See also How to Make Raw Butter, Raw Honey Butter, and an antique Butter Mold.
Locally Raised Raw Milk
I’ve made some new farmer friends recently. They keep Jersey cows for milk and I’m so excited to be able to purchase unprocessed milk from them. I brought home 2 gallons of rich, creamy milk yesterday.
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What is Raw Milk?
For those of you wondering about the difference between raw milk and the milk you buy at the store…raw milk is not pasteurized or homogenized. Milk at the store has gone through a heat pasteurization treatment to kill bacteria, and homogenization to reduce the size of fat globules in the milk so that they remain in suspension, rather than separating into skim milk and cream.
My reason for purchasing raw milk is to avoid the homogenization. I still pasteurize the milk at home. Some people choose to drink milk raw for beneficial bacteria…If you do, please read up on the pros and cons and make sure that you purchase from farmers who use good sanitation methods.
As a kid I used to take a clean pail out to the barn to milk one or two of our beef cattle. They didn’t give as much milk as dairy cows, and there was less cream in it, but the milk was delicious and I enjoyed helping provide for my family. Even as a kid I was interested in self sufficiency!
Now, with only one acre of land, it would be difficult for us to keep a dairy cow. All of the feed would need to be purchased to keep a cow. I tried my hand at dairy goats and found that I’m not a huge fan. So I am very glad to have a new source for unprocessed milk. I have already made a small batch of butter in the blender and I am planning to start a batch of yogurt today.
We reuse our own half gallon glass jars, washing them thoroughly before going back for another supply of milk from the farmers. This reduces the amount of plastic our family purchases, and eliminates the possibility of BPA leaching into our milk.
Unfortunately, in many states, the sale of raw milk is illegal. In our area we are fortunate that we are able to buy raw milk, so far. Check the laws in your area, or keep you own dairy animals if you can!
Do you have a dairy animal? Do you purchase raw milk? I like to hear from people about their homesteading experiences!
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