Real milk!!

One of the things I've been wanting to do for a while (about 2 years or so...) is to find a local source for milk and dairy products.  I visited a few cow share programs, and even bought goat milk for a while, but just wasn't satisfied.  I eventually want to buy and milk my own goats, where we are now, that's just not practical.  The county government requires agricultural zoning or 5+ acres for "farm animals".  And while we obviously fudged on that to keep the chickens, I wouldn't want to risk goats.  Maybe if this was going to be our forever home I would give it a go, but I can't imagine trying to sell this house with a goat shack in the backyard.  I just don't see that being a selling point.

So I went back to the Walkerton Dairy Herd Association.  I've known about them since I first started looking into "raw" milk, but the first time I visited, their pasture was only in its first year, and they were supplementing with alfalfa hay.  And the milk tasted like alfalfa.  Big time.  Now the association is in its 3rd year, and their pasture is bigger and better.  I know the milk will probably still taste alfalfa-y in the winter when there is less grass, but I can deal with it for a short time.  And, after drinking some super-goaty goat's milk, I think a little alfalfa will be fine.  (Regarding goaty-tasting milk: males and females were kept together at this particular farm, which gives the milk a strong "goat" flavor.  Good goat milk, though, is nearly indistinguisable from cow's milk.  I found some locally, but at $10/gallon, it was a bit too pricy for me!)

After visiting again today, I'm now the proud owner of 1/20 of a dairy cow!  I should get about 5 quarts of milk per week, which is more than enough for me.  Shayne isn't big on milk that has a slight grassy flavor...  Depending on how much I drink, I think it'll be enough to make some butter and maybe yogurt - at least in the summer.  Milk production seriously tapers off during the winter, so I might even have to freeze some to make sure I have enough for year-round consumption.

So, until I can get my own goats, at least I have a safe, local source of fresh, organic, grass-fed milk!

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