian priest Jacint Verdaguer (1845- 1902) in one of his essays.