Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Buy Milk Straight From the Farm

This is our first goal in the new year. We found ourselves not making it a priority to fill our half gallon mason jars at one of our local organic dairy farms. We are blessed to live in an area abundant with farms (although not nearly as many as there were at one time).

Our favorite milk comes from Butterworks Farm where they raise Jersey cows primarily for their yogurt. The milk is delicious and nutricious. In addition to the yogurt they make from the milk, they also make cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, buttermilk, and cream.

Butterworks is a wonderful example of a sustainable organic farm. The Lazors work tirelessly to take great care of their cows use the compost to grow beans, wheat, corn and sunflowers. Thus, they have flour, dried beans, corn meal and sunflower oil.

It is wonderful that we are able to take advantage of these amazing food offerings just 5 miles away from our homestead.

Organic, local food is not the least expensive option, but it is the best option for health of our bodies and of the health of our local community and for the health of the earth.
Butterworks Farm does not advertise; you won't see an ad in the local paper or a flyer hanging at the general store. I have to call ahead to order my 25 pound bags of flour and 10 pound bags of cornmeal. When we go to purchase, they have an honor system yogurt cup and once they show you how to get the milk you simply go in and help yourself. And don't forget to bring the children around the corner to say hello to the cows.

If you are not sure what is available in your area it is best to ask around. Check out localharvest.org. Google organic farm and then the name of your geographical area.
Warm wishes. Tonya


  1. Tonya,

    It is awesome that you can do this. I live in NC and it is illegal to buy raw milk. Of course, milk can always be gotten if you know the person, but no one can know it. It feels like you are bootlegging...

    Is there a local CSA that you could join to sell and buy local goods? That works so well because everyone is getting things in at different times.

    Take care,


  2. What a wonderful place you live, so near those farms! We love our raw milk too - I feel so blessed to be able to get it.

    P.S. Just wanted you to know I received the three little gnome babies. Thanks so much. The babies I'm giving them to are sure to enjoy them.

  3. We are fortunate to have several farms for raw milk and organic meat and dairy. We are thinking of getting a mini jersey cow soon. They are soooo expensive! Why do all the good things for you in life cost so much:-) I love my goats , but don't like goats milk or cheese...LOL!

  4. I'm also in NC and ditto on the raw milk. We do have a nearby organic farm that sells lightly pasteurized milk, done the lower heat, old fashioned way, so I think it's probably better. We don't consume much milk, but I definitely prefer to support their farm over big business.

  5. We are fortunate to live in an area rich in local foods. Our state is very supportive of local foods and there are many farmers markets around. But still farmers struggle. We try to get as much of our food from our own garden and our local foodshed. I love the challenge and find my cooking gets very creative in the process. But I know that we are eating well.

  6. It is so amazing, because we have an organic, raw dairy literally right behind our home. Every Friday, we head to over to pick up our raw cheeses, milk, and eggs. Such a lovely way to nourish our bodies. Thank you for this wonderful post

  7. i too am very lucky to live near organic farms that offer fresh raw milk and yogurt. i agree that although its more expensive - you cannot ignore the fact that its the best think you can do for your body!

  8. how wonderful!
    we are fortunate to get raw milk from our (now) dear friend and farmer. she lives quite a bit away, but it is so worth it.

  9. We are Northern Vermonters as well and get our milk from the Family Cow Farmstad in Hinesburg. We love the Butterworks yogurt though and usually have at least a quart of the maple flavored in the fridge at all times...

    I really, really like the idea of being able to get bulk flour, corn etc. from a local farm but you all are quite a bit farther north than we are!

  10. Tonya,
    How lucky to live close to Jack! He is an amazing farmer and friend, a blessing to all in New England. Our family finally joined a raw milk buying coop, since it's a bit harder here in MA to get it, and we are totally in love (knew we would be!). Enjoy, and Happy Holidays.

  11. Thank you for getting the word out about raw milk. It is so much healthier for you! In Oregon, we can buy it, but you have to pick it up from the farm and the farmer can only milk 3 cows at a time, which doesn't make it really worth it for most farmers. There is getting to be a huge demand for it in this area. I hope some laws will get changed eventually. Raw is best! Great post!

  12. Mmmmm...I'm missing fresh milk! I stopped milking our goats a couple months ago! How blessed you are to have that wonderful farm right down the road! I'm wishing you and your family well in these last days of 2009!

  13. We are huge supporters of buying local and raw! We used to buy local cows and goats milk for our family. We eventually had to give up all animal milk due to the kid's allergies so are now using rice and almond milk. If we ever do go back to cow or goat we will for sure get it raw from the local dairy!

  14. We have been getting fresh milk from an organic dairy farm for a few years now and LOVE it. It is illegal to buy here in Michigan as well, but people can drink milk from their own cows if they wish. So a few farms here have set up "cow-share" programs. We actually own a share of the herd, so we own our share of the milk. We pay a monthly fee to the farmer for board and care of the herd. We are *not* paying for the milk. We travel to the farm and draw our own milk from the tank.

    As cow share programs have become more popular, they have come under some scrutiny from state officials. The farmers we are working with have been instrumental in working to set up standards for cow share programs which would appease the state. Efforts are going fairly well, considering how strong the comerical milk lobby is. (The commercial milk associations want cow-share programs banned.)

    I have to say that I think I prefer the share program over buying raw diary commercially. (Though I'm not opposed to raw milk being sold at retail.) I go to the farm, I use my own sterilized bottles, I see the sanitary conditions, I know the farmers and I know what precautions they take to insure the safety of the milk. If I bought it at a store, I wouldn't necessarily know any of that, and inevitably, the milk would have been handled by several parties between the farmer and my family. When a local radio station did a spot about raw milk in Michigan, I noticed that they had to go out of state -- to a place where raw milk is available on store shelves -- to find someone who had been sickened by contaminated raw milk. I thought it was interesting that the piece was about raw milk here in Michigan, but they obviously weren't able to find anyone here who had become ill. I know it's not totally risk free (what is?) but I trust my local direct sources of meat and milk far more than what I get from the grocery store.

  15. Came here from Bee Content Cottage - we buy our milk raw from a local dairy and it's SO wonderful. I make all of our own yogurts from it, and it cant be beat. Love your ball jar filled with fresh milk, I have several pictures just like it. ;) It's kind of like being in a secret club of sorts, you get all excited to see another fellow raw milk/ball jar peep!

  16. It's so funny you posted this. We too by 80% of our food locally I guess a bonus for living in the midwest. Today our family enjoyed a hour conversation with our beef farmer something you just can't get from a "big" store. Many Blessings to you and your family.

  17. No milk farms near here. I can remember visiting family in Colorado, long ago, and getting milk from the farm down the road. Everyone nearby lived simply. I've always had huge vegetable gardens until we moved to the southwest, where even tomato plants won't thrive. Gah.

  18. Raw milk is definitely better for you than pasteurized or commercially-available milk. We have raised goats for milk and now have two milk cows (a Jersey and a Guernsey). Being able to drink fresh, raw, whole milk is so good. We make yogurt, cream cheese, butter, and sometimes cheese. Knowing the health and care of the animals is very important. Buying food local or growing your own is much to be prefered over industrial food.