Thursday, September 16, 2010

Farm Talk

I buy fresh (unpasteurized) milk from a few different local organic farmers. One of them is an Amish farmer named Leroy Miller. And I trust his farming values and practices. He puts his jersey cows out to graze in the grass whenever there is grass, and feeds them grass hay in the winter. No feed with chemicals or pesticides. He doesn't give them steroids or antibiotics. He is very open to talking about his farm. It's easy to drive up and see his happy pigs, sheep, cows, turkeys, horses, and their living conditions.

My kids and I especially like the pigs cuz their ears flip-flap when they skip around, their tails do a curly-Q, and their snouts dig really fast when they're looking for food. One time, we were quietly tip-toing closer and closer to a cozy group of about 20 sleeping piglets who were huddled-up together with their moms. Suddenly, one of my kids coughed, and all the piglets simultaneously popped up their heads and oinked a gasp in stereo. With synchronized ear-flopping! We couldn't stop giggling because it startled us too.

I usually go to Leroy's farm once a week. Raw milk lasts 7-10 days. If you're interested in buying anything from his milk house, bring cash or check. No cards. The person behind the counter will ask you if you're a CARE member. This stands for Communities Alliance For Responsible Eco-Farming. It is a private organization consisting of 42 farmers and more than 5500 community members, which requires a $20 annual membership in order to obtain food from the farmers. The money supports the small local farmers. And they also gather together to support one another's good farming practices through meetings, publications, mutual-inspections, etc. If you say no, then they'll ask you if you want to be, and they'll give you a short form to fill out.

Bring your own glass bottles or buy their plastic bottled milk. They are open on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, & Sat. Closed Wed. and Sun. He also calls his farm:
Life Enhancing Acres
2931 Miller Lane
Bird-in-Hand, PA

...but you won't see a sign. Just a little red building next to his barn. Simple. Functional.

I was at Leroy's milk house a couple days ago and wrote down his prices for you:

Whole Raw Jersey Milk $5.50/gallon or $3.00/half-gallon or $1.50/quart
Raw Cream $9.50/quart or $5.00/pint
Yogurt $4.00/quart
Butter $11.00/ lb.
Sour Cream $5.50/pint
Cottage Cheese $4.25/pint
Kefir $6.00/quart or $1.50/pint
Fertile Eggs $3.50/dozen
Broiler Chickens $2.75/lb.

Here's an excerpt from "Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local" guide to local foods:

Life Enhancing Acres

2931 Miller Lane, Bird-in-Hand, 17505

Phone: 768.7848

Fresh chickens: May-Oct, turkeys: Nov, eggs & frozen meats all year. M,Tu,Th,F 8 - 5, Sa 8 -4 Pastured poultry, turkey, eggs, beef, lamb, fruits & vegetables

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