Monday, March 02, 2009

REALLY Know Your Farmer

For the last couple of years, we've been getting goat's milk from a local couple who live in the farmland around town and keep a few goats. With our kids both allergic to cow's milk, and a belief that raw milk is much healthier than the pasteurized, homogenized stuff in grocery stores, we've been really grateful to have a weekly supply of fresh and tasty real milk straight from the goat!

Two weeks ago Asa asked if she could start learning how to milk the goats, so Wayne has taken her out to their farm on the last couple of Saturday mornings and she's been doing some milking. This Saturday they got one whole goat milked between the two of them. Wayne had a head start being as he worked on a cow dairy in his teenage years, but Asa has the advantage of being a quick learner and absolutely adoring every animal she meets.

I think it's awesome that they took the time to show her how to do this - talk about knowing where your food comes from! And also that in case they ever need to leave town, they've got one more backup milker they can call on to cover the goats. And Asa has a head start on the skills she'll need when she eventually lives on the farm/menagerie of her dreams that she's planning.

To me, it's one more reason to build those vital connections between the food on your table and the places it comes from - whether its your own garden, a CSA box from a local farm, going out to pick berries locally and chatting with the owners, or milking a goat. Making those connections brings our world a little closer, let's us understand the food web that we are a part of and how our actions relate to the availability of fresh and wholesome food. Also, it's nice to make new friends and bridge the gap between the towns we may live in and the countryside around us.


Brenda said...

What a great experience for Asa! There is no substitute for really knowing where our food comes from and knowing the work it takes to get the food from the earth or the animal to our tables.

Wendy said...

That is so awesome, and what an incredible experience for your daughter! The dairy farm where we get our raw (cow's) milk is sort of like that, although they don't hand milk any of their cows. It's a family-owned dairy farm, and they are all so warm and approachable. Every time we go, they have something new to show us, or we get to help with some really cool project (like feeding the cows). It's pretty cool.