Monthly Archives: January 2010

Small Vermont raw dairy farmer writes

Excerpt from a letter to Wendell Berry from Lindsay Harris:

“Dear Mr. Berry,

Farmer Lindsay Harris pours raw milk.

I had trouble sleeping tonight. It could be on account of the big moon outside or that my mind keeps coming back to Mr. Dean Pierson. He was a dairy farmer in Copake, NY. A few days ago he shot all 51 of his milkers then took his own life right there with them in the barn. Corporate control of our food system is literally breaking the backs of farmers. Maybe he had deep emotional troubles. But I wonder if things might have turned out differently for Mr. Pierson if he had been getting a fair price for his milk. Here in the northeast, farmers have been getting paid around a $1 per gallon for their milk for a while now. The price of equipment and cows is way down on account of everyone getting out at the same time. The situation is bleak.

My name is Lindsay Harris. Since I was a very little girl, I knew I wanted to farm with animals. I got my chance just over 3 years ago. Now I own a tiny dairy farm in Northern Vermont. I milk six Jersey and Guernsey cows. I hope to be milking 12 or so by next year. All the milk is sold un pasteurized, directly to my neighbors.  I also raise beef, pork, eggs and big garden. I also teach classes on how to make cheese, butter, yogurt etc. Continue reading

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Butter and Ghee and Cheese, oh my! — dairy demystified or “cultural learnings”

Thanks to Gordon Watson for sending this in to The Bovine. It’s from the Vancouver Observer:

Butter and Ghee and Cheese, oh my! Picture from Vancouver Observer

In the beginning, Tomas Hicks, founder of the Urban Ashram, was simply moved by the urge to understand the process of how things are made. He picked up a book, Wild Fermentation, experimented with making yogurt, moved on to Ghee, and from there began creating his own cheese. Once a month, the kitchen of the Urban Ashram and his home is turned into a dairy processing area in order to initiate newbies to the process. Continue reading

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Ontario raw dairyman Michael Schmidt to attend B.C. court Monday in support of Home on the Range cowsharers

Controversial raw milk pioneer Michael Schmidt said yesterday that he would be traveling to Vancouver this weekend in time to be in court Monday morning with Alice Jongerden and Gordon Watson of Home on the Range cowshare dairy in Chilliwack B.C. Below is a link to TV footage that connects the Chilliwack case with Michael Schmidt’s victory last week in Newmarket court. Video is from CTV BC.

Click on image to go to page where video can be viewed.

As background for Monday’s court proceeding’s, here’s are excerpts from an earlier CTV story on the raw milk issue, from January 11th, by Darcy Wintonyk:

“Raw dairy enthusiasts are challenging lab results by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), saying samples of unpasteurized milk deemed dangerous by the agency does not prove the product is unfit for consumption. Continue reading

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Farmer Mark Zinniker to be part of Wisconsin raw milk working group

Mark Zinniker is a well-known raw milk producer whose farm was in the news a few months ago over regulatory issues. Here’s an excerpt from the story in “Agri-View — the number one ag newspaper in Wisconsin“:

Apprenticing at the Zinniker raw milk dairy farm in Wisconsin. Photo from CSALearningCentre.org

“A raw milk working group will consider the legal and regulatory perspectives of the sale of unpasteurized milk directly to consumers. It will also consider what conditions would be required to protect public health. “In recent months, raw milk sales have been an increasingly contentious issue in Wisconsin and other states,” says Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen. “There is a clear demand among some consumers and a clear desire on the part of some producers to open this market.

But we also have a clear duty in the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection to protect public health, and the reputation of our vital dairy industry. My goal in appointing this group is to recognize the many and varied interests within the milk production, manufacturing, and distribution system.” Continue reading

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Alfresco dining — at a moveable feast

A beautiful story and picture from Gillian Telling and Andrea Wyner at Hemispheres. Here’s an excerpt from “A Movable Feast”:

Lovely photo by Andrea Wyner, from Hemispheres.

“….Ten years ago, as the executive chef at Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz, Denevan was using only locally harvested organic produce long before it became de rigueur. He’d regularly shop for the day’s ingredients at the farmers market, where he chatted up the farmers about their jobs and how they cultivated their crops. Denevan was familiar with farm life; his brother, a hippie 15 years his senior, owns an organic apple farm in nearby Santa Cruz, where Denevan worked during the summers as a teenager. (Bill Denevan was one of the country’s first officially certified organic farmers.) Continue reading

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Phantom of the raw milk house opera

This video of a song performed by Lyndon and Sylvia at the rally last week was posted yesterday along with the other videos from the verdict. However, the song and the performance are so good that I wanted to hightlight it again, just to be sure everyone saw and heard it. The kids were accompanied by their father, Paul. The raw milk lyrics to the song were written by their mother, Shirley-Ann Wood. Video by Marianne Else:

Continue reading

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Got Milk? Keep it Raw

So says this writer of a recent letter to the editor in the Surrey Leader. See excerpt below. Surrey is a suburb of Vancouver, where local raw milk suppliers Alice Jongerden and Gordon Watson of Home on the Range cowshare will be in court Monday defending people’s right to choose.

"A letter writer argues that exposure to dirt and grime is helpful to children, for building immunity to asthma and allergies...." Photo via Surrey Leader

“The doomsayers who are utilizing Louis Pasteur’s theory for labelling our raw milk products a health hazard almost make me feel I am lucky to be alive, considering that was the only kind of milk available to me for the first 17 years of my life.

They conveniently forget that he is also the founder of the science of immunology, and ignoring the fact that pasteurizing is the simplest part of the legacy he left us. Just heat the stuff to a certain temperature, and hope that the good bacteria will still be alive. Continue reading

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