Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Milking Cows and Raw Milk

A little while ago I had to buy milk! This was probably the first time in about 6 years! I absolutely hate having to buy it, especially as that meant that I had to buy yoghurt and my supply of feta cheese ran out so it was devastating! Mind you I only had about a month of this, but it was enough to make me realise how lucky I am to be able to milk my own cows. I know exactly how my cows are being treated and what they eat. I also have the benefit of being able to drink raw milk – as much as I want. Milk is my go to energy drink when I’m mid way through the afternoon and need a thirst quenching pick-me-up! Fresh raw milk is an amazing product. It’s so full of goodness and just tastes so good – so much better than anything you can buy in the shops.
I’m now milking two cows, giving me about 12 litres in a milking. I’ve got about 3 more due to calve, so not sure what I’ll do then. I’d really like to make some hard cheeses, unfortunately they do take a lot of time, but I just need to set aside some time to do it, because it’s so satisfying making your own dairy products. I make feta cheese all the time, and yoghurt weekly. The feta I make is a raw milk soft and creamy style. I cut it and put it into jars with herbs and macadamia oil (from the Yeppoon Markets). I also use this cheese to make dips instead of using the philly cream cheese. It’s not quite as creamy, but is still pretty good.  If I put it in a salt brine and let it sit for a bit, it becomes more like the crumbly Greek style feta. Either way I make it, it’s pretty good!

I make about 2-3 litres of milk into yoghurt each week. Some of this I keep natural and the rest I mix with honey (from the markets) and some vanilla essence. I like it slightly sweetened – for my muesli for breakfast. For the yoghurt I “sort of” pasteurise the milk as it’s necessary to kill the bugs naturally present in milk to allow the ABC cultures in the yoghurt to grow properly. They are not as strong and can’t compete with the raw milk bugs! When I say sort of, I don’t like to boil the milk, just bring it to 80 degrees and then let it cool.
I would love to be able to make these products to sell, but unfortunately we have a stupid law in Australia that says that we aren’t allowed to! Ummm..... doesn’t make sense that the same law makers allow fast food joints and smoking....what causes more harm I wonder! Not to mention soft drinks and other rubbish! We are allowed to consume it ourselves and I think we are allowed to give it away. I read something somewhere about a bloke who was giving the milk away, but he was also selling post cards. The post cards were obviously a collector’s item, as they were expensive! You can buy milk for cosmetic purposes, which is great, because it is good for the skin!

One day I would like to start a small dairy – maybe to make cosmetic products, and cheese!
What are your thoughts on raw milk? Have you tried it and/or would you try it if given the opportunity?

For those who are interested, I will post about my milkers and the way I do it...probably of more interest to those that have or are thinking of getting a milking cow!


  1. Hi Lucy, having been brought up on a Dairy farm my sentiments are all with you re milk - but I dont want to keep a cow. I enjoy a friends gift of raw milk, otherwise I can buy Baffel Creek milk pasturised but unhomogonised, but raw would be so much better!

  2. the Baffel creek milk is good. Barambah do an unhomogonised one also. And if everyone wanted raw milk colesworth would then want to get in on the act and they would cut corners so much that it wouldn't be healthy. Healthy raw milk has good bacteria, but I would think that if it wasn't healthy, it would then need to be pastuerised to make it safe to drink!! I had a bottle of raw milk once that was 6 weeks old and still drinkable.