10th June 2012
MAPLE FIELD MILK - NOMADS AND SUMMER RAIN
Do you know what a pasteurizer is ? Louis Pasteur invented the process by which fresh milk (and other ‘fresh’ substances such as apple juice) can be rendered harmless to the human being. The process involves passing fresh milk through a series of ‘plates’ where the temperature of the milk may be raised to 78 degrees C for 5 seconds and then dropped quickly by moving it through more plates. So we now have a giant lump of gleaming stainless steel machinery standing at one end of the Dairy room . It is all set about with dials and buttons and recording charts , and pipes and valves and pumps. At least you can see all of it all of the time. It is not built for beauty.
This machine will process 500 litres of fresh milk per hour. I now have to learn all about it. I tape recorded my conversation with Jason from the company who supplied it and I shall write this up when I have a moment. Actually……..I am slightly avoiding it. It is so important. I am just not quite ready. I know - I’ll ask Tim Wilcox to come over !
I love moving the Bail. I have a good routine . The metal hurdles go inside the vehicle ;the food bins load at the front ; the ground jacks wind up and clamp tight ; the exit ramp is lifted and fixed tight against the opening and the rear ramp goes up at the touch of finger with the help of clever spring-loading. You have to be a weight lifter with a massive support belt to manage the side ramp. I’ve got to look at this. Then you start the International Harvester 574 and move slowly to the next site leaving all the detritus behind (not, obviously spent rubber gloves and used impregnated teat wipes and twix wrappers) but everything else.
The Nomad feel to this really suits me. I like the idea of being on the move . I like the idea of keeping ahead of the bacteria . I like the fact that the cows become universal dung spreaders. There I was, yesterday , standing under the warm summer rain with one shoulder pressed against the rain-soaked flank of a dairy cow listening to the ‘click-pulse, click-pulse’ of the milking machine and looking out over Martin Down and I thought …….this is not a bad ‘work place’.
I have found and bought an automatic milk bottle filler and it was delivered on Friday. It looks quite simple .It fills 4 containers at a time through what appear to be giant ‘optics’ as you might find in a pub dispensing brandy and the like. Day time work for bar maids perhaps.
We TB tested the calves and they passed. The cattle pen worked well and careful preparation made for a smooth visit for the vet. Each time the procedure goes well your confidence builds . One day we might be considered as dairy farmers but not for a while.