Jackal's Hill Fromage
Jackal’s Hill Farm is situated outside Fouriesburg, in the Eastern Free State Highlands in South Africa.
A small herd of Jersey Cows produces the milk used to make the Artisanal range of Dairy Products and Cheeses – Jackal’s Hill Fromage (Fromage is the French word for Cheese).
The cows are grazed on the veld all year long, with a supplement of hay and Lucerne bales as well as pasture in winter. At Jackal’s Hill Farm, we do not use any growth or production hormones. We focus on quality milk rather than quantity. The milk is processed daily, straight from the milking parlour, in an artisanal and sustainable way.
How we started
In 2007, as milk prices dropped, Valerie Kneppert looked for a way to add value to the milk that was produced on the farm.
Well-known Hans Keller came to the farm a couple of times to teach her the basics of cheese making. Being French, Valerie has always had a passion for cheeses, but she never thought that she would, one day, make award-wining cheeses herself.
A few years later, she reduced the herd tremendously and concentrated her efforts on Artisan dairy products and cheeses. Valerie believes in eco-friendly farming and keeps a close eye on both the farming side and the production.
Staying true to her heritage, she has, in recent years, also developed a range of French Style cheeses, handmade with passion on the farm.
Although we are not certified organic, we try to be as eco friendly and natural as possible. We use an eco-friendly fertilizer on our pastures and Lucerne and our cows get a natural mineral supplement daily. We do not use growth or production hormones.
Our grass-fed girls produce rich yellow milk, full of valuable nutrients. It is well documented that grass-fed dairy cows produce milk that has a higher content of vitamin A, E and Beta-carotene, as well as the beneficial fatty acid CLA.
We are very proud of being part of the international Slow Food movement.
Slow Food was founded in 1989 in Bra, Italy by Carlo Petrini to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. Slow Food promotes a world in which people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who produce it and good for the planet. The 3 main concepts of Slow Food are:
Good: fresh, flavoursome, healthy and seasonal quality food.
Clean: food that does not harm the environment and respects animal welfare and our health.
Fair: accessible prices for the consumers as well as fair conditions and prices for the small scale producers.
The Slow Cheese section of Slow Food promotes raw milk, artisanal cheese making, the respect of the environment, animal welfare and the skills of the farmers and cheesemakers.
French, born in Paris, where I spent the first 30 years of my life, so I gather that cheese is in my DNA!
I moved to South Africa in 1996 for quality of life, and after spending a few years in Pretoria moved to Jackal’s Hill Farm in 2015.
Although I always wanted to live on a farm, I never thought that I would, one day, milk Jersey cows and make award-winning cheeses. My great-grandmother, Granny Scarlet, who had dairy farms in Normandie, must be proud of me!
– Valerie Kneppert
FOURIESBURG COUNTRY CAFÉ
25 Noorder Street, corner of Robertson Street
+27 (0)66 333 0755
Monday to Thursday: 9am - 4pm
Friday and Saturday: 9am - 4:30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 9am - 3pm
Christmas day and 1st January
We welcome children of all ages (playground in the garden) and pets (must be kept on a leash).