From time to time, we have colostrum available. If you would like to be notified when it is available, please let me know.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum is the first milk from a cow after calving, (or any mammal really) Its thick and often a deep yellow or light orange. It's very nutrient and fat dense with many immune-boosting properties. It is good to consume to help boost your immunity and recover from illness, heal your gut, etc.
We don't always offer colostrum for sale, because it tends to be high in somatic cells, sometimes bloody, lumpy, etc. When we have good colostrum, we do sell it as people have asked for it.
Where can I learn more?
Natural News: Colostrum Benefits
Weston A Price: Cooking with Colostrum
What does the calf get if you are getting colostrum? Cows tend to over-produce milk, so often the calf is getting it too. Calves are pretty tiny when they are born and too much colostrum can cause issues too. In some instance, we may have lost the calf. Colostrum usually comes over the first 2-4 days after birth.
How do we use colostrum? We don't use it all the time, but during flu season, you'll often find us tipping a few tablespoons into our smoothies or substituting it for milk in our recipes. We also freeze it and save it for later use. We even save it for other animals or calves.
Why do you choose to drink raw milk?
Joel of Of the Hands shares an essay about why he drinks raw milk. My favorite part:
Every time I received Opal’s milk, I knew where it came from. I knew who it came from. I knew Opal lived a good life. I knew what I was paying for: care and affection, love, good work, good food, community, friendship, authenticity and an overriding ethic that touched everyone involved. I paid to know that the milk I drank was the healthiest and tastiest milk I would ever drink. I paid $10 a gallon to know that I was supporting a farm that made the world better, that I was supporting farmers who bettered their community, that I was supporting an entirely different model rooted in a love and respect that the industrial model of farming can’t even comprehend, much less engage. I paid $10 a gallon to live and eat well. I paid $10 a gallon for connection and for a weekly joy that arrived steadfast and unerringly. I have drunk store bought milk uncountable times in my life and never did I know the cow it came from, the people who produced it, or how it came to me. Correspondingly, I never felt a real joy drinking that milk. But almost every single time I drank some of Opal’s milk, I felt an honest-to-god joy, a satisfaction I cherished.
Read the rest of the essay here.
I came across a great article about using soured milk. You can read the article at the Healthy Home Economist Here. Here's a small excerpt about why we should be using milk that might not be as sweet to drink!.
"Sour raw milk is quite unlike pasteurized milk that has gone past its “use by” date. Pasteurized milk goes putrid and must be thrown out at that point, but raw milk is still a highly useful item in the kitchen.
The difference is that pasteurized milk is a dead food – there are no enzymes or probiotics present. So, when store milk goes bad, it becomes a huge food borne illness risk to consume it and it must be discarded.
Raw milk, on the other hand, is loaded with enzymes and probiotics. When raw milk starts to sour, it simply means that beneficial bacteria called probiotics have started to use up the lactose (milk sugar) which causes the milk to no longer taste as sweet.
Raw milk that tastes sour is still very much safe to drink and is even more beneficial to health as the higher level of probiotics have initiated the fermentation or clabbering of the milk."
For idea about using that c
On December 27, Rose had a new baby calf! She did really well and had him completely unassisted. Rose has been a good mom, and he has been nursing well.
We've named him Aero. Rose will start contributing to the milk production next week.
We leave our calves on mama as long as we can. As they get older the calf may only have access to mom and milk during certain time of the day so the calf doesn't overeat. Most cows will produce 4-5 time more milk than the calf can eat.
In our own little way, we’re doing our best to reduce our waste. We’d like to encourage you to do the same. HDPE is one of the safest plastic for repeated use in storing food. However, the small opening at the top of plastic bottles and the narrow handle, make the bottles difficult to clean and dry properly between uses. This requires us to use harmful chemicals to properly clean it for reuse, which we’ve decided not to do. We encourage you to reuse and recycle your container. Be sure to clean and dry them carefully.
Easy Ways to Use It
Funnel- Cut the milk jug in half and use the top part as a funnel.
Water Weights- If you need something to tie that tarp down during windy days, try filling a few milk jugs up with water. To keep the tarp from moving around tie each corner to the handle of your milk jug. Use it to hold down other large objects.
Workout Weights- Fill with water and use to workout. Experiment with different levels for different weights. A full gallon weights about 8.5 lbs.
Ice Pack- Fill one of your jugs and freeze it. Use it to keep your cooler cold.
Scoop or Shovel- Cut the bottom off and shape it into a scoop with a handle. Use it to scoop out dog food or even for the kids to use in their sand box.
Toilet Bowl Brush/Plunger Holder- Cut a hole across from the handle that’s big enough for the toilet bowl cleaner or plunger to fit through.
Dustpan- With the lid still on, turn the milk jug container upside down and cut the top off at an angle. This is a great alternative to traditional dustpans.
In the Freezer- A full freezer is an efficient freezer. Wash out and fill your milk jugs with water and store in your freezer. When a freezer is full it takes less energy to keep it cold. Water expands though so leave a little room at the top of your jug when filling or the container will crack.
Water Saver- If you want to save a bit of water in the toilet, fill up an empty ½ gallon milk jug with sand and place it in the tank on the back of the toilet. The jug will take up extra space by displacing water and keep the toilet from using too much each time you flush
In The Kitchen
Thaw Meat- Cut the top off your milk jug and use the plastic bottom to thaw your meat in. No more leaky juices and you can wash and reuse it numerous times.
Store Grains- Fill with your bulk grains. Wash out and let dry really well and then store rice, beans, or cornmeal in them. They are easy to pour out and measure too.
Meat Separator- It’s never good to see your hamburger patties sticking together once they’ve been in the freezer. To prevent this from happening you can cut the milk container into small circles or squares and place them between the patties.
Plastic Bag Dispenser- Cut a small hole across from the handle and then put in your plastic bags. You can take the bags out one by one from the hole whenever you need one.
Use it Outside
Luminary- Cut the top off right where it starts to widen, put some gravel in the bottom and set a tea light in it for a beautiful glowing luminary for outdoor parties.
Irrigate your garden
Pot Tray- Instead of buying a potted plant base or saucer you can just cut off the bottom of the milk jug and place the pot inside.
Plant Waterer- Poke holes in the lid, fill with water and water potted plants.
Plant Marker: Using a marker and a ruler, trace out several long strips along each side of the milk jug. Make one end wide enough to write on and the other sharp enough to stick in the ground. Use scissors to cut out each plant marker and then use your new creations to label each new section of your garden.
Planting Guide- Using strips, make holes spaced seed distance apart. Lay on the ground and plant seeds in hole. This is great for spacing small seeds like carrots, lettuce or beets.
Plant Starter- Cut the top off and fill with dirt. Use as a plant starter.
Harvesting- Cut a hole opposite the handle, string the handle on a belt and have a hands-free harvesting bucket. Great for Strawberries and Raspberries!
Vertical Gardening or A Greenhouse space-saver.
Ideas for Storage
Storage- Cut a hand size hole in the top of the jug opposite the handle and use it to store dog biscuits, golf balls or clothes pins.
Lego Storage- Empty milk jugs are a great way to store small Lego pieces or other smaller toy.
Toy Storage- Cut the tops off, leaving handles. String on PVC or curtain rod and mount at arm’s reach for easy toy storage and sorting.
Drawer Organizer- Cut the tops off the container about 3 inches from the base and se to organize the junk drawer- store rubber bands, paper clips, scissors, etc in individual containers.
Pencil Pot- Cut the milk jug just under the handle and use to store pens and pencils upright.
Organize Your Garage- Try cutting off the tops of several milk jugs and using them to store those small garden tools, nuts and bolts, and other similar items. They line up nicely on a shelf and can easily be labeled with a permanent marker.
Car Organizer- If you've got kids (or just a lot of stuff in your car) try cutting off the tops of a few jugs and using them to hold toys, rags, motor oil, gloves, or anything else you find rolling around on the floorboards while driving around town.
Chain Storage: Try storing your dirty snow chains in a few milk jugs. Simply cut off the top half of the milk jug and place the chains all in one place.
Yarn Dispenser- Cut the top of the milk container off just enough so a ball of yarn and your hand can fit into the hole. Once the ball of yarn is in take the end of the yarn and bring it through the handle of the milk jug. This is a great way to keep the yarn from getting tangled together!
Piggy Bank- With the lid on the top of the milk jug, cut a small slit opposite of the handle and drop in your change. You can even use markers, paint or stickers to decorate your piggy bank.
Make a Purse or Book Cover
Halloween Ghost- Draw faces on the smooth side. Cut holes in the back and ill with Christmas lights for a Halloween.
Make a Lava Lamp
Make an Igloo –You’ll need a lot!
Make an Eye Mask
I'm sure there are many more ways to keep these milk jugs out of landfills. What else do you use them for?
Eating this year's spent peas.
First, we raise our animals out on pasture. We want this to be the primary feed for animals when it's available. The fresh grasses, seeds and insects are far more natural than anything we can feed. However, our pastures aren't perfect and our animals require additional feeds, especially in the winter months. So, we feed our animals a variety of things!
Greens. We love to feed them fresh greens! We grow spinach, lettuce mix, and cabbages year-round just for them. We also give them any "garden waste," like peas and bean after they are done fruiting, carrot tops, herbs that have bolted, etc. They even enjoy kosha, pigs nose, and red root; things we think are weeds but actually have nutritional value for our animals! They also get a variety of hay grass; alfalfa, timothy or oat hay.
Sprouts. We sprout many grains for animals. This is especially important in the winter months when there is less grass to forage. Many times sprouted seeds contain more proteins and healthy vitamins than their seed partners. Instead of eating wheat, they have wheat grass. We also sprout alfalfa, peas, radishes, barley and other plants.
Produce. Our pigs love fresh produce too. They love beets turnips, carrots, and other underground producers. The chickens and pigs really like zucchinis, pumpkins, and squashes too! We feed them lots of other "produce waste," like watermelon rinds, strawberry tops, celery ends, etc.
Grain Base. We also supplement their feed with a grain base layer. This is locally grown and milled. We often buy ingredients separately and mix it ourselves. This also means it usually doesn't contain soy. We prefer to grow our own grains and hope to be able to grow more, if not all, of our ration. Whenever possible, we choose local sustainable feed (and often times organic). Their feed mix also contains trace minerals to help keep our animals healthy. One thing to remember is, that unlike cows, pigs and chickens are not grazers and naturally would eat grains and seeds. This makes it important to provide grains as a portion of their diet.
Other Treats. We occasionally provide other "treats," if you will, to the animals. Chickens love mealworms, especially in the winter when there is not many insect around. We also supplement oystershells for extra calcium to help with egg laying. New mama pigs might get cows milk to help with calcium loss from birthing.
We are also looking for the best options in nutrition for our animals. We try to go back to the basics and find plants and grains that are similar to what they would eat naturally. We try to offer a variety of healthy feeds, and may change from time to time, but you can count on us to be sustainable, natural and local.