Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Milk Room


It was a bright and sunny day here today. The wind is brisk now, and the snow from last night is blowing sideways out in the yard. We had a high of about 1 degree here today, but with the windchill, I think it was somewhere around -20. It's good the animals are sheltered down at the barn so aren't getting the full blast from the direction of the prevailing winds.

Slowly but steadily I've been working on the Milk Room as we call it. It's the bathroom on the main level of the house that will be used for milk bottling and storing. I will be able to move all the dish washing items from down here, up there and free up some space here. It will be much easier for me to keep things clean when they're in a separate room.

This afternoon I put in just a few of the tiles you see in the picture above. They are self sticking, vinyl, grout-line tiles from Menards. The temperature is colder than normal outside, so the temperature inside the room was below the manufaturer's recommended installation temperature. I'm looking for a little heater to put in the room just until we get the duct from downstairs installed. The walls are all done now and the floor is next on my list for that room.

I have a 31 inch stainless steel wash tank to install when the room is done that will be for all the washup after milking. Also, a couple of refrigerators to move in there, a cream separator, butter churn, lots of bottles and assorted cleaners, a cabinet, milk scale and probably a few other odds and ends as well.

I wouldn't take the time and effort to keep the milk buckets as clean as I do, if I were not that I am milking for other people.

I recently got the results from a series of tests I had done on a couple of milk samples that I sent to DQCI Services near Minneapolis, MN. I am very glad to say that the bacteria levels in our milk, are quite low. Meaning that it has an extra-long shelf life.

According to the "Raw Milk Production Handbook," the Standard Plate Count test (measures the overall bacteria levels within the milking equipment) should be less than 10,000/mL. Our milk was less than 2,500/mL.

Another test was Preliminary Incubation, or another perspective on the cleanliness of how the milk is handled. Should be less than 50,000/mL. Ours was 2000/mL.

The measure of the somatic cells in our milk was 140,000/mL. Raw milk producers like to see it below 300,000 but the commercial guys are okay at 750,000. The higher the SCC count is, the more likely it is that there is infection in the udder.

Those tests above, give me an idea of how well I have been cleaning the buckets, and how long the milk will last. I had DQCI do five tests altogether, the last two were both good and they were coliform count, and Ecoli.

Most dairies have each load of milk that they ship out, tested for different bacteria levels, and they get higher price for milk that has a somatic cell count of less than a certain amount. The government sets the standards, and the prices that the farmers get for their milk. I will be sending out samples for testing monthly, so my customers can trust that their milk is as cleanly produced.

Since I do not sell milk, I'm not under government inspection or regulation. This puts a great responsibility on me, to keep the milk perfectly clean.

It is much more motivating to have healthy cows that produce healthy milk when you talk to the person who needs real milk for whatever reason. A large bulk-milk dairy is worried about milk production and dollars rather than clean and healthy milk.
Have a good rest-of-2010!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I figured it out

Hi again!

Well, it's been a while since I wrote a blog post on here, so maybe someone happen to see it!

Winter is here in full. I have kept busy doing things that I don't get the time to do when the weather is nice. Mostly studying. Homeschool takes up most every morning, Monday through Friday, and the rest of the time we usually spend maintaining the animals and learning new things.

I've been reading The Untold Story of Milk and taking notes all the way through. It has been helpful for me when talking to customers to have a thorough understanding of the background of raw vs. pasteurized milk.

I think I've finally figured out why the government has been manipulated to restrict the sale of raw milk. It all boils down to the belief in the germ theory, rather than the "internal terrain" of your body.

The problem with the germ theory, if you go down to the very bottom line, is that you become dependant on the government to inspect, and scientists to confirm, that your food is not contaminated. I think most of us mix the two ideas together and say we got sick as a result of catching a "germ", while at the same time working to build our immune system. There still are certain viruses that go around and challenge your immune system, but the fact that they do not make everyone that is exposed to them sick, is evidence of the difference in people's immune system strengths and weaknesses. It's not only because you got the "bug".

If I am correct, then the reason that we can't sell raw milk is because: the big food companies (subsidised by the government) benefit from the drug companies, which fund the studies for their drugs, so that the scientists that ran the studies, write the textbooks that the medical professionals use, to convince the legislators that raw milk is inherently dangerous! So now anyone that needs raw milk (everybody) has to own their cow or move to a different state.

If everyone knew why to eat healthy, and didn't believe the advertising that the drug companies put out, then the big dairies couldn't sell all their "reduced-fat milk" to people, and make money on ice-cream instead.

I want to write a review of the book, so stay tuned. Very worth reading!