Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Medium Raw Please

            Keith brings in our herd for evening milking

They told us if we didn't stop selling raw milk they would stop buying our milk for the conventional market.  But we didn't listen. They told us we would never find enough people to buy raw milk and we'd be out of business in a month. We didn't listen. They told us they would not license us as a Grade A dairy anymore even though we'd have good inspections the last 11 years. We said fine. We'll still follow the rules just for kicks and giggles and because we believe in a good milk product. They told us people would not drive ALL THE WAY to our farm for raw milk but our customers didn't listen. They told us we'd be dumping most of our milk. Well, we do dump quite a bit of it, right into the trough for our feeder pigs.

 They look fabulous and taste scrumptious. We thought we would have to sell half our dairy herd. We've sold only five cows to four wonderful homesteads. (Yes, the Scholte family was brave enough to take TWO ) We're thinking we might need to keep more than we originally planned in order to meet the growing needs of our customers.

Keith helps our cow Pam adjust to her new home
                                               at Epiphany Farms in Downs Illinois

Supply and demand is working out very well here. Except for those days we forget to get milk for ourselves !!

So here we are 3 months into our new venture of selling all our milk...raw...direct from our farm and I have to say, its going well. On Mondays we often sell out. We've had to move some customers to other days. Since the article about our farm ran in GRAZE magazine last month,  http://www.grazeonline.com/  we've had 2-3 new milk customers every week. Some have driven as much as 3 hours one way to get to us. Thank you. Let me say it again . Thank You !

We do our best to make it worth the trip. We give tours of the farm. We let customers children actually TOUCH the farm animals.  Young children love to collect the feathers laying around. Not only do they collect the feathers, they turn themsleves into Lovely Peacock Lady and Angry Chicken Girl and write a play about those characters.

We also make it known we have 100% grass fed beef and pastured pork for sale . On good days the chickens cooperate enough to produce a few eggs to go with the bacon.

And we don't have to get up so early in order to get all the milking done before the milk truck comes. We milk on the best schedule for us and for our cows. Viva La Raw Milk !!!


  1. After visiting with a friend who once owned a dairy and now sells hutches for calves, it sounds like you are getting out just in time. Doesn't look like the dairy farmers are doing well and forging a new path early sounds like a really smart move.

  2. AMEN SISTA!!!! I used to work on dairy farms around Va milking up to 600 Holsteins. I then tested milk for the Va Dairy Herd Improvement Association. My hubby was raised on a small Grade C dairy, then he drove that said milk truck for 10 years...hahaha...the stories I would hear about some such and such dairy not being finished milking when he got there and so forth were exhausting!!!! I think if I owned a dairy I would milk at 10 and 10.....no wait that's what I do already!!! just kidding but close!!!

    The best was when I went to a dairy to test one afternoon where I was a fill in tester for the regular to take a vacation....unheard of in the dairy business.....so the farmer and his wife were very leary of me being new to the farm and continued to stare a hole thru me watching every move I made so I didn't fanangle the scales I guess??????......they were so interested in what I was and was not doing that they forgot to put the pipe in the tank and lost the entire evening milking right down the drain!!! IT WAS ALL MY FAULT TOO!!! I felt sorry for them but it was sorta funny too!

    So I have been there done that, sorta, in my lifetime. I also have a brotherinlaw with a very large family dairy and I keep hearing horror stories about the rules and regs from them.

    Apparently Illinois has no rules against selling raw milk???? I can only sell my goats milk for "Animal consumption only" There are a few dogs around here who are very happy with their creamy white food too ;-)))

    I applaud you for this new move!!!!! Yay yay yay!!!!

    I will just stick to my goats, we ran into an old farmer friend last week who offered to sell me his 2 year old Jersey cow that was milking 3+ gallons a day, when i acted interested I thought my dh would hit me!!!!!!