So, Talitha of Edgwick Farms tells me that they stop milking the goat’s in the end of October to allow them to “dry off” before they start “kidding”, which in farmer-speak means let the goats have children and leave them alone while they nurse them after birth. I guess this is the exact opposite of what happens on a regular CAFO (Consolidated Animal Feeding Operation) where once a farm animal is born it is immediately separated form its mother, denying it its mothers milk and placed into confinement so that its muscles do not grow and the meat is extra soft, which is sold at a premium price and is known as “veal”. Of course, veal are raised in horrible situations, but if you think about it, all animals raised in CAFO’s are raised in a horrible environment that is a step away from veal, whereas a veal lives in a 2×2 cell, the rest of the animals live in a 4×4 cell… so if you don’t eat veal because it is “cruel”, well, then you should consider not eating any factory-farmed meat because that is also “cruel”.
So this morning I made my last trip until January 2013 to Edgwick farm with my father, who used to work in area power plants while a Mechanical Engineer for General Electric. It brought back memories for him and I finally got to show him where I get my milk from and what a real farm looks like. Of course, being born and raised on the Greek Island of Crete, he already knew what a real farm looks like, but I just thought it would be a good refresher for him to see a real american farm.
Now, the question is, what do I do with the 3 gallons of Goat’s milk that I have in my refrigerator knowing that the next time I will get some will be in late January? Well, I guess that is what makes something special, knowing that you only get it for a limited amount of time, and not to have it available every single day. I have some rennet which I purchased from the New England Cheese Making Company (www.cheesemaking.com) along with some cultures for creating Chevre. Now I know that cheese making is an art, and the most important part of that art is using quality ingredients. So right away I have a huge edge against every single professional cheesemaker out there… and I have non-GMO rennet which is made by the New England Cheese Making Company itself, so that is yet another huge edge against every single professional cheese company out there. So I guess I will try making some Chevre with a half a gallon, and I might as well try making the Greek cheese called “mizithra” with another half gallon. Then I can use another half gallon for yogurt and retain the rest for drinking.
Now, for the past couple of days I have had a sour stomach, this sour stomach was brought on from a series of unfortunate meals. On Tuesday I had some candy bars along with a gin martini and some beer. On Wednesday they served us factory-farmed cheese burgers and gmo-potato french fries during a “celebratory” lunch at work. On thursday I met a friend for lunch at a diner where I had a bison burger with fries… and finally, on Friday my new manager took my team out for lunch to some Japanese place for some “menchanko”. So… the balance between good and bad bacteria in my intestines have been disrupted by all of the antibiotics that the meat I ate was laced with, and the result is a bit of pain in my gut and some acid-reflux. Now, here is the magical part. I know that acid reflux is caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines and stomach, and I knew that once I would drink some raw goat’s milk everything would be okay.
On the day that I got my milk I came home really tired and was faced with the option of (a) go directly to sleep, or (b) drink a glass of raw goat’s milk and then go to sleep. I chose option a, and after about 45 minutes of not being able to sleep, I went for option b and slowly but surely, my acid reflux and any gut pains went away… I hope that one little glass has provided me with enough good bacteria to last until January 2013!
If you are still a skeptic, I will say this, you must try raw milk sometime! Head over to www.realmilk.com and see if there is any farm near you.
p.s. I hear that they milk cows throughout the winter, so my next stop is the Stap Family Dairy Farm in Pine Bush, New York, which is another farm that has a permit to sell Raw milk in the State of New York. It will take me an extra 30 minutes to get there and I am sure it will be worth the drive. Until then you can find Edgwick Farm at the New Amsterdam Green Market in Lower Manhattan. Might I say, try their Cheddar Cheese!