MilkI have been curious about the raw milk movement for a while. Unpasteurized milk is supposed to bring so many health benefits: enzymes, probiotics, and undamaged vitamins and minerals. It’s thought to aid digestion, and be tolerable for people who have been declared “lactose intolerant.”

It’s been in the back of my mind to try to find a source for it, but I assumed I’d have to drive a long ways to get it, and that would be unsustainable. It would be great if we could milk our ewes, and they could certainly support it. But we aren’t set-up for it, time-wise, or equipment-wise, at this time.

Naturally, I was excited to read in the latest Conservation District newsletter about a brand new raw milk dairy that opened just south of Monroe. It’s called The Art of Milk. Yay! I drove out Saturday to pick up a couple of bottles to try. It’s only a four-minute drive from downtown, and the farm is very well-marked with a gigantic sign that says RAW MILK. They have an espresso-stand style drive-up window for added convenience.

LabelThe milk is good! Though I don’t detect a huge flavor difference from grocery store whole milk (they milk Holsteins there, so perhaps this is not surprising); I personally think it tastes a little more “cow-ey”, which I like. My husband has a higher opinion of the flavor, thinking it’s substantially tastier than store milk. It’s not homogenized, so some cream rises to the top as it sits in the fridge, and you have to shake it to mix it up. But the most important thing, to me, is that it’s got nutrients I can’t get from store milk. And, it’s just cool to buy milk in glass bottles from a local dairy, like we did when I was a kid.

This opens up some possibilities, time permitting, like making really good cheese. Something I’ve wanted to do for a while. So I think we’ll be back and try to make this a regular thing in our shopping routine.

They are brand-new and still working on their marketing materials and web presence. If you are local and want to check them out, here’s the scoop I got from Art Groeneweg, the owner:

We are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 7 days a week for now. Half gallon glass bottles, 3 dollar deposit per bottle. The milk in the bottle, one bottle 7 dollars, 2 bottles to 3 bottles 6 dollars a piece and 4 or more 5 dollars a piece. So for instance 1 half gallon bottle with deposit and milk is 10 dollars.