Archive for January, 2008

Pre-Warning for Content that Some Might Find Graphic

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

If you’re not prepared to deal with the reality of killing an animal and butchering it for meat, you will want to avoid Farmlet over the next few days.

Farmlet Reader Contributes $50

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Thank you, Eileen.

Our Beautiful Raw Milk Baby!

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Last week we received the fine gift of four glass milk bottles from a kind friend. Up until now, we have kept our fresh milk in the fridge in glass preserving jars, transferring it to the milk jug for use. Kevin and I see raw milk as a magical and beautiful substance, so it seems entirely fitting that we should keep it in special bottles. When the bottles were filled up for the first time with fresh creamy milk, we gazed at them with reverence and satisfaction.

Glass milk bottles

Since we keep our cows and calves together, we do not have to milk every day. Kevin just separates Coco and her calf (Henrietta Hamburger) the night before we need some more milk. This is a great setup, though it’s becoming trickier all the time as the calf gets bigger, stronger and more cunning! We are grazing Coco and her calf on the neighbour’s place, so Kevin milks her in the little shed down there. (We feel very lucky to be able to graze our animals on the neighbour’s pasture in exchange for giving them a share of the meat from the calves when the time comes.) Kevin usually gets around five or six litres of milk at each milking, which is enough to last us for a few days.

The pasture is very rich and abundant this summer with all the rain we have been having, and Coco’s milk seems to be nearly half cream at the moment. We love it! Since I’m breast feeding Owen, I especially appreciate being able to drink lots of creamy raw milk. Kevin and I feel sure that the raw milk in my diet must be at least partly responsible for Owen’s fantastic rate of growth since birth. We were very proud parents when the doctor remarked on his impressive size and good muscle tone. At two months, he now weighs 7.13kg (15 lb, 12oz) and is 62cm long — up from 6.6kg (about 14lb, 8oz) and 59cm two weeks ago. He’s a big, bonny, healthy baby, and we are enjoying his smiles and lovely baby noises!

Happy Owen

We feel very lucky to have an abundant supply of raw Jersey milk. It’s too bad that laws and regulations in New Zealand make it so very difficult to buy and sell raw milk. Absurd, in a land so well-endowed with pasture and dairy cows, that people are forced to pay high prices at the supermarket for pasteurised (and usually homogenised) milk in plastic containers. Recently, the dairy industry here has been showing renewed interest in raw milk, mostly due to the high returns to be made on gourmet raw milk cheeses. We are hopeful that this could lead to changes in regulations and wider availability of raw milk products.

My favourite way to enjoy the milk is when it’s still warm from the cow, before the cream has even had a chance to separate from the milk. On these warm summer days, we are also enjoying smoothies made with home-cultured Caspian Sea Yoghurt (This is a kind of yoghurt for which the milk is not heated. It is cultured at room temperature.) and local honey.

Colourful Meals from the Garden

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Happy New Year to all!

I don’t seem to find my way to the computer very often these days, and the garden is still suffering a bit as well. Owen is a delicious baby and I treasure all the time I spend with him, but miss writing Farmlet updates, and have made a New Year’s resolution to write at least one post a week. Hmm. . .but here it is the 9th of January and I’m just writing the first post of the year, so we’ll have to see how things work out!

Our rather neglected garden is still yielding some lovely vegetables. We made a baked vegetable dish last night comprised of “bull’s blood” beets, two kinds of carrots, zucchini and burdock root. I thought the bright colours of the vegetables looked like jewels, and begged Kevin to take a photo.

Vegetable melange

It is very gratifying to be eating carrots from the garden at last. I had three failed attempts at direct-seeding a bed of carrots before finally deciding to sow them in flats and transplant them into the garden at 4-inch spacings. Anyone who is familiar with carrot seedlings will appreciate that this was rather fiddly work! I think Kevin was wondering if I’d gone a bit nuts — or, since I was pregnant at the time, he may just have surmised that I was putting a horticultural spin on the nesting impulse. Anyway, after spending all that time transplanting carrot seedlings, I would have been gutted if the crop had failed. I planted two kinds of carrots, Scarlet Nantes and Nutri Red. Both are cropping well. The Scarlet Nantes are your typical sweet orange carrot, while the Nutri Red are a pinky-red colour, and supposedly have a higher nutrient content than most other carrot varieties. They are not quite as sweet as the Scarlet Nantes, and are nicer cooked than eaten raw. We love the extra colour that the red and orange carrots are adding to our meals.

Coming soon:
Update from the cow paddock (Herman Beefsteak is growing up big and beefy!)
More news from the garden
An updated baby photo
and more. . .