Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bye Bye Big Tank

Isn't she cute all shiny and petite like? No, not the farmer on the right, I'm talking about the new (old) milk tank. As we continue to downsize our farm and work towards the goal of living on much less, we started with the dairy. Currently milking 12 cows with a goal of milking only 5 by June, we no longer needed the big tank we had when we were milking over 20 cows a day. (We've always been a small dairy farm, now we are just smaller still)

The tank above was our first milk tank when we started the dairy in 1999. Then we outgrew it as we sold more and more milk to Foremost, losing more and more money. We had cows, we had milk but we had no control over what we were paid for our milk. Some years as low as $10 cwt (for every HUNDRED pounds of milk.)  In the good years it rose as high as $17 cwt. We still lost money as price of feed always ran ahead of price paid for milk.

So the small tank went out in the yard. For years I wanted hubby to get rid of it , sell it, just get it off the farm. But he held tight to it. Used it to store grain. Worked well for that. Sort of like he always knew we'd need it again one day.

Then two years ago in April we went rogue and stopped selling to Foremost and started selling only direct to customers. Today we charge just $5 a gallon for raw, certified organic, 100% grass fed milk meaning we receive approx. $62 cwt. (Based on the fact that a gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds)  We make a small profit after paying for all our organic hay and bedding. Leftovers are fed to pigs which also give us a fair profit as long as you don't figure out what you are paid hourly :)

But, it all takes time, precious time that the two of us cannot create out of thin air. Yes, we have tried.

So, as we cut back, we have less milk and need less space to store it. So out with the huge tank that took up 2/3 of our milk room above and in with the old, now new again tank. It took a couple weeks at the electricians shop to get up and going again but here it is...up and going.

And just LOOK at all that room our milk customers have for their coolers, their kids, their mother-in-laws and whoever else is wonderful enough to help them get the raw milk they want so badly.

Thank you honey for holding on to the small milk tank. I never should have doubted you. Wish I could say it will never happen again but we both know who we're dealing with here.


  1. It's hard when they're right isn't it?

  2. I'm so happy for you two finding a balance and sticking it to the man for your benefit. BTW I should be down there next week to get some goodies!!! and milk.

  3. Reading the above made me wonder if you've ever thought of making cheese? Most of the small scale cheese makers here are women, and they produce some wonderful stuff for which there is a huge demand!

  4. Interesting that you measure milk by the cwt - I thought that everyone had to have cwts explained to them as poundage. It's gallons here.