Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dairy Plans

Since we first posted on PrairieBloom and Local Harvest that we were considering starting a 'micro-dairy' we have finalized our plans, and Flower Field Farm will be home to a new dairy! We have decided to remodel our old garage as it is the perfect size, a central location on our farm, and it will give us a huge head start on our construction. We are still working on finalizing our plans that have to be approved by the dairy inspector before we begin construction, but we are almost there.
Our initial plan was to have a pasteurizer so that we could bottle milk to sell at the Scottsbluff and Cheyenne farmers market. We keep getting the same question over and over, "will you be selling any of the milk raw?" This question makes sense to us, because we do not pasteurize the milk that we drink from these cows - our family LOVES raw milk. The problem lies in the fact that we cannot sell raw milk anywhere but the farm, nor can we advertise that we have raw milk for sale. At first we thought that only being able to sell milk here at the farm would leave us with very few customers - but the more we think about it, we would love to have you come out and get your milk because then you know exactly where it is coming from. You can see the cows, how they are milked, and watch the baby pigs and lambs at play, or help gather the eggs - way more fun than a trip to WalMart, right?
We are also going to test the water with a CowShareAgreement, our version of a dairy CSA. This has never been done in Nebraska, and there is no legal precedent for it - we would be setting the standard more or less. Here's how it works: You purchase an undivided share in our milking herd at the begining of the year. There will only be 10 shares available in 2011, Flower Field Farm will retain the remaining 10 shares for milk sales and cheese making. You pay a one time cost of $50 and receive a stock certificate for one(1) share of Flower Field Farm's dairy cow herd. You then pay a weekly fee of $4 for us to feed and milk your share of the cows. One share in the herd entitles you to one(1) gallon of raw milk per week, in quart glass bottles. Since you own a share of the herd, we are not selling you raw milk, but charging you board and labor for the cow. The benefit to the CowShareAgreement is you are guaranteed to have your milk every week during the milking season - it won't be sold out when you get here because that 'share' of milk is reserved for you. You will occaisionally be given new dairy products to sample and critique for us, before they are released to the public for sale. An example would be butter, ice cream, or a new variety of cheese. The other benefit would be the possibility that we *may* be able to deliver your share of milk to you at a designated drop off point such as the farmers market because you are not buying the milk, but receiving milk from your cow. This will depend on the interpretations by the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dairies and Foods. If you are unsatisfied with the CowShareAgreement, you can sell your share back to the farm at the end of the milking season, or we may be able to help you sell to another customer.We will also begin making aged raw milk cheeses this summer. We hope to have a cheddar and a bleu cheese ready for market by the end of summer - but we will not sell any until we feel we have the recipes perfect!
For more information on Raw Milk, please visit http://www.realmilk.com/ Milk and cream will be for sale at the farm April - Nov in 2011. Raw, cream line milk will be $1.00/qt.     Heavy Cream  $1.00/pt. All milk and cream will be packaged in returnalble glass bottles for optimal taste. We will also have milk fed pork, lamb, honey, free range eggs, vegetables available here for sale.
Please e-mail us at flowerfieldfarms@gmail.com with any questions.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Rylee. I found this entry that mentions my father-in-law, Ernie Griffiths. He now has a website, and I wondered if we could link to each other. His site is www.ebeeshoney.com. If this is something you'd be interested in, please contact me (785.443.2460 or griffithsgang@gmail.com). Thanks!
    Gwen Griffiths