Friday, July 25, 2014

our milk

Living on a dairy farm, it easy to take for granted that when we run out of milk, we just get more from the seemingly endless supply from the chiller. Unless of course, the milk truck has already come for the day. We get full-fat, unpasteurized, unhomogenized, raw milk from the cows every day. We also have a cream separator for cream or if we need skimmed milk. 

I love the milk here! At lunch time, it easy to drink two cups of milk. And since I'm pregnant, I've figured it must be good for the baby so....consume away, girlfriend. 

I have yet to make my own yogurt but it is definitely on the to-do list. Leon and I would love to experiment with cheese in the future. I've made cottage cheese and ice cream. We get so many dairy products for "free". (Big, huge air quotation marks around the word FREE.)

Since we don't buy milk by the gallon, like the U.S., I thought I'd show how we store our milk for daily consumption. There are so many things that are normal for me now but when I think back to my first visit almost two years ago, I was so enamoured about certain aspects of the life here. 

That metal can above is the main milk jar for the big house. We fill it probably once a day, maybe twice. The employee is Kelophister (pronounced Calfista) and she is our packing room girl. She makes the butter, records the milk, makes cream, etc.

Then, the milk is poured as needed into small glass bottles. 

I keep four at our little house and it lasts about a day or so. 

So this is how we get our milk. Uncomplicated and "free". :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

preparing a field

I have learned a lot about farming in the past year of marriage (obvious understatement). One of the most surprising things for this suburban girl to accept was that fires are normal. Fires are dangerous. Fires aren't always necessary or welcome but they are normal. And sometimes, fires are absolutely needed.

To prepare a field, Leon has to burn it to clear the rubbish grass. Then, it is disc-ed (via tractor and disc-er). Finally, the field can be planted.

We aren't crop farmers. But each year, Leon has to plant rye grass which is our winter grazing grass for the cows. Barner grass is also planted in January for baling in April/May.

Fires are also used to make fire breaks to protect the grazing for the herd. Last year, one of our employees was burned quite badly making a fire break on a windy day. Often, locals will burn fields to chase the rats so they can eat. Disgusting, I know, but that is their reality here. We make fire breaks to protect against these types of fires on our back property.

A few weeks ago, Leon was preparing his last field for planting. I captured a few snapshots because the burning process can be just SO pretty especially in the afternoon light.