Are we nearly there yet?

After many months of planning and problems we are nearly there.  The rest of the milk equipment is finally on its way.  John collected the bottle filler last week and there is now just the pasteuriser and separator to come, both scheduled for delivery this week. 

Most of our equipment is refurbished and the bottle filler came from a lovely farm where they sell raw Jersey milk to the north east of London.  They have swapped to a vending machine from selling pre-filled bottles.  We need a bottle filler because we are planning to sell both.

Bottles are ordered, labels being designed and the vending machine being built.  The vending shop space will be finished at the end of the week.  Still some weeks of fitting, calibration and food safety testing, but the light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.  Then we can start making cheese with the pasteurised milk too. 

On the farm, the cows are enjoying being tucked up for the night.  We have been sowing grass seed to rotate some of the fields and are now desperate for some decent rain to help it germinate, but it looks like the fine weather is going to be with us for a little longer.  That’s the downside of farming in one of the driest parts of the country.

Cows heading in for the night

Cows heading in for the night

As well as the excitement of the milk kit finally arriving we should be getting the first milk price rise at the end of this month after about 2 years of cuts.  The current market price is going back up but it takes a while to filter through to many farmers and we are still at the lowest prices for years.  A penny rise for the end of October and another penny promised for November.  Still a long way off the breakeven point but a positive step in the right direction if the trend continues.