Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Barn Update!

Warning: This post has A LOT of teats in it. Just tellin' ya!

If you pay attention to me on facebook, you'll know that our cows moved into their new home yesterday! (Or, moooved). (I am so punny).
I think they are happy at their new location, although there is a huge learning curve for the cows, the workers and the robots as this transition takes place. Dan and his bros have been working some very long hours.I got my act together and took some photos (and videos) tonight!
1. Milk Jar! I love this great big glass jar that sits inside the robot housing (photo 2)
2. Robot brains! Those tubes go from the robot arm (which attaches to the cow) to the milk jar
3. Cow being milked

1. Juno feed pusher robot. This thing goes down the entire length of the feed alley pushing feed back toward the cows.
2. Robot arm about to attach to udder (photo taken from inside a robot room)
3. One of the milking robots
4. View from the outside in

Our cows also wear necklaces now, which the robot scans when they walk into the milking area. The chips in the necklaces access all the data on a cow - number, when they last were milked, how much milk they produce, all kinds of stuff! 

Here's our robotic feed pusher in action (kinda boring, but also AWESOME!):

And here's a cow being milked (sorry about the length, and also the shaky, grainy/out of focus-ness. I just learnt how to record video on the camera I've had for a year....and it was dark in there!...and I was crouching!):

(Song is Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright [why yes I did choose it because it had the word "milk"!])

The first round of robot milking was a long process, as I am sure you can imagine if you watched that whole thing and were disappointed every time the milker things didn't go on! The robots scan the teats and then by the power of technology know where to suction on! Pretty cool I think! Lots of learning left to do, but so far, so good, and thank goodness not every cow is such a...cow about getting hooked up.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Count Down is On (Really)

Remember when I mentioned our farm was going automated?  Well, the old barn has been knocked down, the new one almost finished, (permit has been granted), and the robots have arrived!


View from the road - before

View from the road - old barn down!

View from the road - new!

New! Looking awesome!

There has been more progress than this, I just haven't been on top of photo taking! Robots are in, milk tank is ready, hay loft has been loaded, siding is on, concrete is all poured...yes indeed, the countdown is ON!

Dan will milk the last shift on Monday morning. Then the cows are changing address.

This will be a thing of the past! Hooray!

A zillion down! Two more early mornings to go! 
(And then, like, 3 weeks of real hellish work as the cows figure it out, but you know! The end is in sight!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pretty Good Muffins!

Over the weekend I tried a new recipe. I really had to muster up the energy to do that - I've been seriously slacking in the food department lately. The ingredient combo intrigued me though so I gave them a try!

I found the recipe here, but I will post it here for your clicking convenience!

Sweet Potato Peach Muffins

1 cup mashed sweet potato (I bought one medium sized one and roasted it, then mashed it up)
1 peach
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (check the ethnic aisle of your grocery store for the smallest can)
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Puree the sweet potato together with the peach. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix it up.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix up as for muffins, folding in nuts at the end.

Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

The site (Green Plate Rule) that this comes from has lots of other recipes that use natural sugars and whole, unprocessed foods.  It's interesting to peruse and get meal and snack ideas too!

4 Littles

Love times a million. Four times over. 

(five if you count Dan!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend in Whistler

Dan & I spend August long weekend in Whistler. We didn't go for any particular reason, just to get away and have a change of scenery! We stayed at the Hilton, which was great because it was right in the middle of the village and we could just walk wherever. Our hotel also had an outdoor pool, which we were looking forward too a lot, since it was the HOTTEST weekend, but alas, the pool was closed for maintenance! Ah well, at least we had out hotel snacks!

On Saturday, we went up on the gondola to Whistler mountain, went on a hike (I learned that I still don't like hiking!) and took a ride on the Peak2Peak gondola over to Blackcomb mountain, and then rode the chair lift back down. We also had the best breakfast on Saturday morning at Crepe Montagne! Delicious! We recommend that you go there if you are in Whistler.

This was where we turned around on our hike. As in, went back uphill. 

Another fun thing was that Whistler village had free concerts both nights we were there. Fun times! (We really wished we could have stayed for Great Lake Swimmers on Sunday night). 

How was your long weekend? Any crepe eating and snowball making?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


I heard this cover today and just had to share...hope you enjoy!