Posts Tagged ‘dairy’

Hoof power

May 11, 2011

Awesome story in the New York Times about small farms returning to the use of draft animals to pull plows. As the story notes, there are added bonuses in addition to saving on fuel costs: The animals aerate the soil as they walk, they don’t leave ruts like wheels do, and of course free fertilizer!

Rich Ciotola with Larson, far left, and Lucas, the team of young oxen he works with in Sheffield, Mass. (photo by Jennifer May for The New York Times)

The dairy angle on the resurgence of hoof power is that this taps into the large supply of underused male livestock — required for breeding but not much else (story of our lives, fellas). This means that males are very cheap to acquire for plow use.

However, apparently mules are the best for Southern farms — they have a much higher heat tolerance.

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‘Meaningful Milk’ for Earth Day

April 26, 2011

Nice screen capture from the CNN 'Meaningful Milk' Earth Day segment

This past Earth Day, CNN ran a shortish but very well-done segment on Country Gardens Farm and Nursery in Newnan, GA. They do organic milk and totally free range chickens — about 200 of them to be exact, which are a real hoot to watch as they peck around the place.

The takeaway here for me was the reliance on Jerseys for the delicious high butterfat content of their milk. Most dairy farms rely on the much larger Holsteins (the “Chik-Fil-A” black and white cows) because A) each Holstein cow can make an incredibly huge boatload of milk; and B) the style now is for a lower fat product.

Still, there is nothin’ like the creamy taste of good old-fashioned Jersey milk, which was the type of milk we dealt in at the old Morekis Dairy back in the day.

(Another plus for the Jerseys is they do well in the Southern heat…)

Raw milk, yum

April 20, 2010

Here’s an interesting story on the raw milk movement, from New York Magazine of all places, here.

The Morekis Dairy didn’t always pasteurize its milk; those laws came about sometime after the dairy’s 1909 founding. (They say that back in the day a bottle of milk, especially from the Jersey cows, was about one-third heavy butterfat cream, floating on the top.)

When the pasteurizing laws went through, this added enormous labor time and cost to the dairy. The pasteurization equipment itself was expensive, but adding to the cost was the staff time needed to exhaustively clean and disinfect all of it — an already-difficult task made more so because of the plethora of machinery.

Here’s another interesting link, to a 1938 (!) comparison of “real” vs. pasteurized milk.

Savannah dairy vehicles

June 9, 2009

Here are a few vintage shots of local milk delivery trucks. First, an awesome photo of one of our farm’s trucks in the mid-1920s:

Dairy Truck 1926

Note the dairy’s permit number, in our case 26, clearly posted on the side.

Here’s another shot of a different, apparently larger, Morekis Dairy vehicle, year unknown (permit is also 26):

Morekis Dairy Truck

For an interesting change of pace, here’s an image of an old Starland Dairy horse-drawn delivery wagon, circa 1945:

Milk Delivery Wagon,1945,Savannah, GA