Life on the Farm - April 2017
Over the next week or so, we'll be posting a variety of photos and updates about life on the farm this time of year.
Spring is in the air. Farmers and cows alike are getting restless. The pasture is not quite ready yet for the ladies.
There is not enough grass and fences have to be mended.
That is what Martin is working on here, under Bliss' supervision.
After a coffee, Martin goes to the barn to check up on the ladies and serve them their breakfast between 5:30am and 6am.
Breakfast is a good helping of hay top dressed with a big heap of corn flakes.
Seriously... corn flakes – rolled dry corn.
In order to make good ice cream without all kinds of additives you need eggs. The egg yokes are the emulsifyers and stabilizers.
Mapleton's has its own organic chickens. The eggs go to an organic certified egg grading station - normally on a Wednesday.
After grading they are broken and put into the ice cream mix consisting of Mapleton's own cream, raw cane juice and the eggs.
Then all of these ingredients are mixed together, they are pasteurized and the flavour is added.
For a more detailed description of how we make ice cream you can visit our Making Ice Cream blog series.
Martin welcomed a group of students from the University of Waterloo studying food systems on the morning of April 26th.
Vegetarianism was discussed a lot, with at least 3 of the students being vegetarian. Martin gave them lots of food for thought on the topic as he strongly believes eating some grass fed beef is important.
Along with this, animal welfare was also a big topic with the group. The students were very interested in the housing and compost pack for the cows - and the resulting ability for the cows to choose what they do - sleep, eat or get milked.
Visitors and tours are welcome at the farm to help everyone learn more about where their food comes from, and the importance of organic agriculture.
Sometimes cows are late for the robot and need a little reminder from the cow whisperer (aka Martin in this case) to get up and go.
But how does Martin or Arwa know a cow needs a whisper?
The computer in the voluntary milking system keeps track of when a cow gets milked. If she goes over a preset limit, based on time and expected production, the computer sends a mesage that she is late.
Usually this situation happens to late lactation cows who aren't producing a lot of milk or young cows that just calfed and have to get used to the system.
Here Martin is as 'Mapleton's CEO' - busy on the phone, dealing with texts and emails to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
And then there are other responsibilities that come up. This time of year, interns are arriving and Martin picks them up at the airport and welcomes them to the farm. Last week, a store in Mississauga ran out of soft serve frozen yogurt so Martin made a special delivery to them.
At the end of the day Martin also likes to spend some time in the kitchen cooking.
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