Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oake Knoll Ayrshires: raw milk

Last Tuesday, I went to the Oake Knoll Ayrshires at Lawton's Family Farm in Foxboro, MA, to get some raw milk. They have 10 or so cows, mostly (all?) Ayrshires. This farm seems to be the source of raw milk nearest to where I live in Cambridge, MA (USA). The drive took me 40 minutes, without traffic. There is no train station nearby. They sell raw milk and raw milk products by appointment. The first time you go in, they "orient" you, showing you around, and making sure that you understand the differences between raw milk and pasteurized milk. When I was there, they had the following products on offer:
  • Raw milk ($5 for a half-gallon).
  • Raw milk cheddar, havarti, and gouda (aged over 60 days, as required by law).
  • Eggs from henhouse hens ($4/dozen). These hens are able to run around and eat bugs and all the things that hens like to do—but they stay in the henhouse, where they have the 14+ hours of light they need for laying. During the summer, there are also eggs from outdoors hens. The outdoors eggs cost a little more.
  • Honey, maple syrup, and maple sugar candies.
  • Natural soaps and lip balm.
  • Ground beef and stewing beef ($6/lb).
They also have some barn cats that can climb up walls like squirrels. Pretty cool. For a friend, I bought one half-gallon of milk. For myself, I bought one half-gallon of milk, some extra-sharp raw milk cheddar, and a dozen eggs. The cheddar is great. I drank about half of my milk. Raw milk tastes okay to me, as opposed to pasteurized milk, which, from what I remember, tastes bad to me. Next time I will try a side-by-side comparison. The farm sells their milk in plastic containers. They said that in order to sell in glass containers, they would have to have sterilization equipment etc., and that this not economically practical, given their small size. I turned the rest of my milk into yogurt. I heated the milk up to 110 degrees, stirred in a few tablespoons of Seven Stars biodynamic yogurt as a starter, put it in two sterilized pint jars, and left them on a warming tray for half a day or so. The yogurt turned out very rich and creamy, mild, and a little more liquid than store-bought yogurt. It thickened up a bit once I put it in the refrigerator. It is delicious.


Unknown said...

Where can I get RAW MILK in Mexico! I need some non-processed food! Except the Quesillo, everything feels like it has tons of preservatives and sugar in it! Ayudame Amigo!

Alex Lewin said...

Mi Amigo,

No se exactamente; pero I looked around a little bit on the Internet, and it seems like raw milk is available, at least at farms on the outskirts of the cities.

I think your best bet is to find a farm near Oaxaca that sells raw milk, drive out there, and if it looks like a trustworthy operation, get some milk!

Unknown said...

GUESS WHAT!!! I FOUND MY RAW MILK AND OTHER DAIRY PRODUCTS IN OAXACA. I went to Tierra del Sol (the awesome sustainable permaculture farm that we visited on the learning journey) and they have a cow named Simona. And Simona is where you can get such a thing right here in Mexico! I even milked her myself and made Manchego cheese on Thursday. Oh yeah, it was awesome, and so was the milk. Besos, Aerin

Alex Lewin said...

Straight from the cow. That's awesome. Food doesn't get much more real than that.