kris and i and a few friends and family have stopped drinking soy milk and entered into the wild and wacky world of raw milk. raw milk is straight from the cow. it’s not pasteurized. it’s not homogenized. it’s not anything-ized. it goes out of the cow and into your fridge. and if you’re lucky to have a wonderful amish farmers in your area, you can get fresh, raw milk from range-fed cows that don’t get any funny chemicals in their feed.
why do this? we’re not granola-crunching freaks, but after doing some thinking and research, we decided that it’d be fun and healthy thing to do. no, i don’t think you’re going to die a horrible, painful death by drinking milk that you get from your local supermarket, but all things being equal, we decided that raw milk was at least as healthy as the regular stuff, and quiet possibly moreso.
technically speaking, most states consider what we’re doing “illegal”. or at least consider it illegal to purchase raw milk. mostly this is due to claims that it’s unsafe. we looked at the evidence and decided that it wasn’t, if we worked with a reputable farmer. but that doesn’t make it any less illegal to purchase. how did we get around this? we don’t buy the milk. we purchased “shares” in our cow, musical, and pay her room and board, which is roughly $6 a week. basically we own part of a cow and are paying her keep and are simply picking up the milk that’s rightfully ours. so how much does it cost to buy part of a cow? we bought two shares at $150 a piece and split the two shares between a group of 6 friends and family [ 3 couples ], so it’s about $100 a family to start and $6 a week. and for that you get 2 gallons of milk, which is a good deal. it gets even better when you realize that you get enough cream from the two gallons of milk to make enough butter, cream cheese, ice cream to feed a normal family. all things considered, it’s a fantastic deal. since 3 couples are involved, we get milk in rotations. you can amuse yourself by pretending that it’s 1950 all over again, and you’re the milk-person delivering the goods.
so what’s involved? it’s easy! follow along in a day in the life of the Raw Milk Maid.
admire the gleaming, clean stainless steel vat.
take a peek!
open the valve slowly. you’ll be surprised how fast it comes out and if you’re not paying attention, you’ll be standing in a pool of milk. not that i’ve done that.
it’s o.k. you can go into the barn and say “hi!” to the skittish newborn foal and ponder why she has the power to turn invisible.
and don’t forget to go visit the cow that made it all possible. she works hard, so you’ll forgive her for laying down on the job. pasture fed animals have it rough.
when you leave, you’ll wonder if it’s against their religion to photograph an amish buggy. you decide it’s not and hope you’re right.
by the time you get home, you’ll discover that cream really does rise to the top. you can make butter from the cream. more on that in the next installment of The Raw Milk Maid.