Steve’s Weekly Update 1/25/12

Climatology 2012:   A series of storms passing by with small amounts of snow.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: Colleen had a chance to check in on the cow herd at Curtis’s farm in Fountain, Colorado.  She was not happy with what she saw.  Two of the mother cows have had calves, without ever having been given a drying off rest.  They have been milked continuously through one lactation and into the next.  No dairy concerned with the well being of their cows would do that.  The 6 calves from last calving all look thin and poorly nourished.  Basically, we got “taken” for the milk of those 6 cows, rather than having it shared with the calves. Even from a standpoint of pure economics, a mother cow who has dried off will then more than compensate for the milk not collected, with a larger flush of milk when she resumes.

I have to acknowledge, the “experiment” with leasing cows to startup dairies and to dairies who are not set up to reach a reasonable scale is a failure.  We are done with it.  If we have to, we will sell the cows we do not need and cannot keep at Mesa Top.

To start with, the Colorado herd will have to be moved to Roswell.  Time to call a vet and get the health checkup that is mandatory for inter-state movement.

This week’s cheese making update:   The cheese room is certainly clean.  A few more repairs are needed, and then we have to get our antibiotic testing going.  One type of test that is mandatory for all dairies is an antibiotic residue test that has to be taken on every batch of milk.  This is a health check that is required to prove that there is no dangerous residue, and became necessary due to residues found in milk from large dairies.  But the testing requirement has been made applicable to all dairies.

We have purchased a testing system, and now we have to get it into operation.  We are hoping to call for our first inspection in just a couple of weeks!

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Meat (Protein) update:   Beef will be in stock again for the first February distribution.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:  Our local produce selection contains organic purple potatoes from White Mountain Farm, and 2 types of fresh local sprouts:  organic pea shoots from Sungreen living foods, and a mix of sprouted legumes from Khalsa Greenhouses in Espanola.

We also have local honey from Alamosa, Colorado, an item that we add only add rarely to the winter share.

Our out of region reach for fruit again includes organic avocadoes from Mexico and organic Arizona sweet oranges.

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer


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