The Benefits of a Raw Dairy Club

In the following article, Alex, from A Moderate Life, shares the benefits of a Raw Dairy Club and explains how it operates.
 
Thinking about joining a raw dairy club? Here’s the scoop on ours!
 
Alea asked me to do a guest post for her lovely blog and I was thrilled to be able to do so! I know she lives clear across the country from me and has a very different life, but the one thing I know we both have in common is a love of our family and good food.
 
While Alea is able to obtain a lot of what she uses for her family meals locally, I live on an island and so much of what we need has to be brought in. Of course, I do grow some of my own vegetables in the summer time and I always have a jar of green sprouts growing on a window sill, but if I want really good and healthful food, I need to find it elsewhere.
Amish farm from a wagon ride
I am very lucky to belong to a raw dairy group to obtains all it’s products from a wonderful Amish family that is only 3 hours away. The farmer takes orders and loads them up on a Friday and has a driver (since he is Amish, he cannot drive a van but he can go for a ride once in a while!), deliver all the products to 4 locations on the island. I have been to visit this lovely farm and met the farmer, his wife and ten kids and all their lovely horses and dogs. I know where my food is grown, how the animals are cared for, where the cows are milked and even who makes the butter and picks up the pastured eggs. I know it is not exactly local, but if I can drive THERE and back in a day, I like to tell myself that it is!
 
Because it is a real working traditional farm, following sustainable and organic husbandry practices, the products offered are seasonal. We can’t get strawberries in January, and if I can’t get them from the farmer, I don’t get them. Sure, you can get strawberry preserves, so we not only eat seasonally we eat traditional products as well. I can still get some kale from the good farmer and of course, I have a supply of sauerkraut laid in. During the winter we tend to eat mostly cooked winter vegetables anyway because we don’t have a hankering for raw. I guess when you listen to your body, you can hear it tell you, eat seasonally!
 
I love the spring especially because the milk is so rich and creamy and they offer first grass butter and butter oil which is simply the best medicine on earth! Full of fat soluble vitamins and tons of other good stuff, I can’t get enough of it in the spring! I also find myself drinking glass after glass of milk at that time. It is so creamy it is yellow! I kid you not!
 
We have had a few things that we didn’t like from the Amish farm. First, they add beef gelatin to their yogurt which, while extremely healthy for you and a highly assimilateable form of protein, my kids absolutely refused to eat it because the consistency was more of jelly than of creamy yogurt, so I still have yet to perfect my home made yogurt and purchase some organic Trader Joe’s yogurt for them. We also did not take to the bologna. Even though it was grass fed beef, it was called Lebanon Bologna and it looks like sausage and tastes like sweet beef jerky, which was not something we were partial to.
 
We have had a number of wonderful surprises though. I happened to ask in passing if they had any beef tallow because I did not want to make my own from beef suet and in my next order there it was! It is amazing to use for fry and especially traditional French fries. Also, I have rendered my own lard from leaf fat and it was simple and easy in a crock pot, but why do it if they have pastured pork lard that is as white as snow and makes pastry flaky and light, without all the fuss of rendering the fat? We also made the mistake of purchasing dried beef, thinking it was beef jerky and when it came we didn’t know what to do with it! We made an inquiry and the farmer’s wife told us to make some Amish dried beef gravy and pour it over whole wheat biscuits (she gave us both recipes) and it was absolutely delicious!
 
I know many folks might think that belonging to a CSA or a milk club would be expensive and on the surface it does seem to be, but here is the thing, since the food is so healthy and good, you WANT to eat it and you want to use up every last drop! If my milk turns sour, I do not throw it out like I would have with regular milk. I simply use it in cooking or make ricotta cheese out of it because raw milk when clabbered is full of wonderful lacto bacteria! I also only get a shipment every two weeks so I have to plan ahead and know what I want to make and how to make it last.
 
I am not going to go into the health benefits of eating raw dairy because if you are reading Aleas blog you are either a frugal momma or a real food momma and so you know, this stuff is liquid gold and will help keep your family healthy and happy so it is well worth the effort to look into finding a good local source if you can in your area. I will mention one thing though. I used to have terrible dairy allergies. I had lactose intolerance and would get allergic rhinitis (terrible swelling of the nasal tissue and runny nose), when I ate dairy, even though I craved it. I had not had regular milk or ice cream in years though I would have cheese and yogurt and put up with milder symptoms because those are both cultured. With the raw dairy I have NO symptoms at all and my husband always laughs at me when we go out and maybe have some cheese on a slice of pizza and my nose starts spurting mucous. He sighs and says “commercial dairy?” and I shrug and say “yah”. So for me I am so glad I made the switch and I will never EVER go back to buying dairy in the grocery store!
 
Sending you a big hug Alea and thanks for letting me share some time with your wonderful readers! You can visit me anytime you like at A Moderate Life. All the best! Alex

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.



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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.

Comments

  1. Annie Jones says:

    Great post! Do you know if there is a resource for finding a milk club state by state?

  2. Have you read about a2 milk? a2 milk is digested in a different way than a1 milk. a2 is more easily digeted. Certain breeds are more likely to produce a2, but since comercial milk is homogenized it a2 and a1 is mixed together causing a reaction in many people.

  3. a moderate life says:

    Hi Alea my love, I do hope you are doing well and taking some time to center with your family. Thank you so much for posting my article. I do hope that it helped you out and also helps some folks interested in doing the dairy. To answer annie's question, simply go to the weston price website or google the campaign for real milk and you will find state by state listings. All the best! Alex

  4. Porch Days says:

    Our small independent grocery store sells raw bottled milk. I'm really wanting to try it. It looks creamy and actually has cream rising to the top. And it is local. Interesting to hear how you are enjoying all the products from the farm.
    Nancy

  5. I made the switch to organic dairy due to allergies. As a child, I used to break out in body hives from dairy milk – I could only have soy. I outgrew that within a few years but have horrible upper respiratory allergic reactions (major nasal and chest congestion) to commercial dairy still. The organic has helped me so much and this article makes me want to check out raw milk! Maybe it will eliminate my dairy allergy all together. :) Thanks for sharing!
    Also, to Alea – I'm wishing you and your family many blessings at this difficult time.

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