Thursday, March 31, 2011

The food pyramid

When I was growing up in the '40s, we didn't have a food pyramid.  We had a food wheel, which my mother had taped up inside a cupboard.  She adhered to it.  It did not demonize fat or meat.  No chunk of the wheel got special attention.  It was divided into meat, fish, dairy, fat and bread, as I recall.  Of course, the only margarine back then was this white stuff in a bag that you had to color yourself, with a little orange pill inside the bag.  It would pop when you squeezed it, and then we would sit and mess with it until all of that horrid stuff was yellow.  It wasn't for us, mind you.  There was no oleo-margarine on the food wheel and there was none in our house.  But my aunt had fallen on hard times, and we used to sit in her kitchen and color her oleo for her.

And if you wanted to lose weight, you cut out pasta, potatoes, bread and beer - and you lost weight!!  Everybody knew what made you fat. 
Then along came Ancel Keys, with his still unproven lipid hypothesis.  Now we have this ridiculous food pyramid, which DOES give special attention to grains, of all things, and only allows for a tiny bit of fat at the tip of the pyramid.

I don't think that many in the medical profession would argue with the fact that insulin resistance is the mother of most modern illnesses.  So what I don't understand is why there is even any argument about this!  What causes insulin resistance?  It ain't fat!  It's carbohydrates, even those being recommended by the government via the food pyramid.  There are NO "healthy carbohydrates."  Every carbohydrate you consume should be considered a treat, not a necessity.  Whole wheat bread is just as bad for you as white bread.  A few berries for a treat is fine, but several apples a day?  Fruit juice in copious amounts?  Recipes for bad health!! 

Here are a few interesting facts.
  1. Archeologists can tell prior to carbon dating bones whether they belonged to a human who lived prior to or after grains were domesticated.  Prior to - NO osteoporosis, NO tooth decay.  Afterward?  Both, as well as skeletons that show that both men and women lost several inches of height after they started eating domesticated grains.  (This was referenced in the book Life Without Bread.)
  2. We cannot live without fat.  If we do not eat it, we will die.  We cannot live without protein.  If we do not eat it, we will die.  If you never consumed one calorie of carbohydrates, you will live just fine - and probably a lot longer.  OUR BODIES DO NOT NEED CARBOHYDRATES!
  3. The percentage of our calories that comes from carbohydrates has increased dramatically since the middle of the 20th century - concurrent with the explosion in our "modern" illnesses such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  Add to that the increases in autism, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia and you can see the recipe for disaster this food pyramid presents.  Take a look at this chart lest you disagree.

I am on a severely restricted diet, called a ketogenic diet, eat very few carbs.  This has enabled me to lose 30 pounds, get off ALL of my prescription medicines, quit taking copious amounts of ibuprofen for joint and muscle pain, and see my triglycerides drop by half.  Oh, and though my total cholesterol went up a bit, my HDL went up way more than the LDL, and my proportion of HDL to LDL is within the normal range.  While I do like to have a little treat now and then such as bittersweet chocolate (just a small square) or a few berries, I fear falling back into the old eating habits so those are rare treats.  Over time, it gets much easier.  The hardest part is dealing with people who feel sorry for me.  They shouldn't - I am healthy, probably healthier than they are.  That is what counts to me.

It is very hard to give up bread and sweets.  But I really don't want to die any time soon, and I KNOW I don't want to walk around with an oxygen tank, or not even be able to walk, or to go to bed in pain every night.  I will be 70 this year.  I am in good shape.  I started adjusting my diet about ten years ago - when I gave up being a vegetarian.  Wish I had started sooner.  You can.  You can start today.  Look at the amount of carbs you eat.  Try cutting them in half and see what happens.  You know, one slice of bread with the sandwich instead of two.  Just one piece of fruit for the whole day.  No more fruit juice or "energy" bars or cookies.  Before you take that bite, ask yourself which you would rather have, the cookie or a healthier you. You can do it - one day at a time!

Oh, one last thing - I don't have headaches anymore.  :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not such a good spring . . .

Dolly just gave birth to a dead calf.  Our baleage this winter was very bad.  It is a type of fermented hay, and last season it was great, the cows loved it, they milked well.  We had a bunch of healthy calves, too.  This year, we have lost two out of seven calves, and both calves were extremely small.  They were full term, I am certain of that, based on the cows' udders, which were very full and ready.  Those calves just didn't fully develop in utero.  That is from lack of nourishment.  No ribs showing on the mamas, they looked healthy, but obviously there was not enough in their systems for the calves, too.

The word I am getting is that it was too wet last summer, and so there was a great quantity of hay, but it was not as nutritious.  We have been feeding extra, in fact our baleage bill is exorbitant this year, because it is obvious that it is not satisfying the cows in the amounts they were getting the previous year and so we are feeding much more.  Our bull has had gastrointestinal distress twice, once very bad.  I learned after the first go round, and when we saw him getting sick again, we pulled him from the big pasture and put him in with the calves where he ate dry hay, not baleage, for about three days.  He is fine again, but I cannot wait to get these animals out onto the pastures for that fresh spring grass!

It is so frustrating.  One would think a wet summer would be a good thing, but it certainly wasn't.  And then to top it off, it got extremely dry earlier than usual, and we had to start feeding hay about a month sooner than we did the year before.

I wish farming was easy, but it is not.  It is not some idyllic existence, with little animals gamboling about in sunshine and the sound of tree frogs singing in the wetlands at night.  There is some of that, but not enough of it lately.  Some days I wish I was a greeter at Walmart.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Remembering Marj

Well, at last, it is spring.  The long range weather forecast for this week does nothing to support that, and I am really hating daylight savings time.  So glad that the golfers will have an extra hour of sunlight at night - BUT I am now feeding in pitch dark on Saturday mornings again.  And I leave for market a bit late because I do not want to let the chickens out of the Moop until I can see a little light in the eastern sky.  No sense inviting big bad critters to dine on chickens in the morning darkness.

Hasn't the moon been beautiful the past couple of nights?  Truly a sight to behold.  Last night we celebrated the Spring Equinox, a bonfire going, and scarves hung all over the trees in our little grove.  Why scarves, you might ask?  We lost a good woman last Saturday, March 12, 2011, and we were honoring her, remembering her.  She just loved to wear bright scarves, so it seemed appropriate to hang some around our fire, then to tell our Marj stories, remembering her, holding her close.   I am one of those people who doesn't even pretend to know one way or the other if there is life after the one here on earth, but if there is, I can say for sure that Marj is there and she is lighting up the place.  She doesn't need bright scarves to do it either.  Her very being sparkled, and that is why her crone name, chosen for her by her close friends, is Sparkling Wisdom. Marj was a free spirit who told it like it was, and her wisdom shone through.

Those of us who had the privilege to know her will always remember her.

Marj Stradley s.k.a. Sparkling Wisdom

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And yet another bull calf!

We are not meeting the odds.  Out of five calves born so far this season, four have been bulls.  But that's okay.  There are still five to be born, and we have decided that we want to raise some meat animals, so it looks like we are going to keep these two little guys.

Quattro gave birth to a bull calf yesterday morning.  Again, she obviously was bred on her first heat after freshening last spring.  All I have to say is that Sam, with all his romancing of the cows, is getting the job done!  We really need to find a place to board him, as we do NOT want to be having calves in January next year.  So I will have to get him off the place until early June, when we can let him do his thing again.

Here is Quattro with her new calf.  He is a big and sturdy guy!  Fortunately, he made his way under the fence before we found him, so that Quattro was in one paddock and he was in another.  It allowed us to scoop him up into the golf cart and get him to the nursing pen, with Quattro running furiously after us on the other side of the fence.  She is probably the most protective of all of the cows when it comes to her calves, so having a fence between us was a very good thing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's another bull calf

Last year, our first animal to freshen was Lucky, my little sweetheart, my pet.  She was a heifer, and it was her first calf.  It was a huge bull, and it died at birth.  We are not sure why.  It seemed normal.  I was on a road trip, and my guess is that if I had been there when it was born, I might have been able to clear out its passageways.  We have an instrument to suction their throats if there is a problem when they are born, but by the time Androo found the calf it was already too late.  He did all he could.  Even if I had been there, I might not have gotten to the pasture in time.

Lucky just gave birth to another bull, a beautiful little guy.  He wasn't here yet when I fed this morning, but when Kayla got here to milk, he was up and running around!  I am so happy for Lucky!  It was a pretty sad time last year, with her crying for a calf that wasn't to be.  This year, she is happily in the nursing pen with the new little one.  I haven't seen him suckle yet, but I am sure he will.  Nothing wrong with this little guy!

Say hello to our third bull of the season.  Gee, these odds are not good!  Maybe the next few calves will be heifers! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This is worth posting again

Recently Obama overrode the court's decision to block the production of genetically modified sugar beets.  His stated reason was that he feared a "sugar shortage."  Ludicrous on two points:  1) genetically modified crops do NOT produce more!  There may be a short upsurge in the first year or two but it soon falls behind its natural counterparts in production as new superweeds take over.  2)  Sugar shortage?  Say what?  It is generally agreed that the root cause of ALL of our Western illnesses (cancer, heart trouble, obesity, diabetes as well "emotional" illnesses such as autism, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia) are exacerbated if not caused in total by insulin resistance.  What causes insulin resistance?  You guessed it - SUGAR!  So why is it that we need to unleash another genetically modified crop into our food chain when it will increase insulin resistance?  Per capita sugar consumption has increased exponentially in the past 50 years, along with the rise in those diseases.  We NEED a sugar shortage!  Bring on the sugar shortage!!  I am cranked about the whole GMO sugar beet thing that I thought it was time to do my first re-run, in case you missed this the first time.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The high cost of cheap food - milk

I have spent a good bit of time digging out information on the cost of food as a percentage of income in as many countries as I could find, and then for health care costs.  If I could find both data for a given country, I put it on the chart.  It is not a perfect curve, but in general, the more money people spend on their food, the less they spend on health care. We spend 17% more per capita on health care than the next nearest country.  And we have the cheapest food in the world, being the only country whose inhabitants spend a single digit percentage on food - only 9.3%.  Next nearest is just under 12%.

So you might be asking, "Couldn't one explanation for that be that their higher cost of food deprives them of being able to pay for health care?"  Well, no, because in many instances, their life expectancy is longer than ours here in the US.  Our life expectancy is 38th in the world (that means 37 countries that spend less on health care - because they ALL do - live longer), not exactly a stellar figure, and to my way of thinking a pretty good indicator of how well our health care system is working. I think we are pretty good at fixing things, if you are one of the lucky ones who can afford the fix.  However, we do not do nearly enough to prevent the need for health care. 

And that's where that cheap food comes in.  In our quest for cheap food (sometimes out of sheer necessity, but all too often so that we can use more of our income for bigger cars, cable TV and Nike shoes), we will eat anything - and I mean anything!  And it's a push-pull thing:  on the one hand, we are managing our budget so that we can buy more stuff, and on the other hand we have advertising agencies doing everything in their power to make us buy whatever their corporate bosses tell them to promote.  Sadly, our health is not entering the equation on either side.

One of the things the corporations and their ad agencies promote is really bad food!  When was the last time you saw an ad for a fresh radish --  not in a salad at a chain restaurant, just a plain old fresh radish, straight from the produce section of your local grocery store?  No organization that can afford the suits at the ad agency makes money on that fresh radish, and so it gets no press.  We are all hypnotized by ads at one time or another, and so we may find ourselves whipping into McDonald's, or we buy the name brand convenience food in the freezer section, or we look for "Heart Healthy" products after getting the crap scared out of us by the ads for Lipitor!

Repeat after me . . .
  • One half of the people who have heart attacks have "normal" cholesterol levels.
  • Triglycerides are the best predictor of heart health, and they increase as we eat more carbohydrates, not saturated fat.  Oh, and high fructose corn syrup is the worst for increasing triglycerides.
  • For women, as cholesterol levels fall below 220, overall mortality INCREASES.
  • For men, as cholesterol levels fall below 200, overall mortality INCREASES.
  • In women over 60, the higher the LDL, the LOWER the mortality rates.
  • If one examines the reduced deaths from heart attacks (not overall mortality) due to lowering cholesterol using comparative figures (misleading), yes, it is around 30%, but is really only about one half of one percent if using reduction in deaths over the whole population.  If one uses the same misleading statistical method to look at suicides as cholesterol levels are reduced, then the INCREASE in suicides is about 170%.  Disraeli was right when he said "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."
  • This is the biggest one.  There is no group of women, based on age, ethnicity, general health or any other factor, that benefits from statins.  In EVERY group of women, mortality rates increase or stay the same with statin use.
 Okay, back to cheap food and milk.  Milk is the cheapest of the cheap, and it is so pervasive in our diets!  Here is what we have done to one of nature's most perfect foods.  Instead of cleaning up filthy urban dairies, we started pasteurizing the milk - killing all of the bad bacteria (along with the good) rather than preventing them.  Pasteurization wasn't enough; we started homogenizing it as well.  Homogenization incorporates the cream into the milk so that the cream doesn't rise to the top.  What, it was too tough to shake the jar? Homogenization changes the molecular structure of the fat, and it has been hypothesized that homogenization may lead to increased susceptibility to atherosclerosis.

But we weren't done.  So what more could we do?  We could start putting it in plastic.  You may have heard that plastic has estrogen-like properties.  It is far worse than you know.

Bisphenol A (BPA) was developed as a hormone replacer, but was shelved until polymer chemists discovered that it could be polymerized to form polycarbonate plastic. Since we began the wholesale use of plastic in packaging, we have seen the incidence of breast cancer in women rise from one in 40 to one in 7.  That is far too short a period for evolution to be blamed.  The sperm count of men is about half of what it was in 1940.  The range for "normal" has been revised, lest you get distracted by that term.  Also, men's penises are getting smaller, and at some point I should think that that one would get the attention of our august lawmakers, but to date it hasn't.  We still wrap our lives in the pernicious stuff - plastic water bottles, plastic wrap on our food, plastic baby bottles - the list goes on and on!

Are there other things we need to look at besides plastic?  Yes.  About the time we started using plastic, we also started hailing "grain fed" as something good in our diets.  Grain means the cows give more milk, the steers fatten up for market faster, and the bottom line gets fatter faster.  Since so much of what we do in this country is measured by its effect on that bottom line, pretty soon the amount of free range meat and animal products fell.  The products of grain fed animals, whether meat or dairy, have only a small percentage of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) - the reduction being as much as 80%.  CLA boosts our immune system to help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and the cost to treat those three is astronomical! 

As if grain feeding wasn't enough (read about that in detail here:  Why you shouldn't feed grain to a cow), Monsanto gave us recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBGH), a hormone that would increase milk production.  So your daughter is getting female hormones in her milk?  Small detail.  Just change the  "normal" age of onset of menses; problem solved.  Yes, Disraeli, you were absolutely right!

About the time they started using rBGH, we also got "ultra" pasteurization.  This assures that your milk is absolutely dead - every last living thing is gone.  100% of the good bacteria, and 100% of the natural enzymes - natural enzymes that help us to digest milk.  Mother Nature knew what she was doing, contrary to the milk processors!  There are people who have trouble drinking milk that CAN drink it just by finding a brand that is not ultra pasteurized, although it is getting harder and harder to find, because if milk is not ultra pasteurized, the enzymes are still alive and help them to digest it.

What does all this have to do with cheap food?  Well, the dairies can ship milk with very high bacteria counts and it can sit longer in the coolers at the farm between pickups - and longer in the tanks at the processor.  That saves money.  The amount of milk a single cow can give is more than doubled by using rBGH, feeding grain and picking Holsteins over heritage breed cows.

Enter factory farms where the cows are milked three times a day.  More milk, uses less land because they are jammed inside small buildings 24/7, and all that filth from being crowded?  Just put antibiotics in their grain as a preventive practice.  So your kids are getting minute amounts of antibiotics in their milk - not to worry, the scientists will come up with better and stronger (and more expensive) antibiotics when your kids develop resistance to the ones they get on their breakfast cereal and with their school lunches.  While public outrage finally put a stop to the wholesale use of antibiotics in feed in many states, it is still legal in some, and it is virtually impossible to find calf milk replacer that is not laced with antibiotics.

And of course plastic - how much does that cut down on cost?  Cheaper to buy, cheaper to ship, no need to sterilize returned glass jars.  So your kids are getting a little added female hormone, in case the rBGH wasn't enough.  Just shift those "normal" numbers and all will be well.

As if all of this wasn't enough, the government subsidizes the grain farmers, and the gas that hauls the milk to the producers.  So now we have REALLY cheap milk - and really cheap fast "food," since corn and beans are the building blocks of all that manufactured fast food and convenience food.  And remember, if tax subsidies are helping to underwrite manufactured food, then it is you who are paying the bill, whether you whip into the McDonald's drive-through or not!

You can buy milk at the corner gas station on special for $2.75 a gallon, maybe less.  At the other end of the spectrum, you can buy lightly pasteurized non-homogenized certified organic milk in glass jars from grass fed cows for $3.95 a quart, or just under $16 per gallon, sold by Trader's Point Creamery near Indianapolis, IN.  Quite a difference.  The latter example is good milk except for one thing - it is pasteurized, which kills off all the good bacteria along with the bad, but it's the best you can do unless you can find a cow share program and get raw milk.  You might be asking why it is pasteurized.  Well, that is to save you from the perils of raw milk.  LOL!  You should be laughing with me on that one if you read this blog very often.

Let's look at the cost of our milk association's raw milk.  We don't pay for the milk, but we do divvy up the operating costs among the shareholders.  To calculate the cost of milk per gallon, the shareholder would have to keep track of the gallons they got and divide them into the amount they paid in assessments over a year's time.  One of our shareholders did this last year, and it ran about $9.00 per gallon, considerably less than $16 per gallon, but also considerably more than the gas station milk.  In addition, I'll give you another price point for raw milk.  You can get it in a lot of places around here, this being farm country, by paying the dairy farmer a boarding fee for your share of a cow.  The boarding fee is in line with how many gallons of milk you got, and many farmers offer this for $5 or $6 per gallon.

That is quite a range!  And is the cost indicative of the quality?  Sort of.  The range in raw milk will be due to things like plastic containers, breed of cows and grain feeding.  But you can be pretty sure that you won't be getting antibiotics or hormones in your raw milk (if you are smart, you will confirm that with the farmer).  The gas station milk will be in a plastic jug, it will be from factory farm cows, the cows will be Holsteins, the milk will be ultra-pasteurized, it will be homogenized , the cows will have been fed grain, almost assuredly genetically modified grain, and their feed will have a hefty dose of prophylactic antibiotics in it, just to make sure the cows don't get sick from living in confined spaces.  Oh, and they will probably have been injected with rBGH. 

What does this have to do with your health?  Many people would say nothing.  They shop price, and that's all she wrote.  But this is what is wrong with our food!  GMO grain passes into the cells of the cows, and on to your milk, and through your gut.  There is now definitive proof that we do in fact experience cellular changes in our bodies when we eat genetically modified food.  The industry says not to worry, that to date they haven't found that those cellular changes will damage our health.  Do you buy that - are you okay with being a guinea pig in their mad experiment?  Are you okay with disabled Vitamin C in pasteurized milk?  Do you just take a vitamin tablet to replace it?  Will your bones and teeth mind that the D3 has been destroyed and the milk companies "fortified" your milk with D2, a poorer form of D that is less readily absorbed by our bodies?  Just get some Fosamax, right? Does your tummy mind that you can't digest the milk properly because the digestive enzymes were all killed by ultra pasteurization?  Take a Tums.  Do your arteries care that the milk was homogenized?  Just get some Lipitor, hey?  Do you see what is happening here?  Because we drink cheap milk, we end up spending a lot on our health, maybe just a Tums after eating, or maybe by-pass surgery on our plaque-laden arteries. Or that low sperm count leads to in vitro fertilization at $15,000 a pop!

Maybe you think milk isn't all that great a food.  Well, at one time, Mayo clinic used milk as a cancer cure.  Cancer patients were fed nothing but milk (and it was all raw at that time) for six weeks, with many cures.  Milk is not bad for us - it is what we have done to the milk, and to the cows, and to the containers, that is bad for us.  Milk is still a perfect food.  If I were diagnosed with cancer, I would put off any treatment until I drank a diet of pure raw cows milk for six weeks.  Then let them test me again, and I will go from there.

Do you want the best milk?  Then get raw milk, get milk that is in glass jars, get it from heritage breed cows that are fed a diet of grass and organic hay.  You just simply can't do better than that.  It won't be the cheapest, but it won't be the most expensive either.  And any compromises you make, you make at the expense of your body.  It is your choice.  There will be no advertising firm telling you this in the magazines you read, or the TV programs you watch.  This is one decision you have to make for yourself.

Go to Google and check out the facts I have put forward in this blog.  Argue with me, tell me where I am wrong.  I welcome your comments and I will get back to you.  I may learn something from you.  I sincerely hope you have learned something from me today.

Happy and HEALTHY eating!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There is some good news today!

This afternoon I had a meeting in South Bend, so didn't get home from church until about 2:30.  Leifschon met me outside the barn and said something about Smarty Pants's calf.  Say what?  I asked, "You mean Blackie's calf, don't you?"

"No," she said.  "Smarty Pants just had a calf.  It's standing and looks fine." 

I headed for the house for my boots and my camera.  Leifschon didn't know if it was a bull or a heifer, so off I went across the pasture to see for myself.  I snapped several pictures, was pretty sure it was a heifer, but I stuck my hand between her back legs to be sure.  Yup, there were four tiny little teats!  It's a girl!!

I have said that I am going to sell all of the calves this year.  Our herd is getting too big, it's too much to handle.  But of course, I am already planning what a fine dairy cow she will make in a couple of years.  Hopefully reason will prevail, and I will put the ad in the Farmers Exchange and find her a good home.

Sad news again . . .

I wrote a few days ago that I was worried about Essie Mae - she is so little, and this is her first calf.  She was bred too soon.  I should have gotten Jack out of the pen with her and Zelda a little sooner.  What was I thinking? 

Saturday morning, Essie freshened.  I found her and the calf as I was loading the car with milk to go to market.  I knew the calf didn't look right, but I was relieved to see that Essie seemed fine.  I called Androo as I headed down the lane, and he came down to see what he could do.  Poor Androo!  He had to deal with Lucky when she had a dead calf a year ago, and he had to help pull the dead calf from Skipper last November.  So here he was again, with a little one whose chances didn't look good.  Androo called me several times, keeping me informed of what he was doing.  He helped dry him, and he made a bed of fresh straw.  Then he made sure his breathing was not being blocked.  That is what happened with Lucky's calf, we think, so we had a tool in the barn for clearing airways.  Androo used it just to make sure, and he swung the calf around by its back legs, which is a foolproof way to clear air passages.  He called to say the breathing seemed okay, but the bull calf couldn't stand to suckle.  It sounded like there were some neurological problems.  We had some of Blackie's colostrum in the barn, and I asked Androo to warm some of it and get it down the little bull's throat.  He took about a pint, but still couldn't stand.

Androo had to leave for work.  I called Liefschon, who was milking that afternoon, and let her know of the situation.  She made a point of getting out to the farm a little early.  She called to tell me there was foam coming from the calf's nose.  Essie would get very agitated when any of us handled the calf.  I thought to myself, "This calf is going to die.  We should not interfere with mother and child."  I told Liefschon to leave the calf alone, to let nature take its course.  She said that Essie Mae settled down beside the calf and licked it from time to time.

When I got back from market, the calf was still alive, but just barely.  I didn't get close, but just left the two of them alone.  Later that night, I heard Essie crying.  Who says that animals do not have emotions?  I knew the calf had passed - and so did Essie.  She mourned her child.

I didn't sleep well, knowing what I was going to have to deal with in the morning.  I finally got up as the sun rose.  No putting it off any longer.  I took care of the chickens, then watered the cows and fed everyone.  Then I took the sled into the nursing pen and found the calf.  I gently laid it on the sled and hauled the little body out to the wagon.  He was so tiny, so light, that I easily picked up him and the sled and put them both into the wagon.  I drove to the end of the lane, then took the calf out of the wagon on the sled and pulled him between two rows of pine trees.  I laid him out, said a prayer over him and thanked him for being a part of our world for just a few hours.  The coyotes will feast on him.  That is all part of nature.  I am crying again as I write this.  Poor Essie.  She is crying again tonight.  Poor little calf.  This is a hard life.

Essie Mae coming in to be milked this afternoon

New calf

Blackie gave birth to a bull calf Wednesday evening.  Calf is beautiful, solid black just like his mom.  We started keeping Blackie's milk tonight, and it doubled our output!  The shareholders had better get ready - the milk is flowing again!