“Milking almonds as an alternative to dairy cows”.
Recent research (M. Donald senior et al 2016) suggest that 97 percent of Dairy farmers in the UK have been struggling to keep afloat in the present economic climate. Only the top 3 percent, (the cream), have not bottled out.
An alternative milk product is being trialled on the Isle of Wight to satisfy demands of those who lack digits (lactose).
Groves of almond trees planted on farms close to Cowes have yet to be profitable.
Traditional techniques for milking have so far proved unsuccessful. “It has been impossible to encourage the trees to enter the parlour”. Mr I.M. Friesian said. “Due to their very nature, they will not move and remain rooted to the spot. We have reverted to using milking stools and bails out in the fields. The essence of milking almonds for profit seems to be a long way off.”
Mrs I. C. Cakes remarked: “ I was shell shocked to see farmers trying to use dogs to herd almonds. This problem is a hard nut to crack and farmers need to shell out on new equipment if they are to succeed”.
Mr Wall Nut who farms in Hull, says he has been druped into selling his cows and is now surrounded by nuts.
Mr Mac. A. Roon however, sees a future in almond farming and wishes to pass on the message to the would be nutty milkers that “You can actually have your cake and eat it”.
Risks with milking almonds have been noted. Farmers have reported that handling nuts twice a day have resulted in sore hands and in extreme cases, blindness.
Mrs Marcie Pann stated that she prefers to grind her nuts and roll them into small balls. She much prefers the taste of cows milk and has gone so far as to state: “I will never drink milk extracted from nuts”.
Mr Al Mond, his wife Hazel and their son Fil Bert stated that “money doesn't grow on trees.” They said they were concerned that nuts would be exploited by farmers looking for a new cashew cow.
The debate continues.