In the village of Zelenyi Hai, which is 30 kilometers from the city of Dnieper, there is a wonderful place for a spiritual family weekend getaway. This is a private cheese dairy and eco-farm, where they make organic cheese and contain many species of animals (I can’t say exactly how many species, but the number is about 600).
The founders of the cheese factory and farm are a married couple, Anatoly and Yevgeniya, who opened this amazing place in 2019 and named it after the village, Zelenyi Hai.
Anatoly used to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and now the farm is actively helping the animals and the country fight against Russian aggression.
The location is on the left bank of the Mokra Sura River.
The adventure begins at the very beginning, because to get here from the bus, you have to cross the suspension bridge on Wet Sura, and it is more than a hundred years old!
Then we get to the cheese factory itself – it’s a medium-sized house with a cozy veranda and cushioned poufs. Here in the big panoramic you can see how the cheese is made. There’s also a big, kind dog living here, and you can buy cheese and something to eat – like potatoes and hamburgers. There are many kinds of cheeses for sale, eggs of all kinds of birds. There are even ostrich eggs!
Here one buys a ticket to visit the farm and tour it. There is parking for visitors in cars. And guests are greeted by the California quail (Callipepla californica), a restless bird in a cage.
From here you can walk to the beach, where the sand is poured and there is a colorful gazebo right on the water. You can rent a kayak or just lie on the white sand and swim in the calm and warm river. Several flocks of geese walk freely along the beach.
Eco-Farm Zelenyi Hai
The farm is large and populated by all kinds of animals.
Here in one pen lives a hare, rabbits and an otter. Told interesting stories about the life and organization of their families. There is a dog Dashka (DSHK – after the name of the machine gun), taken from the zone of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbass in 2016.
Lots of horses, big and small. Horses, like other animals, can be fed – for this purpose, the owners give small buckets for apples and carrots, instructing how to cut vegetables and how to feed the animals correctly. For example – you can’t stand behind and give food in the open palm of your hand.
Horses salivate nicely – this is my first such experience!
There are also goats, sheep, pigs, and many different birds on the farm. There is even a goat with a bow! Exotic ostriches that eat carrots and apples – swallowing whole chunks.
Excursions to the farm Zelenyi Hai
To the farm and cheese dairy in Zelenyi Hai you can order an excursion. People come here as organized by tourist buses from Dnipro, Zaporozhye and as families by car. You can come on your own from Dnieper (Zelenyi Hai village):
- 265 Shinnik Dnepr-Bogdanivka bus, runs every hour;
- 218 Shinnik Dnipro-Sursko-Mikhailovskoye, every hour.
- The tour takes place at certain hours and must be booked in advance, with a tasting of authentic cheese and drinks. You can just walk around the farm – it will be cheaper, but remember that there are “siesta” hours, when the staff and animals are resting.
The farm now
In 2022, the farm became a refuge for those animals living in the war zone after Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The owners could not stay away and sheltered the unfortunate – cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys were rescued from the shelling.
The farm not only houses the animals, treats them and produces milk for the cheese factory, but also helps children and adults find peace of mind with animal therapy. This is one of the missions of the place.
I liked not only talking to the animals and sitting on the beach, but also how the owners treat visitors. They pay attention, take an interest in their guests and tell them and show them how to spend their time.
Thank you for a nice and soulful place!
Zelenyi Hai farm and the War with Russia 2022
On the night of September 3, 2022, a farm in Zelenyi Hai was attacked by a Russian missile. Early in the morning, anti-aircraft defenses shot down missiles flying toward the Dnipro city and one of them fell directly on the farm.
sourse – instagram sirovarnia_zeleniy_gai
Unfortunately, some of the pens burned and some of the animals were injured and died.
The owners of the farm announced a fundraiser to restore the pens, treat the animals, and prepare food for the winter. People mobilized and literally in one day collected not only the required amount, but also helped with their labor, materials and feed.
It’s very cool how Ukrainians can mobilize and rebuild this wonderful place and their country!