I am so excited! I had decided in the spring to switch to raw milk and products made from raw milk. But it's expensive! It's $7 for a gallon of milk, $10.50 for a quart of cream and for a pound of butter. And $6.50 for a pound of cheese!
Well, I was praying that God would send me to a place that I could buy milk cheaper-by going to the farm to pick up. And He did! I now pay $4 a gallon-and I get to use glass jars that I reuse every time!
We went last week for the first time-the kids and I. We had so much fun! The couple is a Christian couple who wants to serve the Lord through their farm. They are not organic, but mostly. The kids and I got to actually milk the cows-and then drink that milk. I love going into the refrigerator every time I get it and knowing that we actually helped to milk the cows!
And, I started making my own butter from the milk. I scoop out the cream from the tops once they have settled and use that to make butter and ice cream.
I am also in the process of learning how to make cheeses and all the good products from milk that I can find. It's so great to have found a resource that I can use to experiment!
Some day I'd love to have a small acreage with a large vegetable garden, lots of berry patches and fruit trees, and a Jersey cow of our own. :) Now that I'm learning what to do with the milk-that dream doesn't seem so far off. We will go where the Lord leads of course-and I'll be content wherever we go. But I would love to be mostly self sufficient.
Lots has been said on the subject of raw milk. These are two of the best websites for learning about raw milk:
The story behind milk as I have learned it:
Milk has been drunk raw since Bible times with little or no problems. However, in the late 1800s, when America was becoming Industrialized, the milk started causing problems. Some dairy farms were located next to distilleries, which deposited 'swill' that was left over from making the 'spirits'. The cows began drinking this, and along with the pollution from the new gasoline cars and factories and more confined spaces, lack of hygiene and refrigeration made for some pretty dangerous milk.
There are live organisms in milk-good and bad. If properly handled, the good will win over the bad. And what little bad germs there are in the milk-our bodies should be able to easily enough defend itself (and develop antibodies in the process-a really good thing!). Our world is full of bacteria-good and bad. And we need them for survival. God designed the world in the most amazing ways with checks and balances.
However, with all of the death from the filthy milk, Louis Pasture's ideas of pasteurization was applied to the milk and less people were dying from it. Dairy farmers were given strict hygiene standards to use in the milking and delivering process and until the 1940s, both raw and pasteurized milk was available to the general public. Although certified raw milk was considerably more expensive.
For some reason, in 1944, the government decided it was easiest to regulate dairy farms by insisting on pasteurization across the board.
In recent years, raw milk has made a comeback and consumers in most states are fighting their own battles to make it legal to sell from certified dairies.
The most important thing to consider when finding a source for raw milk is if they care for the cows properly and are clean and hygenic in the milking and bottling process. State licensed is nice, but not always possible. If they drink their own milk-it's a good sign! :)
I thought this was interesting:
About 73,000 people are infected and 61 people die from E.
coli each year and, last year alone, over 22 million pounds
of beef and vegetables were recalled due to E. coli
We are much more likely to get sick from hamburger or spinach then from raw milk.
-Well, those are my 2 cents worth..