A happy Vancouver area cow-share member getting milk from Bert Jongerden at one of several Vancouver-area drop off points for "Home on the Range". Gordon Watson photo.
Here’s some advice Gordon Watson recently gave to some folks who are considering establishing a cow-share dairy operation in the Calgary area. Gordon Watson is associated with Alice Jongerden’s Home on the Range farm near Chilliwack B.C., just a little east of Vancouver, which may well be Canada’s largest raw milk cow-share operation.
“Here is a thumbnail sketch of what we’ve learned in a year and a half:
A cow on a mainly grass-fed diet will produce an average of three gallons of milk per day. One gallon is four quarts. A quart is 32 fluid ounces. A liter is 39.36 fluid ounces. Forget the metric system and use American measures. The same people who are tuned-in to real food are intuitively opposed to globalization, which was what the metric system was created for; choose you this day whom you will serve
On the premise that a household will use a gallon of milk a week, then one cow will supply 21 households. So it takes a group of about 21 shareholders to underwrite one cow in production. Remember ; that cow will be dry for two months a year. Two cows in milk will pay the overhead and provide half a day’s wage for someone who will do the stoop labour. Six cows in milk is a full time job at industrial wages. By the time you have 20 cows in milk, you should be making enough to be able to pay for a piece of property. That model is best suited to two families who will share the work Continue reading
We need to stand up to "big dairy" by getting our milk straight from the cow.
Here’s the latest from David E. Gumpert’s The Complete Patient blog, based on David’s “state of raw milk” address to the recent Wise Traditions conference in San Francisco. Here’s an excerpt:
“….However, it is clear that the education will only work if consumers are walking the walk. As the double whammies of the federal court case against Mark McAfee and the New York court decision against Meadowsweet Dairy make clear, we are dealing with people who are desperate–perhaps more desperate as time goes on and they see public attitudes shift–to carry out the agendas of Big Ag and Big Pharma, and will stop at nothing to accomplish their agendas, including:
- Dishonesty, when they say that all raw milk contains pathogens, and they know it doesn’t;
- Misrepresentation, when they say people have been dying from drinking raw milk, when they know the only deaths came from imported bathtub cheeses made from raw milk, which serious raw milk producers disavow;
- Interfering in private transactions between consenting adults when they argue, and a judge agrees, that groups of individuals can’t buy whole food directly from farmers;
- Engaging in censorship by ordering small sellers of nutritional products not to post links to web sites that provide information on the benefits of real food.
Lucky, the raw milk cow. Photo from Paskamansett Farms.
Here’s a sweet little locavorian paen to raw milk from Elspeth Pierson of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She gets her raw milk from Paskamansett Farms, which is also the source of the picture which accompanies this story, a picture of “Lucky” the cow. Visit the farm’s website to read the story of how “Lucky” got her name. Here’s a bit of what Elspeth says on her “Diary of a Locavore” blog:
“As you may know, I’m part of a milk coop that buys raw milk straight from Paskamansett Farms in Dartmouth. I’ve gotten a pig there, and several chickens, and even a turkey this Thanksgiving, but mostly, it’s about the milk.
It isn’t legal to sell raw milk at stores in Massachusetts. The laws vary state by state, some allowing cow sharing, others sales at farmers markets, and still others full delivery. Continue reading