Last weekend my family drove up to 150 Mile House, BC to look at Dexter cows. Dexters are a small Irish breed of cattle that produce excellent milk and meat. We are trying to find pasture to lease near our home so my family can have real milk. If you are wondering why we are going to so much trouble to get real milk please read: The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid. It is available in the Kamloops Public Library.
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find pasture for lease in our area. We would also consider hiring an Agister to pasture and milk our cows. Agistment is legal in Canada. It is equivalent to boarding your horse with a stable or farmer. If anyone reading this post knows someone with pasture for lease or an interest in an agistment contract please contact me.
Update June 25, 2009: We found a Jersey cow and calf in Langley, BC. They are now pastured in Kamloops, BC. We had our first drink of real milk since November 2008. It is wonderful to have such a delicious, healthy food back on my family’s table. A big thank you, to all the people that helped make this possible. If you have ever wondered if you would like your own cow please read The Family Cow by Dirk Van Loon.
Update August 4, 2009: We have been getting milk regularly from Patty our Jersey cow. She has a very good disposition. Over the last week, I have been learning how to milk. My hands are not very strong but I take it slowly. I enjoy the early morning drive out to the farm and the warm smell of the hay. I am getting about 5L in one milking a day. I have started to freeze milk for the winter months. Milking while the cow is on pasture makes better quality milk. Cows on hay in the winter make a poor quality milk and it is very hard on the cow’s system to be milked during pregnancy. Our cow will not be milked during her pregnancy. Traditionally, fresh milk was consumed during the summer season and cultured butter and raw cheeses were consumed in the winter. The modern convenience of freezing allows us to now enjoy milk later into the winter without harming the cow. I am hoping to freeze 120L of milk and put away about 10kgs of raw butter.