Maple Field Milk Test Results

| 6/12/2013 4:26:00 PM

Tags: dairy farm, Nick Snelgar,

Field GateWell here it is. Our milk was delivered by me with great emotional fright and terrifying ‘security’ mauling, to Porton Down, Wiltshire – our local Health Protection Agency (now called Public Health England ) and once in the safe and careful hands of the microbiologists (Sam in my case) I filled out the sheaf of papers with her expert help and white coated diligence. She let me out of the building with a magical sweep of the biological card. The next day she rang me to give me the first results. I thought that was very keen and careful with us, a novice and all. 

The key test to determine whether or not our pasteurizer is working correctly is something called the ‘phosphataze’ test whereby the microbiologists will see how much of this milk enzyme has been lost in the process. The range is zero to 350. They like you to fall below 100. If the results are over 100 they look for reasons. You are allowed to ‘process’ fresh milk up to 349 on the scale although no one is happy. A score of less than 100 is good and safe. Our results at Maple Field Milk came in at - 26! We are so in there. We are so thrilled. And a week later, Sam rings again to say - Lysteria test – ‘None found’. Well, I mean to say. Good week or what?

The dairy cow is constantly on self-medication browse particularly with Traveller's Joy and sweet May now in full flower and fragrant. The heifer calf – Myrtle has been taught already the skills of ‘browse’ and our massive enclosure Act hedges provide an alchemist’s box of medicine and a natural supply of vitamin supplements.

Temperatures at night are still very low. Some mornings it’s only 4 C. We seem to be trapped in a Northerly wind stream which makes me reach for the sleeveless Wally every morning , now, still , in June. Shorts are on hold.

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