Yes, you read right- I milked a goat!
Here in Austin, we have many farmer’s markets and local farms that have Raw milk. But that involves me driving to get the milk and paying $7.50-8.00 per gallon.
Also, it is cow’s milk.
Not that I am against cow milk, I love it! But I have been reading up on the benefits of goats milk, and it seems to be better for our bodies overall. In fact- worldwide, more people consume goats milk than cows milk. Probably because they are easier to keep, feed and I would assume milk.
According to Thomas R. Cooke, Doctor of Osteopathy, there are 5 benefits to consuming goats milk over cow milk (especially conventional cow’s milk)
1. Goat’s milk is less allergenic.
2. It is naturally homogenized
3. It is easier to digest
4. It rarely causes lactose intolerance
5. It is closer to human milk than cow’s milk is.
I tried canned goats milk and the stuff you can buy in the grocery store- you know, the one they homogenize again, and then “ultra-pasteurize”. Recent studies are our that homogenizing and then ultra-pasteurizing milk not only kills all the good stuff in it, but also causes it to become a damaging product.
Not only that- but it TASTES horrible!!! Blech! I mean really, like sour grass. So I assumed that was how goats milk tasted. So I have been buying non-homogenized gently pasteurized organic moo milk.(That is how the kids tell us what they want, your choice is almond, coconut, or moo)
Until I sampled some fresh goats milk from the farmer’s market
YUMMY!!! It was so creamy and sweet and mmmmmm I wanted goats milk ice-cream after that!
And then, I found Paula from City Farm Austin!
I stumbled on her goat share program from Local Harvest.
Paula at City talked her husband into getting goats about 4 years ago and it has grown to a milk share. She also does cheese classes, makes kefir and tells you how to make it too. I am even waiting on some kefir grains. She is a grandma, so she knows how to work with the kids running all around the place. She teaches them about the goats, shows them how to hold chickens and gather eggs. They can even go on treasure hunts for goodies in the yard. (Finn found a rock that he carried all around and she took a picture of it!)
I get 1 goat share (4 goats milked once a week) for $35 a month. Right now I am getting 5 quarts of milk per week, which is about 5 gallons per month, at $7 a gallon.
But the best part is that I get to learn how to milk the goats and my kids are going to learn how to do farm chores! I know I could pay a little more and just go pick up milk from somewhere, but for now, I am going to use this as a homeschool lesson for my kids “if you want something, you have to work for it!”
This is Eve, the first goat I (ever) milked.
She is the “trainer” goat because she has big teats. No- seriously, if you look at the other goats, she looks deformed LOL!
My very first quart of farm fresh, raw, hand milked (by me!)
I see lots of yogurt, kefir and smoothies in our future.
A few things I learned:
Goats don’t like being petted on the head, they like their cheeks and neck scratched.
Goats milk gets goaty tasting the longer it sits warm. As soon as the milk is measured and in your containers, put it in an ice water bath to cool super fast
Goats milk makes runny yogurt- but it is yummy!