Today I was going to have a day off but was asked by Ruth Knight to meet her at Mapleton’s Organic Farm. It was on my way to Prince Edward County so was an ideal stop for lunch.
Ruth had organised for me to meet Gayl Creutzberg, a 2013 Canadian Nuffield Scholar at Mapleton’s. So once I had found it we had a look around the farm. Mapleton’s is an organic dairy farm but is also a farm open to the public with animals for children to see.
The farm is open to schools and tries to encourage visitors. They also produce their own yoghurt and ice cream. There luckily was also a cafe for lunch. Martin the owner is Dutch and came over to Canada in the 90’s and started Mapleton’s. They now have 60 cows which are milked by a robotic milker
They were installing a second robot while we were there. The second robot will increase output and allow them to expand to 70 cows. All the cows will be able to be milked three times a day whereas now they are only averaging 2.4.
The cows looked very relaxed. Their feeding rails were flexible and made of soft plastic to prevent rubbing on the cows.
They also had a cow massager which this cow was thoroughly enjoying
The cows have access to the pastures but decide to spend the day inside and go outside in the evening. Martin tries to grow his own feed. He grows Corn which has been a bit of a disaster this year as it has been so wet but his crop of peas and oats looked excellent
Oats love cool and wet weather something they have had plenty of! We had a nice lunch in the cafe chatting with Gayl and Ruth and then we all had to be on our way. Thanks to Ruth for organising this visit.
After lunch I drove to Prince Edward County to see Becky Parker a 2015 Canadian Scholar. She lives in a beautiful part of Ontario
We went down to the beach for a paddle in Lake Ontario. Chris Padfield decided to go for a swim and do his James Bond Impression.
Unfortunately the Ursula Andress was no where to be seen coming out of the water. I had a great evening with Becky and Chris. It was good to catch up on fellow scholars stories and what they have been doing “out and about”.