Tuscan-eating and talking sheep
Stilnovo will cover four main phases which will end with the final results being released in the spring of 2018:
- coordinating the parties involved;
- discovering, analyzing, and planting native species to improve the sheep’s milk and fodder involved in the experiments;
- studying transformation and ripening processes regarding crust processing and subsequent evaluation of the organoleptic and nutritional values of cheeses with edible crusts;
- disseminating final results and involving the local community, especially the local schools. For Maremma native species rediscovery public initiatives and an Open Day will be organized.
The project results will have both economic and environmental values. On the economic side, the cost of sheep feed is expected to decrease; increased productivity and reproductive efficiency of the herd will take place; milk quality and its cheese yield will improve; bloating will decrease and new products with an edible crust will be added. On the environmental side, however, the focus will be on improving agricultural land fertility; decreasing the risk of hydrogeological erosion; protecting plant biodiversity; protecting soil and decreasing soil processes mechanically. Stilnovo also aspires to accomplish increasing sustainability in the agricultural sector in landscaping, including reducing herd emission and marginal area abandonment.