Where did summer go? It was just yesterday I was planting my garden, in the dark, with a headlamp. Why you ask? Well because that’s the best time to plant when you’re a mom of four, who is also running a farm store, churning gallons of cream into butter a week and homeschooling your littles! It was by the grace of God that our garden sprung forth and has been producing abundance because it certainly lacked a lot of TLC from me this year. Things have been busy!
When Kelby and I set out on this dream of going completely RAW with our milk sales we had no idea what would become of it. Leaving the traditional milk market was the biggest leap of faith we have taken (besides the day we said our wedding vows). We are only a few months in to this cliff jumping experiment and we are still milking 40+/- cows and selling all of the milk direct to the consumer!
If you are new here the cliff notes are as follows. Our farm has had a raw milk permit for around 20 years, we’ve always sold some raw milk and beef to a few families in a small farm store. The rest of our milk would go down the road to be pasteurized and processed. Our family is kindof obsessed with raw milk, we’ve seen first hand its healing effects! So when the milk prices continued to drop and the business we were selling to refused to pay a fair price for our milk, we decided to dive head first into what we believe in and become a 100% Raw Milk Farm. The last milk truck came April 29, 2023 (which also happened to be our 12 year anniversary of our first date *swoon*)
At that time we had around 60 CSA members, we are now up to a mind blowing 190! This was unexpected and drastic growth in just 4 months time. In some areas we are still playing catch up, working out new systems of efficacy and redirecting our work force. We love hearing feedback from all of you on how we can better serve you as your local farm, that is so helpful!
Since leaving the milk market we have found a new level of freedom. We love to talk about Raw Milk, and we’ve begun to educate many on our social media platforms. Farmer Jerry our “semi-retired” farm founder has studied raw milk and the science for years, he is a walking encyclopedia. Lately he and I have been discovering old dairy books and reading about the common practices of dairy farms before there were pasteurization laws and when most folks got their milk, cream and butter right from the farm. It has been so inspiring!
Its no secret that we are old fashioned around here and with September rolling in we are gearing up for a second year of our School of Traditional Skills. We will be announcing our class lists within the next week so follow us on social media or join our email list. A few of the topics we will cover include: cheesemaking, traditional dairy skills, discussions of our food system, foraging, canning, fermenting, breadmaking and more!
On a personal note, last week I wrote about our sweet baby girl Saleh who had fallen ill to whooping cough. We were taken by complete surprise and when holistic and western medicine couldn’t heal her we turned to God. I wrote that article as a warning to all families so that they might not be caught off guard like we were. I took a leap of faith and shared our hearts on where our hope is found. Would you believe the night after I published that message Selah was finally able to rest, the coughing fits began to subside and she is so much better. We give God the glory and are so thankful for her health! A big thanks to everyone that reached out and kept our family in your prayers during that difficult time.
The best thing that has come out of our “leap of faith” has been YOU, our community! My heart has grown so big, I never thought I had the capacity to love so many people but as each new customer comes, and CSA member joins I am so blessed. You all are amazing, we are learning so many cool things as each of you has something incredible and unique to offer our local farm community. We are working on better ways to connect each of you with one another, starting with a farm to table dinner this fall! What fun I cant even wait to start planning the menu.
I want to end this weeks note with a humble thanks. We had no idea what was in store for our farm in April. We are so amazed at the overwhelming support we have felt through this whole process. You are making a difference! Thank You.