Tuesday, May 1, 2012

milk..and more

Homer and Sybil have totally worked out this milking thing. She stands sweetly in the field, he pulls a little bit of milk from her. The 2 calves she has nursed for the last 10 months are in the paddock next to her and are healthy, strong and good looking. Sybil is getting quite wide with a new calf on board..and she needs a rest from producing milk, saving calcium for herself and the new calf. Her udder will dry up, but in the intervening time it is very full and a little bit of milking relieves the pressure.

For a brief time in his youth Homer's family lived next door to a dairy farm. They milked mechanically, but still needed to hand milk a few cows. Homer learned how to hand milk, how the milking parlor worked, how to bring the cows in, a little about what to feed them, and just how good the milk tasted! He was paid with a couple jugs of milk whenever he worked there.

He knows how to milk. Sybil did not really know how to be milked..the calf on our field is her first and they learned together. The other calf just helped himself. She is a 3/4 cow..only 3 of her teats produce milk, she had mastitis in the 4th quarter and it does not work..which is why we have her! Not great for a working dairy, but a sweet cow like her is perfect on a small farm like ours..plenty of milk from her 3 quarters for us!

And we have tomato plants with flowers on them. So as we look at what she is producing we think of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes with basil..and of fresh butter..and how easy yogurt is to make..and cream cheese..wow, just leave it in a colander over night..and ricotta..and o my cheeses that hang out longer and become truly tasty..

And creme brûlée from our eggs and cream..yup, that is gonna happen soon. This jug has to separate out so the cream is on top, and then butter, creme brûlée and the best cup of coffee ever can happen. And cookies and milk too. Oh yeah.

Homer requested a milking stool. Some are 3 legged, some are one. Either way it looks like something he could build in about 15 minutes. And we did locate a stainless steel bucket for milking into. It's on with the milk, for certain.

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