Friday, January 22, 2010
This is Lucy. She is part of the Cow Share program that we just joined. I'm so excited! A cow share program is when you buy an interest in a local farm's cows. And then you get to regularly pick up your share of the raw milk from the cows each week.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heated) or homogenized (processed to keep the cream from separating). Raw milk retains all of the natural vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and healthy bacteria which are killed during pasteurization. Real milk is naturally very healthy, while commercial processed milk can be linked to dozens of chronic health issues. One study I read recently found that calves who were fed pasteurized milk taken from their own mothers died within 6 months! In most states, it is illegal for farmers to directly sell raw milk to customers. But through a cow share program, non-farming people can get nutritious REAL milk. (see www.realmilk.com or www.rawmilk.org for more information, and different state laws and farms.)
When we go to the farm, we fill our half gallon jars with milk from a huge, silver refrigerated milk tank. The milk goes straight from the cows to the milk tank without ever being exposed to oxygen. Raw milk is safer than it may have been in the past due to modern milking equipment and refrigeration.
This week I made butter from the cream that rises to the top of the milk jars. It's very easy using a food processor.
I went to a "milk class" at the farm last weekend where I learned how to make yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, and ice cream. All are very easy to make. We may have to increase our share to get more milk each week if I make various dairy products regularly. We're going through it faster than we thought we would! A friend is also gong to teach me how to make mozzarella cheese. I can't wait; I love fresh mozzarella cheese!
Two of our boys, as well as myself, have had sensitivities to commercial milk in the past and could not have it regularly. But all of us are tolerating the raw milk just fine (which is very common). I'm enjoying drinking milk again!