FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSFORMATION
The Cooperativa de Usuários do Freixo do Meio transforms dozens of different food products from the resources obtained from our Montado.
For the past 20 years we learned how to transform the surpluses of our ecosystem into nourishment. Some of the activities were only restarted like making bread or processing pork, but most were developed from the start. Out of nothing. We adapted and renovated the existing building at Freixo do Meio and gradually installed a series of small food factories.
All transformation units can be visited it terms to be agreed on.
A PLACE OF CONVERGENCE
Freixo do Meio is a place where people, ideas, cultures, traditions, and knowledge converge, merging wisdom and flavors while producing food.
From the village of Foros de Vale de Figueira came the preparation of bread, sausages, bell pepper paste and pork meat.
The rest we learned around the world. Our charcuterie crosses the traditions of the Alentejo with those of Vienna, Austria. From Cataluña, we took the inspiration for the way to preserve vegetables and produce natural wine. The way we manage and prepare the acorn is a mix of the Iberian tradition with those of Germany, Greece, and Italy.
House #1. The small wine press, the chimneys of the smoker and the bread oven are the only original food production structures of the farm still active today. The size of the winepress room, cut down by us to a third, is evidence of the ancestral importance of the vineyard at our Montado. We specialized since 2005 in natural red wine and natural grape juice, with an annual production of less than 1000 l. Mr. António Abel, and Alfredo are those in charge of producing the house nectars.
House #7. Equipped for drying, peeling, mowing, and toasting, the acorn transformation unit of the Freixo do Meio processes ten tons of fresh acorn every year. Under the supervision of Edite, during January and February the unit dries the acorn that will be process along the year. The main products are powder, crumbs, infusion, and peeled acorn.
House #8. Our goal was always to preserve surpluses using the best methods, the least resources and with the smallest ecological footprint. On this unit, equipped with an autoclave, we produce soups, vegetable preserves, pâtés and hamburgers. The team is composed by Edite, Ofélia, Manuela and Ana. The unit has a blast chiller to produce deep frozen food and is licensed under the number 892-2018.
House #9. The fresh veggies unit receives, washes, selects and packages 100 daily kilos of vegetables produced both by in house and by our partners, as well as the wild plants and mushrooms we pick. Placed on the old mule barn of the Monte da Herdade do Freixo do Meio, this unit is operated by Ofélia and Manuela and is equipped with a large cold chamber.
House #13. The kitchen of the Monte is currently located close to our canteen, at the old ox barn. Beside the daily meals of all cooperants and visitors, it cooks a vast range of food that promotes efficiency and reduction of food waste. Pies, pastries, quiches, toasts, granola, and cakes, among others are cooked by Fátima. The kitchen is licenced as restaurant. (PROCESSO Nº 279725 SAFM).
House #14. The production of olive oil at Montado do Freixo do Meio dates back to the time of the Phoenicians, around 1000 A.C. Close to the main house, the time olive tree is dated to be over 1000 years old. The modern centrifuge oil press, installed in (data) is certainly one of the smallest mills in the world, but is harmoniously integrated in our ecosystem. Beside Al Zeithe, the juice of the Galician olive we produce, the remaining pulp and the bone are fermented and integrated in the diet of the alentejano pigs. The mill processes two tons a day under the supervision of Edite. Is licensed under the number 892-2018.
House #15. The bakery of Freixo do Meio originally known as Bread Oven, was the last transformation activity to be abandoned at Monte do Freixo do Meio and the first to be recovered during the 1990’s. At the centuries old wood fueled oven with capacity for 60 1 kg breads, we bake the original bread of the Alentejo and the ancestral acorn bread three times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We only use live yeast. Neba Grace Bineh and Malcolm Koh compose the current team. The unit is licensed in Licenciamento Único portal under the number 441/2018-1.
House #18. The meat processing unit of Freixo do Meio was the first small industry of its kind to be built in a farm in Portugal after the 1974 revolution. It’s authorized to process cow, pork, sheep, goats, poultry, and game meats.
We work with about 800 kilos of meat of distinct species, including those belonging to our ecosystem. Mr. Joaquim Caixeiro, Mrs. Paula Moreira and Luísa Sardinha are the specialized professionals in this unit. Licence number 893/2018 DGV.
House #19. The traditional and handmade «enchidos» from alentejano pork were, together with the bread, the first legacy we recovered in (year). The big chimneys were there for a reason, and so we got two women from the village together with a pig and a big bowl and on we went. Today, besides the famous sausage making from Alentejo, smoked with holm oak wood, we specialized in exquisite Austrian style sausage making through a long-standing partnership with Wurst, at São Bento, Lisbon. Luisa Sardinha and Mr. Joaquim Moreira team produces weekly xxxx kg of «enchidos» and Austrian sausages, besides lard and bones stock. Licence number 893-2018 GDV.
House #20. To be able to sacrifice the birds of our ecosystem ourselves was a partial victory achieved. We are working so that one day we can also be responsible for the slaughter of the other species. The birds are stunned and worked on one by one by a team formed by Mr. Joaquim Caixeiro, Manuela Silva and Laurinda Bengalinha. The unit is limited to the weekly sacrifice of 100 birds and licensed by DGV under the number A2218/PTVW69R-V.
House #21. The processing of the eggs obtained from the agroforest of Freixo do Meio is done on the grading unit installed in the old barn of the farm. We daily observe, classify, and stamp about 300 organic eggs. The Center is licensed under the number 474/2018-1.
House #22. The Solar dryer installed at Monte do Freixo do Meio was developed at Oeiras experimental station aiming to improve a practice as old as humanity: the drying of food for preserving. The tempered glass unit with 300 cubic meters dries fruits, vegetables, leaves, herbs and mushrooms, using only the Sun.
The human team is coordinate by Patrícia Pereira and has 9 more elements. Joaquim Caixeiro coordinates meat related activities, working with Paula Moreira, Luísa Sardinha and André Mchord. Edite Ferreira coordinates acorn and vegetable related activities, and all other areas with the help of Ofélia Neto, Manuela Silva, Ana Carriço and Laurinda Bengalinha.