That was my recent craigslist post as I tried to find a cheaper source of raw milk (goat’s or cow’s). Why raw milk? The benefits of raw milk are tremendous. The proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and good bacteria that are present in raw milk provide a great source of nutrition that aren’t found in store-bought pasteurized milk.
I happened to search craigslist in Salem and found a Tim Mcgraw look-alike who was advertising his “pet’s milk”. Over my lunch the next day, I zoomed over to South Salem and met Brad on his farm. I also met Daisy, the jersey cow that is producing all the wonderful fresh milk, and was pleasantly surprised by how clean everything was kept and how comfy the enclosure was. Brad milks Daisy twice a day, once at 5 am and another time in the early evening. She is producing about 2.5 gallons per milking session and he milks her in about 2o minutes! By hand! I was so relieved when he told me that her calf was a hefer and he would be keeping her. I’m not sure if I could have bought the milk from him if the calf had been a bull, knowing that he would eventually be slaughtered. Daisy spends most of the day with her calf (who I wasn’t able to meet) grazing on the six acres Brad has. It was a gorgeous property, a byproduct of Brad’s owning a landscaping business.
He also has about 60 chickens that lay an egg every other day. Brad sells his for $2.50/dozen. His raw milk is $4 per half-gallon and $5 for 3/4 gallon. I bought a 3/4-gallon from him and gladly cradled the cold, glass jar in my arms and set it carefully into my extra large cooler. I thanked Brad again and was on my way back to work (and 15 minutes late! That guy can talk!)
Is there a difference?
Curt was also eager to try the fresh milk when I brought it home. We had some organic whole milk in the refrigerator so we conducted a very-scientific, very-rigourous, blind taste test. There is a noticeable difference in color between the raw and store-bought, the former being darker and creamier in appearance. But, to be honest, the difference in taste was extremely subtle. Maybe Laird was able to pick up on it, because he guzzled the raw milk down like there was nothing better.
I let Brad know how yummy the milk was and he agreed to meet me the next day to sell me more milk. The next day, like a drug exchange, we met in a random parking lot and swapped money for milk. I have found my new addiction…