If you really want to understand how the basics of providing for life work, look no further than the cycles of activity that take place on one of those farms that too many of us overlook for providing our milk:
- The grass that grows in the early spring is cut in mid-late spring and early summer. The earlier cuts are turned into silage (fermented grass which in a process not unlike brewing, means that nutrients for the cows are increased). The later ones into hay (dried grass which you often see as very green looking bales).
- Silage and Hay are stored over the summer and early autumn, whilst the cows go out and enjoy all of their fields, whilst grass continues to grow.
- When the autumn and winter comes and the grass has stopped growing and the ground has become too muddy for the cows and their hooves, they move inside and under shelter, where they are fed with either their Hay or Silage, and sleep on beds made from the straw of cereal crops, so that they are all dry and warm.
- The Farmer will have planned and made enough Silage and Hay the previous spring and summer, to make sure that the cows have more than enough to eat for the whole time that they have to stay inside.
- Throughout this period, the herd of cows will be providing milk perhaps twice or even three times a day – that’s during spring, summer, autumn and winter, so that milk, cheese, yoghurt and anything else that is made with dairy products or ingredients of some kind can come and will continue to come your way.
- The whole process is a cycle that goes round and round. It never stops or finishes, if the cows and we want to continue to eat.
The Farmers prepare, produce and make provision. That way, their cows are always fed, can always produce their milk, so that we can all be fed and not go hungry too.