When my friend Josie, my daughter Jamie (Jumpin'Jersey to you!) or I come up with a new vegetable for our gardens, or a way to cook them, or any other brilliant food idea, we generally all leap on board together. We encourage one another, revel in the pleasure of making good, healthy local food for ourselves and our families. It feels great on so many levels. When I learned that the farm up the road was selling organic raw milk, I thought it would be a great idea to try some. I called the farmer, learned the system and started buying half a gallon as needed. Wow! Is it tasty! If you haven't tried raw milk, you haven't tried milk. I mean, it tastes alive! You can taste the sunshine and clover and sweet bovine nature in that stuff.
Naturally, I shared my enthusiasm with Josie and Jamie, who immediately started buying it too. We agreed on a regular pick up day, and then each of us picked up for us all once every three weeks. It worked like a charm. Within a couple of weeks, Josie started making yogurt with hers, so of course I followed suit. Again, this stuff is rich and delicious and wholesome! Naturally we then all had to make home made granola, so we would know exactly what we were putting in our yogurt. By now Josie and I were up to a gallon a week. Then we started making soft cheese from some of the yogurt, which when rolled in some cut up garlic and herbs from the garden, had us all raving. And the ice cream!
Suddenly, one week on our milk jars was a note saying the cows were sold and our local farm was out of the dairying business. This was a big shock for us all. By this point, the raw milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream were an integral part of our weekly food habits. We scrambled to find another source. I found a farm on the way to Northfield, but they used plastic jugs instead of re-using our glass jars every week. We didn't really want the extra trash. Jamie found one over in Marshfield that used glass, but that is quite a drive. What to do?
We discovered that two more neighbors were reeling with the loss of our local farm, and wanted to continue getting milk. So we formed a little collective. We took turns making the milk run. Each person only had to drive over there once every five weeks. But having to deliver to five different households seemed a bit difficult, especially since a person can't even drive to Josie's in winter without four wheel drive. Fortunately, one of our collective owns the Maple Corner Store, which we all pass on our way anywhere. They stored it in the cooler, so everyone could pick theirs up as needed. Whew! Community creativity and collective action saved the day again!