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Back in Business

October 3rd, 2012

We’re back in business as far as our raw milk is concerned. Luckily it’s much easier to come by in Maine that in Ohio. Back in Ohio, we were lucky that our dairy farm was only a few miles away, though I would have driven a long way to get milk from them. They stocked us up with lots of milk before we left and we were on our last jar.

I had a list of farms to call and visit, but then our neighbor gave me the name of a friend who does dairy on a small scale. We headed down the road yesterday to see her cows and chat with her. She has 3 Jersey cows that she milks. The dry periods are staggered throughout the year so she’s always milking 2 cows.

They were out frolicking in the 40 acres of pasture. In fact we weren’t sure if we were going to find them when we first arrived, but they finally came around. One of them thought my camera was a delicious cow treat and kept trying to eat it.

We made it home with a gallon of fresh raw milk. The cows we got milk from back in Ohio were Normandy cows. The Jersey milk is definitely different, much creamier. Milk is one of those funny things you always think it just tastes like milk until you start drinking pastured raw milk. Then you start to notice the changes that come throughout the seasons and from different cows.

Now that we’ve been drinking raw milk for many years I could never go back to the regular stuff. Even when we had to get lightly pasteurized milk from another small local dairy it always tasted boiled and weird to me. I’m happy that we should have enough options here in Maine to have a steady supply of raw milk all year long. Though I must admit, I’ll miss heading out to the farm on Thursdays and my chats with Dawn!

What product do you source locally or make at home that you could never buy the store/processed version again?

Friday Favorite: Real Milk

April 8th, 2011

This week my Friday Favorite had to be around Real Milk. For the past four years we’ve been we’ve getting our milk from a little farm nearby. Yesterday, the we picked up our first fresh real milk of the season. We were so excited we got up early and made our trip to the farm before our morning coffee so we could use it in our coffee!

Our friendly dairy farmers have been a wonderful find for us. One of the reasons we love them is because they do everything as nature intended. The cows are out in the sun eating real green grass whenever they can and they are fed hay through the winter – no grain. They’re so intent on doing things as nature intended that they let their cows go dry during the winter. For us that means from January through March we’re drinking real milk that was frozen or buying lightly pasteurized milk from another small local dairy (Hartzler’s in Wooster, OH).

If you’re not familiar with “real” milk it’s milk that is not pasteurized or homogenized. I have to admit that we were slightly nervous when we first “bought a cow” – the only legal way to acquire raw milk in Ohio. As soon as we had our first drink we were converts. It’s so much better than milk from the grocery and so much fresher. The milk we picked up yesterday we milked on Wednesday evening, you can’t get much fresher than that. We love real milk, not only for the health benefits, but because it’s really good. It’s especially good in the spring/summer when the grass is growing. The milk has a slightly “grassy” flavor and the cream on our milk is golden yellow. It’s so yellow that people ask if I color my homemade butter because it’s so yellow.

Now that raw milk is back in season, we’ll be making a lot of butter, cheese, kefir, homeamde ice cream and other dairy delights. And who can forget all those delicious lattes made with those delicious micro-roasted beans from Al’s Beanery – coffee this good deserves the best milk!

Have you ever had raw/real milk?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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