Maple Field Milk – Blog it up from the depths

January 20th 2017

Blog yourself up from the depths of winter I say.  No light to speak of: mud made sticky by the peculiar influence of frost mixed in with rain. Blog in a new routine/novel resolutions. Get to grips with the Pasture Fed Livestock Association (PFLA);  get to grips with yoghurt production; get amongst properly milking our herd; properly enjoy the  Honda engine on the milking bail to replace the whirling dervish of the power-take-off drive; write a biography of the International Harvester 574 now it is no longer needed.

Basically – the venturii  is the thing all fresh milk must pass through on its way to sale. This is the venturii of pasteurisation. This is my view at the moment. Not absolutely all fresh milk because there is an ever increasing demand for raw unpasteurised milk. So luckily for us – we have started our milk business before actually milking any cows of our own.  Most dairy farmers have already got a herd.  Their cart has been put before the horse. They are stuck with the large processor who hasn’t yet heard of Fair Trade Dairy.  This is the difficult bit and the bit that must be tackled.  We can teach you how to do this. How much does it cost?  How many people do you need? How do you canvas for business? All concentrated stuff gleaned from three years of experience.

We are talking to three dairy farmers with the idea (our idea) of halving their existing herd; turning the remaining half out to grass;  processing every last drop of delicious milk and plonking it on doorsteps within 15 miles of their farm.

Once we have accomplished this………we can add in all the values of out door cows (Free range dairy); of correct feeding (Pasture fed); the means of milking (out door milking bail); the system of handling the calves (calf-at-foot). All these vital ingredients become the final list of Unique Selling Points to present to your customers.  Hands will be bitten off……..Shelves will be stripped; information will be eagerly devoured and they will become friends for life.

We are watching our new intake of two cows from Nunton.  Two beautiful British Friesian x Jersey.  Nice small stocky outdoor types; dark healthy feet; sensible udders; woolly coats. We are watching them.

The seven pigs are a-guzzling the milk overspill;  the meat chickens are covered in and moved every day. The blackbirds bob next to the fieldfares.  Smoke sidles over the silent land from the villager woodburner performing its miracles on ash logs day and night. Bail FM barks out the new obsession ….the Be Good Tanyas (Light enough to travel).

We still await the decision on our Planning Appeal for permission to live on our four acre holding for ever. The Appeal Hearing was eight weeks ago. Are we to be ‘cleansed’ from the countryside like another 21st century enclosure act? What is to become of us? We’ll let you know.

Nick Snelgar

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One Response to Maple Field Milk – Blog it up from the depths

  1. Grant says:

    I’m curious to learn more about how you calve on pasture. Do you try milking with the portable milking bail while the calves are still nursing? Do you separate them for a period of time so there is enough to milk? I want to do something similar with once a day milking, but can’t seem to figure out how to keep everyone one pasture but then keep cows and calves separate long enough to get a decent milking. Any thoughts?

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