Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say Cheese!

When I started my Blog I intended it to be a way I could pass on information about sustainable farming practices, our conservation efforts and how we were managing the two on the one property. Looing back on what I have done so far I see it has turned more into a diary of day to day life on the farm.

So, what I have decided to do is make a few changes. Firstly, from this week Monday will be diary day, Tuesday I will look at what’s new and topical in the sustainable farming world, Wednesday will be photo of the week, Thursday will feature topical issues and Friday will be a roundup of the weekly happenings – lets see how it works.

This week is school holidays, and on the TV at 6:00am – Yes I watch TV at 6:00am in the morning much to the cooks’ disgust, is a show on the Lifestyle channel called Cheese Slices. This program follows the adventures of some fellow travelling around the world investigating and show casing the world of cheese making. It’s not the most “entertaining” show on earth and it’s not Emmy material, but it is a good medium for showing the difference in old and new world thinking on one particular aspect of farming and food production.

I have, for a long time, been interested in cheese making. Growing up in a dairy farming area I always liked the routine and calmness that it offered. I like the idea of using raw milk for cheese making and I know that cheese making although far more time consuming and labour intensive then just milking, can be rewarding and enjoyable.

All this, of course, helps explain the Jersey cow in the front paddock. The Cook likes the idea of fresh cows’ milk for cooking and drinking, whilst I’m the cheese lover. I’ve been looking for more Jersey cows, or any milking cow for that matter, but these are rare to come by around these parts. And any I have found have been rather expensive, for example some went at a clearing sale the other day for $1500 each and heifers for $980. Anyway I may have had an idea this morning on the way to work which I will talk about next week. Of course a lot of people would think that dairy farming in an area like ours wasn’t such a good idea – but then they weren’t doing it as part of a closed farming system. Maybe I’ll try a blended cheese and use sheep or goats to supplement our cows – the possibilities!

The final Garnaut report on climate changes was released yesterday and suggests a shift away from beef and sheep production, to eating kangaroos. What a joke that this has become the focus of discussion in the farming community with regards to climate change! If the way people protested when the Defence Department wanted to cull some kangaroo’s in the ACT is anything to go by.

The whole farming system in this country needs to change; we need to become more sustainable, more regional and more disciplined. We need less reliance on chemicals, less reliance on energy, less reliance on resource intensive processes and more supportive for small scale local farmers, farmers markets and CSA’s. And what about reducing the amount of processing that is allowed? Do we need white bread? Do we need processed cheddar cheese? Can we live without fruit loops?

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