A nice little story from the NZ Farming site today

A car pulls up in front of our driveway this morning, while I’m shovelling almond hulls down the front and a lady gets out and asks for directions
I pointed her in the right direction and I prepared to get back to my shovelling Then I hear
” Oh.you have cows how lovely, I’m a vegan”
I’m thinking great, this is all I need with 750kgs of almonds to shovel, so I answer with
” Yes we run a dairy farm. Thank you, yes they are lovely” while thinking that I was being unusually polite, for me.
“I think cows are lovely but they need to be free & I only drink almond milk & milking them is cruel” she says.
I’m thinking, hmmm ……. so I answer with
“Oh, but our cows produce almond milk, see what I’m shovelling? That’s almond hulls and we feed those to the cows & they give us almond milk” –
Surely I have gone too far with that one, no one would believe that
“My gosh” she squeals ” how wonderful I’ll have to tell my friends about this farm”
Shit. I’m hoping she has no idea how to find our place again. I really enjoyed shovelling the rest of hulls this morning after that effort.

Made smile anyway.

18 thoughts on “A nice little story from the NZ Farming site today”

  1. JL, when I were a lad, we always had a bowl of nuts at Xmas time. I recall that the almonds were the hardest to get into with our regular nutcracker. Quite often my efforts to crack the shell were rewarded by a broken kernel and disdainful looks from fellow revellers.

  2. Vegans, naive? Surely not -) I like almonds and all other nuts, but I could not do without the odd slice of cheese and the odd pot of yogurt ( and the occasional rare steak, of course!). Well, rather more than the odd one, really!

  3. It really doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. The ignorance of most people about farming these days is truly alarming. More and more people everywhere are urban born and bred, have never even been on a farm and have absolutely no idea about how anything is produced/grown etc.

    Re nuts. I note that I have never seen shelled nuts sold loose in the UK. They are packaged by companies in teeny weeny packets and priced exorbitantly. Here they come in a rack of plastic boxes with a self dispense system at the bottom and are relatively reasonably priced. Walnuts are currently about 3.00 sterling per lb. You just decant them into a plastic or paper bag take them home and put them in your own storage jar. (Ditto coffee beans) So much cheaper. I do wish UK supermarkets would take up these systems for point of sale, they save on packaging, processing etc Virtually no vegetables are prepackaged here. You select your own into a choice of plastic or paper bags the old fashioned way. So much more economical for all concerned including the environment! Too much packaging in the UK by half!

    At this time of year I do buy pre-prepared salad in plastic boxes with lids, deliberately, They make superb starting boxes for seeds in the greenhouse and are just the right size! They last two or three years. Instant recycling! Just stab a few holes in the bottom for drainage.

    I have to admit to being so tight I squeak! Nothing goes to waste round here as a matter of principal and automatic frugality.

  4. Love it – and I can believe it too!

    As I understand it, a group of loonies have called for a ban on wearing wool, because it is soooo cruel to shear sheep. The nearest I’ve been to a real live sheep was on a back road here in Oz, when a large flock decided to cross the road. Damn enormous beasties, and I felt quite sorry for them in their thick woolly coats in the heat… And clearly not one of the said loonies has ever watched a sheep being sheared.

    … then there’s the story of the shop assistant who asked what were ‘these things’ pointing to the peas in pods that I was buying.

    I really wish I was quick witted enough to make up a good tale!

    Christina, a lot of stuff is pre-packaged here. It really annoys me to have to buy food packaged for four people, when there are only two of us – and not big eaters at that.

  5. Now! There you are Bo, a splendid misconception! You must not feel sorry for those sheep.
    It goes thus- You were looking at Merino sheep, originally from the Sierra in Spain, bred in bloody hot and dry climate, which is why they were chosen as suitable for Australia. Their fleece is a good 8 inches plus long, (If sheared annually) In the great heat the huge coat insulates the skin, which sweats under the fleece, is trapped and evaporates against the skin thus cooling them. When they do not have a fleece they would be much hotter until it grows again..

    Equally the other way a fleece keeps them warm and insulated in winter in other climes, but they do not sweat and therefore don’t cool. One does not need anywhere near as much fleece to keep warm as to keep cool! Three to five inches will do the trick in most of the UK but some have longer. Wensleydales have love locks a foot long. Mountain sheep generally have longer coats than lowland sheep because it is colder.

    There is also a great deal of difference in the thickness of each hair. Merino have very fine hairs but a higher density on the skin, which is why fine woolens are made from them. But no use for carpets! The Australians eat them but no-one else does! They are not a meat sheep but a wool.crop. Most are slaughtered and discreetly buried out of sight so to speak, there does not seem to be a great use for their corpses apart from rendering.

  6. CO, as usual a mine of information. It’s yer Elf n Softy that stops retailers selling loose produce, especially ready hulled. It’s nuts, I say.

  7. Hi Gaz, when people are willing to read about bloody sheep, anything goes!
    It is one of the charms of this site, total eclecticism.!
    Whoever heard of sticking to the point?

  8. Well there you go Christina – as a true city-lover I thought sheep were, well, just sheep!

    Seriously I did know that there were different breeds, and that the fleece of the merino was superior to other breeds, but had no idea that it made that much difference to the sheep. As to what sheep’ we breed here for eating – I haven’t got clue! On the plate all lamb looks much the same to me!

    Thanks for the information!

  9. You don’t have any meat sheep in Australia, too hot! Either young merino or imports from Tasmania or NZ, Canterbury Plains is famous for meat sheep. What comes to the UK too. They would be UK lowland cross breeds taken by earlier settlers, now crossed with some of the larger European breeds. Sheep have a kill rate of average 50% of the beast being edible. Our smaller UK breeds have a less than average % edible, so it is more advantageous for the farmer to sell bigger sheep for which you need to cross breed with the EU stuff. BUT doesn’t have that delicate taste that say Welsh lamb has. Unfortunately very few seem to be able to discriminate the differences these days. USA lamb is quite disgusting, bloody teg (! year old) or mutton, yukkkkk!

  10. Thanks Christina.

    I was interested in your word ‘teg’. As you may know I’ve been looking at my family history. One of things that fascinated me was how many words were used in 16th & 17th C inventories to describe both sheep and cattle, all seemed to be dependent on the age of the said beast.

  11. Bo, Yes there are, I’ve never thought of it before, I guess have used them and heard them all my life. Dependent not only on age but whether the female has or has not had progeny and the male whether intact or not. One could be about three things at once actually.
    I expect a lot are Anglo Saxon in origin and then suitably mutated with time.
    Do quote some you’ve discovered and lets see if they are around today. Of course some of them will have moved into dialectical regional speech and out of the mainstream. Thinking about that maybe teg has, hear it mainly in Wales when I think about it but it isn’t Welsh.

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