Recently I visited the Earthwise Farm & Forest in Vermont for a Raw Dairy Processing Class. I was actually sold on it as a “cheese making class” but once there, I learned so much more. My cohorts and I love any social gathering the we can combine with food, and this class had it all. Together, we made our way up the Vermont dirt roads to the farm house. Lisa McCrory welcomed us into her home and as a group we stirred, shook, and pressed the farm’s raw milk into wonderful healthy yummy goodness. Later, I would get to scratch the ears of the two beautiful cows that Lisa hand milks. From the milk we made formage blanc, ricotta, butter, and yogurt. We learned about the benefits of raw milk and discussed the different processes that milk often under goes before mass consumption including pasteurization and homogenization.
Raw Dairy consumption is an often debated practice. Raw milk is ‘raw’ because it has not been pasteurized. Meaning the milk has not been heated to kill off any bacteria. During the pasteurization process both good and bad bacteria are killed in an effort to reduce pathogens making it ‘safe’ to eat.
The most important thing here is to trust your food sources. Do you know the farmer down the road that you are purchasing the raw milk from? Can you visit the cow? Is this important to you? Please make your own informed decision about consuming raw milk, getting information from both sides of the issue. I personally have no problem with raw dairy, and have been known to consume it myself. I might recommend against it if you do not have access to the local farm.
After our Dairy class and eating most of what we made, the entire class stepped outside to peruse the gardens and tour the farm. Earthwise Farm & Forest is a draft-animal powered farm and forest that applies organic, biodynamic and ecological principles for the purpose of creating healthy, vibrant food and forest products. Lisa and her husband manage the small family farm that survives off grid. Together the family works hard to promote whole and natural living. The dairy class is offered in partnership with Rural Vermont and Lisa plans to offer the class once a month for the rest of the year.
Contact her at Lmccrory@hughes.net if interested.