What is raw milk? Raw milk is just that. Raw. It's never cooked, heated or treated to remove any of its natural goodness. It is not pasteurized or homogenized. It's milk straight from the cow (or goat), and filtered into a jug.
What is A2A2 milk? A2A2 milk comes from cows that have two copies of the A2 gene for beta casein. A2A2 milk does not carry the BCM7 peptide, which is thought to have pro-inflammatory properties and could lead to a wide variety of chronic diseases. More study is necessary to confirm this, but many people report being able to more easily digest A2A2 milk over the A1A1 counterpart that is widely available in supermarkets today.
Of the three cows we milk currently, two are A2A2 and one is A1A2. When we get enough A2A2 milk to make it worth the trouble of cleaning two milkers and separating the milk, we will do so. At this time, the A2 cows aren't making enough for it to be worth our time.
We are working towards an A2A2 herd. We had two heifers born last spring that are A2A2, and we will breed them later this summer for late spring 2023 calves. At that time, we will have 5 cows (potentially) in milk, with 4 of the 5 being A2A2. If we are unable to get our A1A2 cow bred this spring, she will be retired from the milking herd as this will be the second year we have been unable to get her bred.
What does "RAWMI Certified" mean? RAWMI Certified mean that we have been officially certified by the Raw Milk Institute in California. There are currently 25 raw dairy farms in the world, 3 of which are in North Carolina, that have gone through the training and certification process to be RAWMI Certified. RAWMI Certified means that our milk is tested monthly for coliform bacteria (total coliform and E. coli) as well as total bacteria count. RAWMI standards allow for no more than 10 colony forming units (CFU) of coliform per mL of raw milk (E. coli must be 0) and no more than 5000 CFU for Standard Plate Count (total bacteria).
Carrying this certification means that you can trust our milk is safe. We test monthly (more if necessary) and provide our results to the Raw Milk Institute to be published on their website. We also have a page dedicated to providing our test results each month.
While there are no guarantees with raw milk, we feel that this certification sets us apart from other raw milk farms in North Carolina. We've made numerous investments, financial and otherwise, to obtain this certification so that our customers can enjoy our raw milk products with peace of mind.
RAWMI certified does not mean that there is a guarantee on the safety of our raw milk products. You must still do your own research to determine if raw milk is right for you and your family.
Why does the label say "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION"? It is not legal to sell raw milk for human consumption in North Carolina. However, it is legal to sell raw milk as a pet treat, given the product is registered with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (which ours is). Part of that registration process is having a label approved by the department that meets their criteria, which includes the phrase "Not for human consumption".
Raw milk can be legally obtained for human consumption from a farm where you own all or part of a cow / goat or herd. This is called herd-sharing. We do not currently offer herd shares, but may in the future. In the case of herd-shared, we would not have to include the label.
Is raw milk safe to drink? While we do not sell our raw milk for human consumption (it is not legal to do so in the state of North Carolina), what you do with it when you get home is up to you. Our milk is collected with the highest standards of safety and cleanliness in mind. Our family consumes and uses the milk we collect without pasteurizing it. Again, what you do with the milk when you get it home is up to you. Finally, we recommend that you do your own research to determine if raw milk is right for you and your family. You can find a ton of materials online regarding the risks and benefits of raw milk.
That label is scary. Is the milk safe to drink? We do not bottle any milk that we would not drink ourselves, or feed to our children. For additional information on the safety of raw milk, check out the next question below.
How do you collect the milk? We "machine milk" our goats and cows. We do not hand milk the goats or the cows when collecting milk for our family (or yours). We use a closed, vacuum operated, bucket milking system that contains an in-line filtration system. This system is completely sealed off from the elements of the barn, and provides the cleanest possible product. Once harvested, we bring the milk into our garage, where we run it through another filter into a 30 gallon tank to remove any debris that may have found its way into the milk.
How do you cool your milk? We now have a 30 gallon milk tank - a piece of equipment approved for raw milk. This tank cools 15 gallons of milk to below 40 degrees in 2 hours while also agitating the milk to keep the cream incorporated. This is a much better way to cool milk, and has proven to be a tremendous improvement to the operation. We pour milk off every 2-3 days into jugs, clean the tank and have it ready for the next 2-3 days worth of milk. How long will raw milk keep in the fridge? This one depends largely on how you handle it. Here is an excellent article on how to properly handle raw milk once you purchase it and pick it up from the farm. If properly handled, raw milk should last up to two weeks, possibly longer.
Can raw milk be frozen? Raw milk can be frozen and thawed with no impact to flavor. However once frozen, the cream in the cows milk will sometimes not fully reconstitute back into the milk, meaning you may have little pellets of cream in the milk. This phenomena doesn't happen with the goats milk since it is more naturally homogenized.
Do you have milk available daily? We do, but it sells out quickly. We recommend placing a standing, weekly order to guarantee availability, or you can contact us at least 24 hours prior to picking up to check availability. Folks with standing weekly orders get priority.
How do you store your milk? Milk for sale will be stored in a plastic, gallon milk jug (just like you see in the store).
What do you feed your cows and goats? Our cows and goats have 24x7 access to high quality pasture, hay, loose minerals, and fresh clean water. We supplement their foraging with high quality grains that work to keep their body condition up, while helping them produce high quality milk. Our cows and goats are fed a locally sourced, non-GMO whole grain feed with absolutely no fillers. Most of the items in this feed is grown in Warren County, NC.