Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Maple Field Milk: I'm Back

10/9/2013 10:49:00 AM

Tags: dairy, Maple Field Milk, Nick Snelgar, Britian

fresh milkWell it looks like I took September off.  Well I did.  I left writing to one side and became a full time dairy worker.  I became completely consumed with the incredibly rigorous world of pasteurizers and bottlers and labels and frantic pump changes and the whirr and the distraction of fresh milk production.  It is now week six of this - this almost vertical curve of learning (nothing to a surfer like Geof) but to a herdsman it is all consuming.  Also I have discovered K.T. Tunstall and she plays on Bail FM almost continuously (where have I been?).

My friends and directors of Maple Field Milk, Roy and Monica took the fresh cream from the processing plant and made into fabulous creamy butter all by their selves all with their own super-intelligence and craft; all within our own village. 

I took a few hours off and took a van load of fresh milk to Hale Market near us in the New Forest and was welcomed like a trader from a foreign land with our ‘local’ milk (we are the only processors of milk in the county of Hampshire) - the van soon emptied and a change was definitely in the autumn air. People are insisting on food that is from close contact with the farmer.

Our fresh milk is milked on Whitey Top Farm, Pentridge in unspeakably beautiful territory ,balanced on a chalky hillside at 7’ish in the morning probably by Hannah the chief herds person or maybe Julie or Oliver (but he’s away up London learning to be a vet) - I collect it .We chat. They help. We are part of the same organization bent on bringing fresh milk direct to our people. We combine as farmer/processors .We are so obviously co-dependent. What could be better?

That milk is on your fridge shelf by 8am the next morning cooled down to 3 degrees centigrade. No one can touch us for freshness.24 hours old. Non-homogenized and maxed out with nutrients.

I have in my absence, re-read ‘The Farming Ladder’ by George Henderson (1944) and I want to know why it was not compulsory reading in 1973 when I was at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester?

The ‘ring of seven’ (shops) has become the ring of twelve. We are six weeks into this fantastic business. I have bars and cafes and sophisticated ‘latte’ producers saying that they have never been offered such fresh perfect milk. Do we conclude that modern milk has been so ‘processed’ for reasons of mysterious movement and long distance provision that it hardly resembles the Whitey Top energy drink. We have to reach every fridge with the real thing. 

Radio 4 The Farming Program today had a big piece about the Dairy Show at the Bath and West showground. They collected together’ Farmer’s for Action’ ; the NFU Dairy man and the Chief Executive of Arla – the gi-normous European processors and gave a hilarious round of questions and answers addressing nothing and concluding nothing.  As long as there is no alternative to the grocer controlled milk market no dairy farmer will ever make a good fist of it.  It is so glaringly obvious to other industries that it is laughable.  No one takes complete control of your own precious product and offers to market it for you - that way spells ruin. 

Do you know how many fresh milk processors there are in Britain?

I’ve just gone a bit dewy with K.T. Tunstall ‘Honeydew’ on Bail FM and Myrtle has gone into a legless swoon.

Keep it local – Nick.

Photo by Fotolia



Related Content

How to Raise A Dairy Calf

Guide to raising a healthy dairy calf, including disease prevention, iodine dips, scours, and stall ...

Maple Field Milk - The Start of a New Venture

The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.

Randall Blue Lineback Cattle: Heritage Livestock Breeds

The American-bred Randall Blue Lineback cattle are named for the Randall family who bred them for ei...

How to Use a Bucket Milker

Bucket milkers offer small and micro-dairy farmers affordable and reliable system for milking cows. ...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.