Friday, July 15, 2011


I like milk. I never used to, in fact I really don't remember drinking much of it as a kid. In college I started feeling sick and gross after drinking milk or eating ice cream, so I stopped.

Fast forward to 2005 when I was introduced to raw milk. I had never heard of such a thing. I was told that being lactose intolerant meant I could not digest pasteurized milk, but it would be different with raw milk. So I tried it and I really really like it, I was hooked. We became part of a group buying milk from a dairy specializing in raw. Our dream was to eventually have our own family cow. And we did, until last year.

For those unfamiliar with the raw milk saga it is hard to find and buy. In Minnesota it is not illegal to buy or sell, but you can not deliver. Or however you want to interpret that or get around that. I think that raw milk should be legal to buy directly from the farmer when and however you want. But this post is not about the legal aspect of it, it is about me trying to figure out what the heck I was gonna do now that we have no milk cow.

At first I went to my old standby delivery guy. And it was okay, but not fresh. I was used to getting it right after being milked. The other thing was that the milk was delivered in plastic jugs, I was not to happy about that, and I had never been to the farm. A big no-no for me. But I was desperate for raw milk.

My next plan was to go on craigslist and look for someone selling a backyard milker, call them up and see if they had extra milk that they would sell me. I kept my eyes and ears open for anyone talking about raw milk. Then I remembered. The woman that we had gotten our meat rabbits from, who lived just a few miles from where we live now had goats, and she had talked about milking those goats. So I called her to see if she had extra she wanted to sell. She told me she did not have time to milk but if I wanted to milk them I could. So I went over there that night, that was 2 months ago, and I continue to milk them daily.

I am milking my friend Ahna's goat (photo taken by my 3 year old)

I milk 3 goats, 2 of which are classified as meat goats, and bring home a half gallon a day. And that is just milking them once a day.

Goats milk tastes just like cows milk- I can not tell the difference, and I have been drinking raw cows milk for 6 years- 3 of which we had our own cow. It is however different. Goats milk is naturally homogenized- that means the cream stays suspended in the milk and does not separate and float to the top- like non-homogenized cows milk. It also is white. Cows milk will get a yellow look to it- this from the carotene but goats lack carotene. I do miss the cream, but I really don't have to have it and really rarely use cream, I just miss it.

Goats are perfect for those that just want enough for themselves. They are small eat less than a cow and have the personality of a dog. They are easily trained- they love attention and they provide you with milk. I am not saying that cows can't be trained or they don't love attention they are just really really big.

If you would have asked me about goats when we had our farm I would have said- no way! It had nothing to do with me not liking them, they are just high maintenance. And we had cows why would we even think of getting a goat. Well we are getting a goat- two to be exact. I have been reading, researching and learning as much as I can. Apparently you can take the farm away from the farmer but you can't take the farming outta them!

We don't have them yet but we will soon. The above picture is of our newest addition she is a Nubian, called Friday, she was born on good Friday. So my solution to getting raw milk might be a little extreme, I know not everyone wants to milk their own goat or even has space for a goat. But maybe you know someone who has some goats that maybe you could milk. I milk a Tennessee meat goat (meet Marie), a Myotonic (meet Joanie, our other addition), and a Nubian (this is not Mona).


Anne said...

That's awesome that you get to get your own fresh milk! They look like they are very well cared for too.

The Peterson Family said...

I know! Lynne does an amazing job taking care of them. I am learning so much!