About Your Raw Milk Farmers
Welcome!!! We are loving this wholesome delicious food and are happy to have you with us! Here are the details…
ABOUT THE FARMERS & FARM
Our farmers are a young Amish couple in their 20s, 3 children (newborn Amos is 4 months old as of this writing!), and rarin’ to go with this raw milk production! I’ve been to their house many times, eaten at their table and we practically live on their products!
I don’t mention their names to protect them from overzealous health departments.
They were conventional dairy farmers for several years and were losing their shirts. They eat and live organically and wanted to do raw milk and products (plus want to eventually add grass-fed/pastured meats). The money finally got so bad in conventional, they had to make a change or (literally) lose the farm. So they jumped.
Mr. Farmer’s dad was an organic dairy farmer for many years so this is not totally new to them!
All of their cows are A2A2. They are working toward being 100% grain-free, you can’t make this change all at once. It is gradual and will probably take about two years to completely be grain-free. They are also growing their own organically-farmed hay and corn to supplement in winter.
In the meantime, they are currently feeding non-GMO grains while milking and non-gmo/non-sprayed hay.
While farming conventionally, they kept the cows in the barn most of the day. Now they are keeping the cows outside most of the day. On rainy muddy days, the cows are out only a few hours because the farmers are intent on building up the grass in their fields. If the cows are trampling on the fields keeping them muddy, the grass won’t be as good. It’s a give and take right now… the goal is to pasture the cows all day everyday.
They are members of Farm to Consumer, have read Joel Salatin’s books, get the ACRES USA magazine every month, I give them the WAPF journals and they are contacting Mark McAfee’s Raw Milk Institute to become a member.
While working with conventional dairy, their milk was tested EVERY OTHER DAY for 6 years and always came out clean, never a problem.
ABOUT MILK BOTTLES
You can have your milk in plastic jugs or in glass bottles.
If You Use Glass Bottles
The first two weeks, your milk will be delivered in plastic while we get your glass bottles in rotation.
You’ll need 3 sets of bottles in rotation (4 is better): one at the farm ready to be filled, one in your fridge with milk and one in my car — I drop the bottles at the farm when I pick up the milk. (I only go to the farm once a week.)
The first time you pick up milk, please leave all your bottles at the drop point IN A STURDY BAG.
Occasionally bottles break. This is very rare (in 2 years, we’ve broken 1) and we are careful! Unless the farmer actually drops the bottle, we ask that you replace any broken bottles. Because even a hairline crack will cause a bottle to break unexpectedly!!! So please be very careful loading and unloading — tapping 2 bottles together can cause a break or that invisible hairline crack. There is nothing quite so fun as pulling your milk out of the fridge and having the bottom literally drop out of the bottle… ask me how I know!
Make sure your lids have your name in permanent marker on the top. It does wash off so keep your marker handy. You can use plastic lids or metal lids, whichever you prefer!
Here’s a basic tutorial on cleaning milk bottles.
The two biggest points:
MAKE SURE YOUR BOTTLES ARE COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE CAPPING! The farmers do not wash the jars, they fill them exactly as they come. If your bottle is not completely dry, that little tiny bit of water will turn swampy in a few hours. Try it at home: cap a damp jar, wait a couple of days, open and sniff. Trust me, you don’t want milk from that jar!!!
Rinse with cold water first and run the brush or sponge around the inside to get most of the milk off, then wash with hot soapy water. If you skip the cold rinse, you might get “milk glue”: a white residue that you cannot get off till it wears off! I have a bottle with milk glue on it and I cannot get it off, not with scrubbing, vinegar, sand, salt… nothing. Complete mystery.
Where to Buy BOTTLES
We use 1/2 Gallon ball/mason jars. You can get them at Walmart, Tractor Supply, Meier’s, Rural King, sometimes Lowe’s… They come in a box of 6, around $12.
You can also get on Amazon but they are twice as expensive: Wide Mouth 1/2 Gallon Ball Jars https://amzn.to/2Uqf4r0
The jars come with metal lids and these are fine (though they may rust over time). Plastic lids are available the same places as the jars. You can get the Ball jar brand or buy the knock-offs which are a lot cheaper, like $2.50 for 5 lids. I usually buy several packs when I can get them.
Here they are on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FV3q3F
Please ask in the comments or contact me — my contact info is at the top of every page!