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| 6/10/2012 8:01:59 AM

Tags: Cows, Dairy, Milk, , Nick Snelgar,

10th June 2012


Nick Snelgar head shotDo 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’.

6/12/2012 2:43:00 PM

Nick, I always like to hear from folks that are working on small farms that we here call homesteads. Small operations and small acreages are the best in my humble opinion. You have set on a journey that will be rewarding but well require much work. I have milked cows in my youth before leaving home to find my way in the world. It was indeed a rewarding time of life to hear the sounds of the barn in early morning and smell the smells of the different barn seasons. Our operation was not one like yours but mostly just for our own use. Thanks for sharing your life experiences. Have a great cow milking day.

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