Every Saturday, I dig through the jar of change that sits on my bedroom windowsill, looking for quarters.
I count out 14, $3.50 in all, and hop on my bike. I pedal over to Pheasant Run or down the bumpy dirt trail of Old Long Pond, to find a cooler stashed beneath the shade of a rhododendron or bushy wild blueberry. Into jar or box I drop the quarters, and pedal away with a half gallon of fresh, ivory milk.
The milk pick-up is part of a coop. The members join for all sorts of reasons. Some are concerned about the health affects of industrial milk, others interested in buying locally. Still others grew up on a farm and simply prefer the taste of real, un-homogenized, un-pasteurized cow's milk.
The government calls it "Raw Milk;" proponents call it "Real Milk." And I have to say, the proponents have it right on this one. There is nothing more real than milk that actually separates into skim and cream, that sours naturally into a rich, thick liquid perfect for baking, and that is absolutely untouched, straight from the cow.
Even my lactose intolerant boyfriend likes it.
I didn't join for the real aspect. I was interested in buying dairy locally, and joining the Outer Cape coop was the only option. Raw milk came with the deal. But now that I know the difference between industrialized and real, I don't think I'll ever look back.
Dairies selling raw milk in the Cape, Islands, & South Coast area include:
Lyons Brook Farm 76 Drift Road, Westport, MA (508) 636.2552
Mermaid Farm and Dairy 9 Middle Road, Chilmark, MA (508) 645.3492
Oake Knoll Ayrshires 70 North St., Foxboro, MA email@example.com
Paskamansett Farms 742 Tucker Rd, Dartmouth, MA (508) 990.7859