Maple Field Milk: How micro-dairies could supply all the milk needs of Salisbury

6th June 2015

Let’s try and develop the idea in last week’s blog of networks of milk micro-processors together providing fresh milk for the whole of the country. This is the reverse of what’s happening now. Let’s take Salisbury with 60,000 humans to feed. That might divide into 15,000 families or households.  Each household will consume four litres of fresh milk per week.  We know this. That means we need 20 cows to provide for 500 families day in day out. (20 cows yielding 2000 litres/week). 30 microherds therefore will satisfy that population.  Form a ring of micros around the town at a safe distance.  Pass their delicious magic high-energy milk through seven micro processing plants like Maple Field Milk.  This is exactly how you feed a town.  A low impact, really energetic milk community dashing from street to street with the good stuff. That’s 600 dairy cows all in small groups, all with names, living in separate parts of the peri-urban farm land. How interesting is that? Oh…………and we could have one particular herd stationed next to our fab NHS hospital providing their needs of 1600 litres per week.  The patients could see the cows from their beds. The nutritionists might go into a swoon.

We’ve cured the pulley squeak on the Transit van. Thank heavens. Three doorstep rounds people have been recruited. What a week! Heavy rain seems to keep on falling. Simon of Nunton is ankle-deep in grass.  He is looking forward to tomorrow. It is OPEN FARM SUNDAY.  So appropriate. He can climb into the dairy pulpit and preach his gospel of grass.  His congregation is growing thanks to us.  I feel like the loyal curate.

Our Environmental microbiological tests came back from the lab at Porton Down with a massive ‘pass’.

The clever scientists test for entrobacteriacea living in the milk post-pasteurisation. This bacteria survives heat treatment and  causes the milk to go off eventually or in our case within eight days of processing. This test is very important as it describes the cleanliness of our plant and the devotion of our procedures whilst bottling ‘ready-to-eat’ food. Our results were >1. Fab. They are not able to give you a zero. After two years of production our plant is whistling clean. Our procedures are spot on. Trumpets are being blown.

I am reading ‘The Edge of Extinction’ by Jules Pretty (Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex. He is an associate Member of Futurefarms-Martin). Not because I think dairy farmers are on  this precipitous ‘edge’……..well of course they are really. But because Jules Pretty is a terrific writer. His subject seems to be part of him. Brilliant reading.

Next week I want to look at the success of micro-breweries in our local area and relate this to developing  micro-dairies.

Nick Snelgar

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