Raw Milk at it's best

Trip Start Nov 15, 2009
Trip End Apr 20, 2010

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Where I stayed
Bread and Butter Farm & Family Cow Farm

Flag of United States  , Vermont
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joe Godfrey and I made a fun time abeit long out of what could have been a six hour trek from Thomaston Maine to Burlington VT.  We were destined for Burlington on the shores of Lake Champlain. Snow ensued for most of our trip, and although  this prevented us from having fun with his turbo charged go-cart that we drove, we did reside in Montpelier for the night. Locals in Montpelier are more than proud to announce that they live in the only capitol city that doesn't have a WalMart or McDonalds.   
     Just outside Burlington, my destination was Bread and Butter Farm.  Corie, Adam Chris, Erik and Henry had just setteled onto their new farm property at the old Leduc farmstead.  This is just the very begining for these two families, but the vision excites most neighbors and new customers who hear about it; it caught my attention from Michingan. 

      Destined to be an agricultural property thru a covenant with the VT Land Trust who preserved the 2 million dollar farm from speculators, the Bread and Butter Farm, through the visions and efforts of Coire, Adam and others, will be a multi faceted community farm initiative with sustainable ag at the heart.  
  Already, just two months after moving onto the newly acquired property Adam and Corie are filling raw milk orders for loyal customers from their 6 milking Jersey cows.  Their milk is transported from milk barn to milk room in a small surge milker that bypasses the usage of milk piping and acid flushes ( something I am now using here in Elmenhorst, Germany at Alter Pfarrhof ) which are needed to keep these pipes clear of milk skum build-up. Depending on the production of each cow, sometimes the surge needs to be emptied after a single cow, and that's over 3 gallons of milk!. Customers for this white gold pay $10 a gallon for this elixer at 5-8 %milk fat. This compares to today's price of $1/gallon for conventional factory farm milk, and $6 gallon for organic.   All come to the farm and pick up their shiny stainless milk can themselves as the laws in Vermont prevent sale of Raw Milk in retail outlets outside the farm.  They also decided on a # of 40 gallons that's allowable for sale daily from a single farm.  When asked where the number 40 came from, nobody was able to tell me, and I couldn't help but to think of the competition that this small scale dairy farming and marketing, which skips the milk truck and processor and  middle man, must be creating for the conventional milk industry. I fear that farmers Like Coire, and Linday will have to stage another fight if they wish to raise this number to a place that is on par with what conventional producers can sell.  

     Most days after morning chores ( Adam and corie milk but once a day)  the main project was retrofitting an old 90 cow dairy barn into a bread bakery and farm store.  We got good at using concrete saws, jack-hammers, skid steers, and pry bars to remove the old concrete floor from the barn. Thanks to good respirators, as without them we would surly have all dropped dead from concrete dust, which at times was so thick you could not see the other side of the barn.  Soon William Davenport, (masonary heater designer ) will be leading the construction of B&B's new wood fired brick oven. The oven will be the second of it's kind every built.  It's design is not unlike the Alan Scott black oven at Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery in Traverse City and many other brick oven bakeries around the states, only with a few bold innovations intended to increase insulation capacities and save time in the loading and unloading process, and the owners of Elmore Mt. Bakery deciede they were ready to be the guinea pigs for these changes.

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Amy on

Great pictures Nick. Sounds like your having a great trip...Keep in touch, wish I was their

meg on

at long last, another entry....worth the wait! i am sure stopping the momentum to post this is not your first choice, but thanks for doing it. lovely images and interesting tidbits about the production of raw milk...now to wait until the next entry :)

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