Monday, May 7, 2012

Up Close and Personal

We are working hard to teach our kids where our food comes from. One of the ways we are doing this is not only through growing what food we can but also through supporting local farms and even developing relationships with these farmers. I want my kids to see the process behind "Real Food," identify the crops, know the names of the animals that are producing milk, eggs, etc. I want them to have a holistic view of nature and how it relates to man through food.
When we moved to this area, I was so happy to learn that South Carolina is one of only six states where it is entirely legal to purchase raw milk directly from a local farm with no strings attached. We bought raw milk in Virginia, but we had to buy a membership to a farm in Pennsylvania, and we could get milk only every other week, had to pick it up only between certain hours, etc. It was also much more expensive. But it was a good product, so we did what we had to do. I am so glad to say, however, that we now live much closer to a wonderful little dairy farm that we can support any day of the week!
Our local farmer has been in business for many years and has always raised his own cows. Every one he has on the farm he has raised from a newborn calf, the offspring of another one of his cows. He calls them each by name, and when they see him walk out of the house toward the milking station, they excitedly work their way towards him. One can see how much he cares for his animals.
I've spent enough time there lately that I'm getting to know the cows' names, too. And every time I visit, the desire I have to buy my own dairy cow grows a little stronger. They are just the sweetest animals. And how wonderful it would be to have our own fresh milk whenever we want it!
Our farmer's cows have started their calving season, so last week I packed up the kids to visit a couple of calves and a couple of heiffers that seemed pretty happy to have some visitors. The kids were delighted, too!

This poor girl had her calf about a week before this picture was taken--she's giving six gallons a day!

If you're not familiar with the safety and benefits of drinking and using raw milk (the way it's meant to be consumed), I'd encourage you to check out 

1 comment:

  1. That last cow looks very uncomfortable! The babies are so cute though! :)