We have the most adorable cows in the world that produce the best milk. For the last few years we have allowed our Jersey cows to be bred with Angus and now British Blue to keep these high yield native cows in milk.
This provides a local supply of meat from steers.
For instance Manor Farm in Jersey have seventy steers which after being initially reared on farm are then aged for two years in pasture before going to slaughter. These steers are moved regularly as they are grass fed and free range.
Chas as that is rearing these steers on his parents Farm is second or third generation farmer. He left school five years ago, and has devoted himself to diversifying the family farm into producing quality meat for our island.
The meat is supplied to high end restaurants like the Atlantic Hotel and the Liberation group pubs. We as Islanders are happy to see this meat on the menus and choose it if we can.
Jersey cows tend to have very yellow fat. It isn't rancid, just that this is how they are made.
I buy leg bones to make stock in my pressure cooker and reserve the fat clarify it, and then store that in the freezer for roasting. I use the stock to make gravies and sauces.
We as an Island have a huge inherent knowledge of how to survive. The Island was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, and without the British Red Cross, the Island would have starved. Germans and Jersey people together.
We may be known for our Banking sector, but our farmers are the backbone of our way of life.
Speaking of backbone, British Farmers need willing labour. We couldn't pick our seasonal potatoes without seasonal workers.
There is a lot about Jersey that can be exported in knowledge and expertise in diversifying dairy farming. What I think we have to address here is how we should process our farm slurry before putting it back on fields.
A joined up approach to farming on small scale is what is needed. The dairy farmers helping the growers by producing both energy and heat from cow slurry and then manure.
We need to get back into greenhouse farming, and using heat generated from the cow slurry to develop greenhouse growers.
Once the greenhouse has processed the slurry on site for energy, the farmer should get back his manure, ready for spreading.
I am sure this would cut down the washout of nitrates from untreated slurry, or man made fertilisers.
We have a tradition of vraic going onto our fields for the jersey royals, with digesters processing this as feedstock as well, the ground in jersey could be boosted for a great tasting organic veg.
Its a pity that there are few farmers in our States of Jersey any longer! Perhaps the Island would be investing more in diversity in agriculture to offset the impending implosion of world currencies, and financial systems.
I think the best thing to invest in for any country is food security.
I still think commercial tinning and bottling is a good way to preserve food. The French make incredible meals in a Jar.
Both Glass and Tins are recyclable. I surely miss the humble milk bottle in Jersey.
I have fond memories of going bottle hunting when I was a child. The pop bottles had a resale value of 3d or 6d. Besides going around looking for glass bottles discarded in the countryside, we could buy an ice cream for 6d...
Those were innocent, lovely days. No internet, just books, encyclopaedias, and growing up in a less complex world.