I am so behind on writing to my Janie’s Mill bakers. This afternoon I must sit down and do that. Are you all on that list too? That is a straight email list until the website is ready for me to start a blog. Let me know if you would like to be on that list and I will let you know how. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mill Matters it is all about flours and bread. The Red Fife and the Einkorn are in the stack already, we are just waiting for label approval. I am so close to calling myself The Little Red Hen but I WANT to SHARE my bread!
So much excitement
Did I tell you I finished the HACCP plan for Janie’s Mill and my first peer review was outstanding. So now I can relax a little and just focus on updates.
One more thing then back to the farm. We milled pizza flour the other day – I can start selling it when OCIA approves our new labels ( merciful heavens they are strict ) anyway, when we mill pizza flour the extraction rate is such that we waste a lot more of the kernel, 600 pounds of wheat ( we mix Glenn with Turkey Red) makes 330 pounds of flour, so the bran has way more flour in it. I brought some of the bran home and mixed it half and half back to Glenn and it makes an amazing tasty loaf. But it proofs really fast. So I have to watch the rise closely.
Jake’s restaurant is open! It is called ACRESinn and is in Pontiac, Illinois. Naturally they are using our flours! Nic their baker makes lovely loaves and rolls.
Meanwhile back on the farm the cold stopped the birds in their tracks and they stopped laying overnight. We are collecting less than a quarter from both the chickens and the ducks. Usually they slowly drop production during the dark months but this is a dramatic change. So, not enough eggs to sell this week.
This is WaiWai sleeping under his blankets. He wriggles himself right under his pile of blankets but never far enough to cover his bottom. So last thing at night I tuck him in. He always says thank you. He does not want to sleep with other pigs so he has old blankets people donate to the farm. Pigs never pee in their beds so I have always given them blankets. Not Poppy though she just shreds them!
Sheila and her straw. She looks very healthy at the moment! Carrying a little weight into the winter is a good thing.
Del is just not dropping that last five pounds of milk that will take her below the safe amount to dry her up. (20 pounds) My goal is to pull the plug at the end of November. Fingers crossed. She is literally eating her new lovely straw, no alfalfa hay, no grain, no pumpkins. What a good cow. I will keep her just in case we decide to milk again – if I lose my job or there are severe economic changes. All dairy farms are having a hard time – big and small dairy farms are closing across the country at an alarming rate. Good organic milk is especially hard to find.
So I am keeping my options open and she is a lovely albeit big, pet.
Did you realize that with the constant rise in temperatures in some areas of the planet, dairy cows are having a hard time of it. Milk production drops when they are too hot. Not something we thought about, right? The big dairy’s are working hard on research in to how to keep cows cool in this climate crisis. Not to mention their sales crisis – REAL milk itself is close to becoming an endangered item in the supermarket fridges anyway, due to the downturn in sales. And – no skim milk is not real milk it is just watered down milk.
How did whole milk get such a nasty reputation in the western world. Oh yes! Marketing! If you tell a lie often enough people just believe it. Not us though – not The Fellowship. We triangulate our news and work hard on searching out the kernels of truth that hide in all this noise.
I am zooming over to California on Wednesday. My way of counteracting the nasty impact on the planet of my train travel and plane flights is to plant trees. As you can imagine we have lots of young trees here! I usually only add a couple on to my tree numbers for a California trip but I wonder what the equation would be. A tree per thousand miles? It’s 2,000 odd miles to Fresno.
About 8 and a half thousand miles to New Zealand – the world is so small – plus I am using public transport! Snort! Still, the trees assuage my guilt.
Do you see this hole in one of the chook-house doors? Something is trying to get in. Gnawing a hole in the door to gain access to my lovely chooks. It is tiny so far, the hole. I will fix this today. I wonder if this is the Bastard Mink.
We are warming up again. Which is good. You will remember that the farmers who were able to plant in that dreadful wet spring ( and one third of fields in the Midwest still lay unplanted) did so very late. So the harvest is late too. Anything above 40F and the corn standing in the fields starts to dry again.
Our organic corn is having a hard time of it. Low yields and wet. There will be plenty of stock feed this year!