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National Dairy Month

posted Jun 4, 2015, 1:58 PM by Kelly Payson-Roopchand

Did you know that June is national dairy month? Yes, I know there is a month for everything, but this is something we in particular, are celebrating, as we give thanks every day for the rich sweet milk our goats are giving - by the gallon! Watching the milk as it streams into the bucket, I think of the amazing transformation from sunlight to grass to goat to milk, and soon - best part - to cheese! 

This year it is especially meaningful for us as we FINALLY got our dairy license from the Maine Dept of Ag. It has been a long time coming: 5 years ago, on the verge of getting our license, we discovered some of our goats had CL, a chronic and incurable goat disease (not transmissible to humans, but very contagious to animals). Because we only had a few goats, we decided to clean out our herd, leave the barn empty for a few years, and - hardest part - stay hopeful. Several years later we bought young does, and this spring, finally, we got kids of our own - and milk! 

Like my dissertation, my book, (and indeed finding the right husband!), it required tremendous patience and persistence, and most of all a firm belief that this was the right thing for us, for this farm, and for our community.

We have finally joined the ranks of small dairy producers, following in the footsteps of our dear friend Don Hewett, who milked cows in this barn for many years. Don passed away this spring, but we are proud to carry on his legacy, and named our two calves in his honor: one, Jenny, for his Mom, and one Julia, for his great - great - grandmother, who, with her husband, built this house and barn, and started this farm. 

Dairy products have been an integral part of our lives for a long time, improving our health and increasing our enjoyment in food. So think about all the ways that milk products enrich your life, and hug a goat, or a cow, or a water buffalo, or a yak - or your local dairy farmer! 

And just think - the best is yet to come: August is national goat cheese month!