Do You Know Where Your Milk Comes From?


The other weekend, I took Penelope to visit Kurtz Dairy Farm in Live Oak, Florida.  As part of New Leaf Market’s Annual Farm Tour.

I have been buying Kurtz raw milk for years, so I was thrilled to finally be able to go and see everything myself.

Kurt’s Dairy has been in business over 20 years and they farm the right way.  The cows are pastured and very well treated.

He has Jersey cows.  He used to have Holstein cows (bred to be huge and big milk producers) when he farmed in a more industrialized way.  Now with his Jersey cows, they hardly ever get sick, have miscarriages or still births and just over all are more healthy and fertile.

Penelope really enjoyed seeing all the cows up close and personal!

I went with a friend of mine, and we were all taken on a hay ride to visit all the different pastures and groups of cows.  He keeps a couple of separate groups, ones that are ready to breed and ones that are too young or are nursing young.

This Mama was pre.gn.ant!

And this Mama was about to give birth!  He said you can tell by looking at her utters. They get very swollen with milk right before birth, and they lose their mucus plug right before labor begins as well.

Since I am such a birth junkie (I am a retired Doula and Birthing From Within Mentor), I thought all of this was super fascinating.  He said they all eat their placentas after birth (just like me!).  And that he lets the calf nurse for 3 months before weaning her and then bottle feeding her.  I wish he would let them nurse longer, some local farms will let them nurse for 6 months or longer.  But 3 months is a huge improvement from industrialized dairy farms where they take the newborn away directly after birth and never the two shall meet again.

This is the pump room.   He said likes to keep them as relaxed as possible and doesn’t let anyone in to watch or talk while they are pumping, to let them pump in peace.  They get more milk when the cows are relaxed.  Which cracked me up because I remember trying to figure out a way to pump that was the most relaxing, so I could max out my supply.

The pump.  I wonder if the cows hate pumping as much as I did at first?  Or if like me, they just got used to it and it became a normal and enjoyable part of life?  They all seemed pretty happy to me!

Have you met the cows and farmer who work hard to give you milk? Do you even know where your milk comes from?
Have you ever heard of anyone drinking raw milk?




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Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. We love Raw milk. Unfortunately it's so expensive here. Almost $10 a gallon. The taste is uncomparable though. A friend gave me a gallon of hers because she was moving. Halfway through milk & cookies we ran out of that milk and poured a glass of stoneyfield farms organic. I normally love that milk, but it was such a shock to the tastebuds at the time. Wish it was more readily available. It is absurd that some states (ie California and North Carolina) consider it illegal to consume raw milk. What's it to them anyway. Argh. I hate big government.
    Thanks for your post.

  2. Wow this post was very informative! I have never seen where my milk comes from to be honest other than the shelf at the grocery store. I really never heard of raw milk. This is very eye opening!

  3. Cassandra says:

    Krista, $10 a gallon is average, not only in the U.S. and Canada, but also in Europe. It's actually a pretty universal price.

  4. The Annessa Family says:

    That sounds wonderful! How amazing?

    Brooke
    http://www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

  5. Stephanie says:

    @Krista… Glad to hear you love raw milk! I think it tastes so much better too. I actually pay more for a gallon, if I buy straight from Kurtz it is $5 for a half gallon, but if I buy from New Leaf Market it is over $6, because they jack it up to make their money. Which I understand and I am very grateful to be able to walk into a grocery store and buy raw milk and not have to coordinate pick/drop off directly at a farm or via a distributor, like I do for my chicken/eggs/beef.
    @Krissy…that makes my day! Telling people about Real Food, Weston A Price Foundation and raw milk is a passion of mine. Check out the WAP website when you get a chance.

  6. Anonymous says:

    we have met our farmer who sells us raw milk. very informal & all the animals are well takin care of. he is also kind enough to sell beef, pork, & fresh fr eggs. i'm astonished at the $ you have described, we only pay $3.50 a gal & $2 for a doz of eggs. make me feel fortunate that we are able to feed our kids the way i was raised & at a fraction of the average cost.

  7. The Peterson Family says:

    We live in MN and raw milk prices are about $5-$7 a gallon. We used to farm and had 2 milk cows that supplied 9 families with raw milk, plus some extras for the pigs:) We had to leave the farm, but will be back one day. Not having fresh raw milk daily has been horrible- so I bought some goats and will soon be getting fresh milk again. In Minnesota the consumer has to come to the farm and pick up milk, I like it this way. I loved that everyone that bought from us knew the cows and saw them out on pasture. How wonderful that you have now seen where your milk comes from.

    Jennifer
    http://www.duskwindfarm.com

  8. I love your daughters dress- Where did you get it from?

  9. I'm loving your blog! I just discovered it. It's illegal for farmers to sell raw milk here (they face HUGE fines if caught). Fortunately, my husband's family are dairy farmers and we drink raw milk/products there. Unfortunately, they live seven hours away and we can't really transport milk back home with us very easily.

  10. The Brocketts says:

    Oh, YAY! So glad I found this blog. I drive a long way to buy raw milk from the farm (like the previous poster, here in Oklahoma it is illegal to sell raw milk unless from a private farm). I wish that would change! Any tricks to freezing? Our's tastes a little off when we defrost.

  11. Stephanie says:

    @The Brocketts…I do not have any tips on freezing milk, so sorry! We are lucky enough to buy just what we need and don't ever have to freeze it. But if you find something interesting, please let me know!

  12. Here in WI a farmer is on trial for selling raw milk. Here is a link to the local news that has pretty good coverage on it. It is turning into a pretty big deal for the dairy industry with people showing up from all over the country to support him. Here a a link to a local news station that is covering it. http://www.wkow.com/story/22295919/2013/05/20/wi-farmer-accused-of-selling-raw-milk-in-court

    • Ugh, I am so tired of seeing farmers getting in trouble for doing society a favor. Many blessings and prayers to that farmer. Hopefully people will wake up soon and not tolerate this from the FDA and USDA.

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