Why Choose Raw Milk?
Why raw Goat’s milk?
The proteins in goat’s milk are different from cow’s milk protein, making them easier for humans to digest. Goat’s milk is also naturally homogenized. The cream stays suspended in the milk. Raw milk contains many natural enzymes that are destroyed in the pasteurization process that commercial milk undergoes. There are many reasons for wanting to drink raw goat’s milk. The best may be that it tastes so good!
Are goat shares legal?
Yes, they are. It is not legal in Virginia to sell raw (unpasteurized) milk to the public. Since you own a share in Cedar Springs Farm's dairy goat herd, you may legally use the milk from your share of the goats in any way you see fit. In following the law, you must purchase a share of the dairy goat herd at Cedar Springs Farm and then pay a monthly boarding fee for your goat share. You will be asked to sign a contract for your goat share at the time of its purchase. You will receive a Bill of Sale for your share and a copy of the written boarding agreement for your goat.
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 until you return home. When you come to pick up your milk, please bring your clean ½ gallon milk containers and lids with your name on containers for the following week's milk. It is essential that both milk container and lid is 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. Dishwashers are fine for cleaning milk jars. Do not put lids in the dishwasher!
How long will raw milk keep?
Handled as described above, the milk will easily keep a week with no change at all in quality. We have kept raw milk in the refrigerator for much longer and it was still sweet and good. It is very good practice to date your milk as soon as it is received.
What should I do if the milk smells bad after only a couple of days?
Discard it. Please let us know right away, and we will investigate and replace it. If no one else had a problem - or if you find that only one of your jars was bad, while the others were okay - there was likely a problem with the sanitation of that particular jar.
What should I do with milk that is more than a week old?
As long as the milk still smells and tastes sweet and good to you, it is fine to use it. However, you will be getting milk each week. Therefore, if you find you are consistently having extra milk, try making some milk products, like yogurt, cheese, or soap from it. Some pets will enjoy and benefit from any leftover milk.
Why does a layer of cream form on top of the milk?
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning the fat is suspended in the milk. However, our milk is high in butterfat and some of the cream may rise to the top of the milk. You can skim this off if you want to use the cream. For drinking or cooking with the whole milk, just shake the container well before pouring so that the cream is again dispersed into the milk.
Are there other ways to use raw milk?
As mentioned above, you should keep your milk refrigerated for normal beverage and cooking use. However, if you wish to experiment with the many forms of cultured milk and farm cheeses, it is easy to do so with raw milk.
Can the milk be frozen?
Yes, but the butterfat from raw milk will separate out as flakes and will not blend in again when thawed. This will lead to a strange texture. It is still healthy and fine to drink, however it may not be as palatable to some peoples' taste. It may be used for cooking purposes, and is fine for making cheeses and soap. We are happy to freeze milk for people who would like to pick up or have their milk delivered that way. We freeze milk in Ziploc-style freezer bags that fit nicely in a cooler or your freezer at home.
Can the milk be pasteurized on the stove top?
You can pasteurize your own milk if you wish. The milk can be heated to 145 degrees 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. However, there are many advantages to using milk raw, both nutritionally and in terms of its versatility. Given the care that Cedar Springs Farm takes for the health of its goats and the hygiene of its milk, we feel you can be confident in using this high quality milk just as it comes from the goat.