New life for a milk sieve

Pruuuiiii, Pruuuiii…. come home for milking! Mansikki, come home for milking! Calls to get the cows in for milking were heard in the Finnish countryside every evening in the old days, as the cows grazing in the woods and meadows were called in to the cowshed for milking.

The cows were all individuals for the herders. Cows knew their names and called back when they heard a familiar voice calling out their name. On quiet summer evenings, the cattle herd could hear the calls kilometres away. There was a lot of rumble and the ground trembled as the cows came, often running in for milking. Listen closely in the Meadow Cottage, and you can hear the old utensils whisper stories from the past, from decades and even centuries ago.

A sieve or a strainer was an important utensil when milking was done by hand. The sieve was used to remove debris from the milk and if you put, for example, a piece of gauze on the bottom of the sieve, even the smallest debris was caught.

In the Meadow Cottage, old milking sieves have been recycled for use as lamp shades. The lamp shades on the ceiling which are made from sieves have handles on the sides. The shades without handles come from separators. Separators are also associated with milk and milking.

A milk separator was used to separate the cream from the newly milked milk. The thick cream was churned into butter on the farms.

The first separator was invented in Germany in 1876 and, later on, one was made in Sweden and Denmark as well. After the patents of the previous devices expired, manufacturing of separators began in Finland as well. The most popular separators in Finland were called Milka and Lacta.