Seasons Are Good
Today people expect fruits and vegetables to be available year-round and they never understand the "trade-off" that entails. By forcing nature to fit our schedules, we rob the food of the nutrients it should be giving us...Author unknown
What began as simply wanting Oberhasli dairy goats for personal milk consumption quickly became a slightly larger herd, producing more milk than we as a family, dogs, cats & chickens could consume! According to Tennessee state law it is illegal for me (or any farmer) to sell milk off of the farm. They would have me pour the milk down the drain before allowing anyone else to consume raw milk.
The FDA considers raw milk a hazardous material; but you could eat McDonalds all day long every day. I strongly feel that everyone should make informed and educated decisions about the food that we put in our bodies. Please feel free to go the FDA web site here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/consumers/ucm079516.htm to read more (end rant).
I have a very small herd and offer a limited number of Herd Shares for access to clean whole goats milk. Please see below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
** There is a limited amount of free range eggs available from our flock of Buff Orpington chickens that roam the farm. The price is $4 per dozen. Please ask for more information and availability.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- What is a herd share?
- How does a herd share work?
- How much milk can I expect from one herd share?
- What if I want more milk than one gallon per week?
- What is the cost involved?
- Where do I get the jars for my milk?
- When can I pick up my milk?
- How should I handle my milk after I pick it up?
- Can the milk be pasteurized on the stovetop?
- Are the goats tested for disease?
- How do I get started?
- What happens if I can no longer use the goat milk?
What is a herd share?
It is partial ownership of a dairy goat. Owning a dairy goat, or portion of a dairy goat, allows you to benefit from what that animal produces; because you own it! In Tennessee you can drink milk from a goat you own or partially own
How does a herd share work?
You, and others along with you, own a goat. You benefit from owning the goat by receiving a portion of the milk the goat produces. As with any animal, goats require care, feeding, milking, and milk requires proper handling. We will board your goat, care for it, milk it, and prepare the milk for you to pick up from the farm. You pay the herdsman for the boarding, care, feeding, and milking of your goat.
How much milk can I expect from one herd share?
One share will provide approximately one gallon of milk per week. We do not milk during the months of December-February to allow the goats time to rest during pregnancy. The long answer includes several topics: An average lactation for our goats is ten months; however, a goat may milk for a shorter or longer period of time. We plan on every doe milking for at least nine months. That is a conservative estimate but it does allow for early breeding or a drastic drop in production. Dairy goats have different styles of lactations. Some does produce a great deal of milk within the first few months then level off to a lower daily production. Others never have a high peak of milk production but have what is called a level lactation and give almost the same amount of milk every day they are in milk.
What if I want more milk than one gallon per week?
Goats have what is called a peak in their milking season generally between June until around September when their breeding season starts. During these months there is usually extra milk available. Please just call ahead (or text).
What is the cost involved?
You first purchase your goat share at $40.00 per share. This is a one-time cost. Now that you own a goat share you need to board your goat. Boarding or husbandry costs are $35 per month.
Where do I get the jars for my milk?
http://www.acehardware.com has Ball 64 oz. Wide Mouth Mason Jars. I have found that these jars work the best and the wide mouth makes them easy to clean properly. In Murfreesboro, Haynes Bros Ace Hardware on Memorial carries these jars. When you come to pick up your milk, please bring jars with your name on the lid(s) for the following week's milk. We prefer to use wide mouth ½ gallon jars with reusable plastic lids. It is essential that both jar and the lid are scrupulously clean and thoroughly dry. Whenever cleaning containers for milk, start by rinsing away the old milk with water that is lukewarm. (Either hot or cold water can cause a deposit of milk solids to remain on the surface of the container.) Then wash thoroughly with soap and hot water, rinse well, and dry completely before putting on the lid, or leave the lid off please. Dishwashers are fine for cleaning milk jars.
When can I pick up my milk?
We both agree on a day that works for you to pick up your milk.The farmer will fill your jar and you can pick it up the anytime from 8 am to 8 pm. Pick up days are Monday through Saturday. If for some reason you cannot pick up your milk on your day it may be picked up in the next few days.
How should I handle my milk after I pick it up?
The milk supplied will be raw - that is, it is not heat-treated or pasteurized. It will be chilled; and you should take care that it remains so until you can get it home and into your refrigerator. If you have some distance to drive or stops to make before you arrive home, it is very important to keep the milk at refrigerator temperature (40*) until you return home. When you come to pick up your milk, please bring jars with your name on the lid(s) for the following week's milk. It is essential that both jar and lid iare scrupulously clean and thoroughly dry. Whenever cleaning containers for milk, start by rinsing away the old milk with water that is lukewarm. (Either hot or cold water can cause a deposit of milk solids to remain on the surface of the container.) Then wash thoroughly with soap and hot water, rinse well, and dry completely before putting on the lid, or leave the lid off please. Dishwashers are fine for cleaning milk jars.
Can the milk be pasteurized on the stovetop?
Absolutely, you can pasteurize your own milk if you wish. The milk can be heated to 145 degrees F and held at that temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the milk can be heated to a higher temperature but for a shorter length of time.
Are the goats tested for disease?
The goats are tested annually for CAE (caprine arthritis) and they are for any presence of the above mentioned disease. They are vaccinated for overeating disease, tetanus, staph mastitis and pneumonia. Sometimes goats do get sick and need medication. Any goat that has been treated with an antibiotic or dewormed is removed from the milking herd for an appropriate withdrawal period. During these times milk availability may be affected.
How do I get started?
Thoroughly review the contract provided on Herd Shares. Download and print 2 copies of the contract (one copy for you to keep and one for my files) and bring it with you on your first visit to the farm. Once payment is received you will be the proud owner of a dairy goat share.
What happens if I can no longer use the goat milk?
Within the contract is included a clause where we agree to purchase back any goat share sold. Please understand it is illegal to sell milk in Tennessee if you are not a licensed and inspected dairy. Never sell your excess milk.