Can I meet the cows and watch them being milked?
Yes, of course! Please email us to arrange a time when you can come for a guided tour.
If I go on vacation, can I suspend my cow share?
Cows require daily care, feeding, milking, and maintenance. If you are away and not needing milk, your cow still needs to be cared for and so you will need to pay the monthly boarding fee for as long as you are a cow owner, whether you are on vacation or not.
Can I buy an extra gallon of milk when I need it?
No. According to Virginia laws, we are not allowed to sell raw milk. If you need additional milk on a regular basis, we invite you to purchase an additional cow share.
When do I pick up my milk?
There will be one day each week when you come to pick up your milk. When you get here, the milk will be by our front door in a cooler of ice. Please take your full jars of milk out of the cooler and place your clean and empty jars into the separate container that we provide.
How should milk be stored and handled?
We rapidly chill the milk and store it cold until you pick it up. After you pick it up, you are responsible for safe storage and handling. We recommend that you bring a cooler with ice to keep the milk cool on the way home to your house, and we recommend that you store the milk very cold until you drink it.
What can I do to make my milk stay fresh as long as possible?
Bring it home in a cooler full of ice. Keep it in the coldest spot in the refrigerator. To really maximize shelf life, keep it at 34F; the best way to do this is to keep it in the refrigerator on ice.
How should I clean my jars?
- Clean the jars promptly after emptying
- Rinse with warm water (not hot and not cold) to prevent the buildup of milk stone
- Wash with hot soapy water and a bottle brush, or run through the dish washer
- Thoroughly dry before putting the lid back on
When do cows make milk?
A cow's first calf is typically born when the cow is about two or three years of age, following a 9-month gestation period. For the first three days after calving, the cow produces colostrum, a rich golden liquid full of antibodies and nutrient-dense food to support the newborn calf's growth and developing immune system. After three days, the milk switches over from colostrum to regular milk. The cow's production gradually increases for the next four to eight weeks, after which it gradually decreases as the calf gets older.
A cow usually becomes pregnant again about 60 days after the birth of a calf, with calves born about 12 months apart. Two months before the next calf is born, the cow is dried off, meaning that the farmer stops milking her and she stops producing milk. For two months she produces no milk, giving her body a chance to recover and to put energy into the growth of the new calf. After this two month rest period, the cow has stored up some body fat and nutrients and is in good shape to produce milk for another 10 months.
In the typical confinement operation, a dairy cow only lives for about four years on average before she is sold for hamburger. In contrast, we emphasize quality of milk over quantity of milk, and ongoing excellent care to maintain healthy productive cows with long lifespans. We expect our cows to be healthy and productive for ten years or more.