The cows are now being kept inside between the evening and morning milkings, and with the recent wet weather they’re really appreciating the shelter and dry straw bedding come nightfall. There’s a diet of fresh pasture for them during the daytime, but it’s being supplemented with silage at night whilst they stay inside the barn. Splitting the time they’re inside and out should prolong the grazing season, and it would be ideal if we could keep them outside during the day up until November. We’re in for some warmer weather this week so we’re hopeful the grass still has some life left in it and will continue to grow for a while longer. We just have to hope that it doesn’t become too wet out there, as we don’t want to see the poor cows covered head to toe in the mud. If that’s the case then it will be the weather, and not the lack of grass, which dictates when they are to come inside permanently for the winter.
Currently, the best pasture on the farm is in a field on the opposite side of the road from the dairy. It’s not a field the dairy cows have grazed before, it’s by and large exclusively a field for the beef herd, but it’s not required at the moment and the girls seem to like it. We noticed a change in the colour of the cream last week; it had a nice yellow tint to it. The off-white colour is caused by an enzyme in the grass, and it’s usually something we see happen in the spring with the new-season pasture. There’s lots of red clover in the field which must be a good source of protein for the milkers (even at this time of year) to cause the change in colour of their milk and cream. Having the cows graze on the ‘wrong’ side of the road does present its challenges though. It means there has to be at least two of us (humans) available at milking times to help them cross the road, stop the traffic twice a day and seven days a week. But at least having them in at night in the barn next to the parlour means we don’t have to do it four times a day!
Florence produced a Limousin calf last week, she had a little milk fever (calcium deficiency) to begin with, but both mother and son are doing fine. Once we’re able to use her milk we can all breathe a sigh of relief as the yields were starting to wane and things were getting a little tight here. The last cow to calf was Candice in June and we were really starting to see a drop off in production by having a gap of three months without any newly-lactating mothers. There are two more cows to calf this year, Margaret in November and Jocie in December, so fingers crossed they will keep the milk yields high enough until Christmas. But it’s unlikely we’ll have enough milk to be able to make ice cream again this year which is a shame as there are a few flavours we haven’t been able to make which we would have liked to. We do have a good stock of (most) flavours in at the moment though and we were able to make Stracciatella this month.
There’s a good selection of fresh beef currently available if anyone would like to order some more, we have in stock at the moment...
Brisket £15.00/1.25kg (~1 -1.5kg joints)
Short Ribs £10.20/850g (~750-950g packs of four ribs uncut)
Silverside Joint £26.00/2kg (~1.6-2kg joints)
Topside roasting joint £19.50/1.3kg (~900g-1.5kg joints)
Topside Steak £4.80/300g (~200-400g/packs of 2)
Flat Iron Steak £5.95/350g (~300-400g/packs of 2)
Rump Steak £10.00/500g (~400-600g/packs of 2)
Sirloin Steak £12.50/500g (~450-550g/packs of 2)
Mince £5.00/500g (~500g/pack)
Stewing Steak £5.75/500g (~500g/pack)
Braising steak £5.75/500g (~400-600g/packs of 2)
Osso Bucco £10.00/500g (~350-700g/packs of 1 or 2)
**please note if you have already ordered meat and it was delivered or collected over the weekend, it won’t show up on this bill, it’ll be on next month’s invoice**
From the 1st November there will be a price increase. This is our first price rise for three years. It brings us in line with similar services offering organic milk delivery in reusable glass bottles and will help us cope with looming increases in the price of electricity and feed.
We hope that you will still feel our delicious, local, organic milk is worth it!
1 litre of whole milk will go up to £1.50, 1 litre part-skimmed to £1.80, 500ml yoghurt to £1.70, 250ml cream to £1.60, 500ml cream to £2.90, 700ml ice cream to £5.70 and 2 litres ice cream to £15.00.
We have exciting plans for a larger, specially designed, processing room with improved services, which should set us up for many years to come. We also hope, in the future, to create a new space for in-house butchery and packaging of our own meat, not just beef…but lamb… and maybe even pork and chicken! Watch this space!