Thursday, August 6, 2009
Soggy Dove's Sheep
This morning the sun was shining on us, but by mid-morning, whilst we had a morning session with Laurence - who conducts energy, emissions, and ecology assessments of farms here at the Organic Research Centre (ORC) - the clouds had returned. It seems that the summer here has been nearly as wet as the East Coast of the US. Yesterday we observed Triticale (a wheat/rye cross of grain) in the field and ready for harvest, but some of it was sprouting on the stalk due to the rains. Today was intended (we had hoped) to be sunny, but we experienced some sporadic hard rain for the rest of the day. The Afternoon was spent getting soggy at Dove's Farm, standing in a sheep pasture and talking with founder Michael Marriage about rotations of sheep and cereal crops, then in drier spaces - in the confines of the mill. It always amazes me how restrictive codes are in food-processing areas - we all had to empty our pockets, remove jewelry, and relinquish our pens, notebooks, and cameras before donning hairnets and white 'remay' smocks - only then were we let into the flour mill, where we had a briefing on the workings of their equipment - from delivery to packaging. Having read loads about roller mills, it was smashing to actually see one at work, and feel and taste organic wheat flour in it's various stages of being milled. Michael graciously gifted us with bags of flour and other tasty offerings when we left - to fuel us in the coming days as we live and breathe grain, flour, and bread.