The weaning has begun. Yesterday we got the cows and calves in and put these yellow nose flaps in the calves' noses. The flaps are made of a flexible plastic with little nobs that stay in the their nostrils. The flaps prevent the calves from sucking their mothers which eventually results in a weaned calf. Weaning is one of the most stressful times in a calf's life. Separation from mom as well as separation from their milk supply can cause stress and sickness. Our hope with this new-to-us weaning method is that the sickness and stress is greatly reduced during the process. In about 5-6 days we will bring the cows and calves back in and sort the calves away from their mothers to complete the weaning. You might wonder why weaning is necessary. The cows are pregnant right now and the double demands of the calf requesting milk and the developmental needs of fetus-calf puts a large nutritional demand on the cow. The calf is getting the majority of its nutrition from grazing now anyway, but the attachment to mom is still strong.
I picked the last of the calendula flowers and parsley to dry.
I'll use calendula in my body creams and parsley for cooking.
I made a sourdough starter this past week and used it for these loaves. They are a mix of white and whole wheat flour along with some ground flax seed and honey. There's no oil in the bread except for what was in the pans to keep it from sticking. But I sometimes like to butter the crusts of the loaves when they come out of the oven, and then there's the butter that must be smeared over each slice before eating! I found that by kneading the dough for an extra long time (maybe 15 minutes) the interior was very soft and the exterior crunchy. I think this bread would even make a good sandwich loaf. I had a "good do" this time! I've had my share of failures. I was thinking that maybe tomorrow morning I'd use some of the sourdough starter to make sourdough pancakes for breakfast. Doesn't that sound yummy? Yep, I think so too.
If you watched The Great British Baking Show on Sunday, did you also watch the short clip about the National Loaf? During WWII England's Ministry of Food established a wheatmeal loaf as part of a food-saving plan. The Brits preferred a white loaf, but because Britain imported 70% of it's grain at the time, it was determined that the national loaf must use the whole grain, thereby using all of the wheat grain without wasting any of it. Although the people did not like the national loaf, the wholewheat bread proved much more nutritional than the white breads. I prefer the taste of whole grains and seeds in my bread loaves. What kinds of bread do you prefer?
"How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?" --Julia Child