Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Raw Local Milk

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer's Markets

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they've learned about their local farmers.


I've been wanting to take my kids out to the dairy. I know we have 2 or 3 in the surrounding towns, I've been to 2 of them. There is a dairy that sells at one of the Farmers Markets, too. We went to the one I know has been around forever: Swan Brothers Dairy.

We loaded the family into the truck and drove the 30 minutes and 3 towns over. I had checked in advance for the best time to see cows being milked. They milk their cows twice daily.

The window to see 5 cows being milked had a horrible reflection, so it was hard to see much. Sasha fell in love with a little wooden cow outside, though. We got to pick up a gallon of raw, whole milk (only about 40¢ more than what we buy at the supermarket!) and a bag of cheddar cheese curds. The cheese curds are sooo good! I was excited to share the experience with my girls.

Sasha's Wooden Cow Hugs - Born at Home ToysSasha hugging the wooden cow with her little wooden Born at Home Toys cow.

Swan Brothers Dairy had its beginning in 1923 and is still in the same family. Their cows are allowed to exercise and graze pasture every day of the year, which helps maintain their health. The cows are not given hormones (to increase milk production) and their pastures are not sprayed for weeds.

I love knowing that the milk goes directly from the cow, to a tank cooler, then into bottles. Nothing is added or taken away from the milk... its just pure.

My girls love the cheese curds. We snacked on them on the way home. If you're not familiar with cheese curds, they aren't like cottage cheese. They are chunks of cheese, plenty solid and not liquidy at all. My husband doesn't taste a difference in the milk. I think if we switched to it, then tried the cheaper stuff from the store, he would notice the difference.

I also love the small town feel of their little retail space. During planting season, they also sell tomato plants outside. They have a rack of other local food products (spices, preserves, etc). I'd like to shop there more often, except for the long drive. You can often find someone from town going that is willing to pick up extra milk.

Have you ever visited or toured a dairy? Do you have a dairy near you?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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