...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Joy's photo contest number 4

Long time no photo contest! This one I have been meaning to ask for a long time if I only had a good enough picture, so I just shot one today, finally:

Today's question: What in the world could these be?

They're scattered all over the Swedish countryside, and they bear the nickname of:

[ ] 1. Giant mallows
[ ] 2. Farmers' eggs
[ ] 3. Toilet rolls

Before I tell you the answer, you must know by now that Sweden has a lot of cows, owing to the Swedish population's need to drink their milk :-) But many cows need much grass -- in fact, a whopping 18 kilos (40 pounds) of food a day. To keep them munching all year round then (and even in the darkest months of winter when cows can't graze), farmers need to find a way to preseve the grass, as hay.

I know next to nothing if not nothing at all about hay myself, but a quick look here in the trusty ole' Wikipedia made me somewhat less stupid than a cow. In a nutshell, the article says that farmers usually grow a mixture of grasses depending on what how much and what kind of nutrition they want to feed the animals. These can later be harvested by machines that rake and pack the grass into dense rolls (or bales, see picture here) or cubes that could weigh as much as 1000 kilos. The result (hay) are machine-wrapped in breathable plastic in farmlands that are wet or have heavy snowfall, so the dry fodder could be kept for long periods without rotting. Alternatively, the plastic wrap could be sealed tight to encourage fermentation of the grass. The fermented grass is thereafter called silage (not hay), which is a more nutritious fodder for dairy cows than dry hay.

I have no idea if those plastic-wrapped things in the picture are hay or silage, but at any case, they here bear the funny nickname of... farmers' eggs! Congratulations to those who guessed number two! :-)

P.S. Sommar sommar! Two albums of the summer's first activities uploaded at the Cheese Cutter. First was a tour of Norrköping with classmates Kai and Lian, followed by today's car trip to the Swedish archipelago with Margareta (I took the pictures of the farmers' eggs during the tour).

Also: I've received a comment that the pictures in the entry "Two countries, two national days" as well as in "For our karaoke nights" don't appear. Is anyone else having the same problems? They appear in my computer now but I wonder if that's only because I have them in my cache...


Blogger Ishtar said...

Hi there!

Well, well, I added a link you your site under my Reads, to make sure I keep up with your info! Good to have a foreigner to rely on to remind me of all the weird details about Sweden once I am away... :-D Like your blog! Keep up the good work,


10:35 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Linked you up too, under my new sidebar category (blogs by people in Sweden, basically!) :-)

1:14 PM


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