Archive for the ‘Farm Food Freedom’ Category

My Goat Milk Cravings

Friday, October 11th, 2013

I recently discovered the joys of drinking raw fresh goat’s milk from Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy in Lowell, Oregon. I purchased my first 1/2 gallon bottle in August, drank it lustily in a matter of hours, and have been craving goat milk in my life every day since. Luckily, the store which stocks it is doing well with keeping up with demand. I’m thinking, my body really needs this stuff!

I’ve been researching personal health and nutrition issues for four decades now regarding the potential benefits to my own best health and well-being of eating whole, fresh, raw, chemical-free foods. I do believe in the philosophy of food as medicine. And I do feel strongly that it is anyone’s personal responsibility to eat nutritious food to maintain health. I want to know whatever food it is I choose to buy, was it grown/raised, without the use of toxic chemical pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or growth hormone additives? Was it raised/grown, packed and transported in sanitary conditions? Produced nearby or shipped and trucked in from far away?

Produce? Eggs? Milk? Cheese? Meat? Fruit? Nuts? Grain? Beer? Wine? Mead? Honey? Cider? Herbs? Mushrooms? Salt? Spices? Granulated sugars? As the buying customer, I want to know! And if I want a chemical-free world, I should step up and support it with my dollars. So I am willing to be discretionary, to search out and possibly pay a bit more for a quality crop grown by mindful producers. And I will own the risks of my choice.

You would think, “Well, duh!” But from state to state, and often at federal levels, heavy government regulations have ordered severe mandates, laws which block the cultivation or sale of many of these favored foods and farm products.

Do you know, in many states, it is not “legal” to sell the highest quality milk of any kind unless it is first pasteurized? In Oregon, the selling of raw cow milk is banned, but goat milk is OK, however, only if you get a license from the state, which regularly tests the product.

It is said that goat milk is almost the perfect food. Easily digested protein. Multi-minerals. Enzymes and more. All nurishing to the human body.

http://www.alternativemedicine.com/alternative-medicine/features/goat-milk-grownups

A milk of a different sort. As one example, almonds are said to be highly nutritious and tasty, and you can buy almond “milk” in cartons in almost any grocery store these days. I know that all commercial almonds grown in the US come from California. According to www.insurancejournal.com “California’s almond industry grows 100 percent of the domestic supply. Almonds are California’s top commodity and its number one export crop. The industry has seen dramatic growth in recent years, powered by strong demand from India and China.” I also know that the almond industry is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. See: Top 50 pesticides used on California Almonds.     http://www.pesticideinfo.org/DS.jsp?sk=3001

So I shop for organic raw almonds. Small “No Spray” farms are few, but they are out there, mostly selling their products at farmers markets and roadside stands.

Since 2007, the Federal Government has mandated that all raw almonds grown in the US, Canada and Mexico must be pasteurized before export, supposedly to protect me from salmonella, which has reportedly infected small numbers of people who supposedly ate raw almonds.
See: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/raw-almonds-raw-lies-mehdi-comeau/

So, direct to customer is the only way they are by law allowed to sell, unless they pasteurize even organically grown almonds.

One must wonder, when these simple foods have been undeniably consumed as a staple by humanity for centuries, why the fear-mongering?

 

RAW – Best Fresh

Thursday, September 5th, 2013
Radically Awesomely Wonderful goat milk

Radically Awesomely Wonderful goat milk

I recently discovered with surprise that a local grocer was stocking fresh raw goats milk in half gallon glass bottles from Ferns’ Edge Dairy, located south of Eugene at the foot of Mt. Zion in Lowell, Oregon. I’d recently developed an interest in raw goat milk via some of my daily readings through alternative health and information sites and forums. This is a product which is generally hard to come by, but there it was. So I decided to buy a bottle and give it a try. I drank the whole delicious bottle in one evening. I wanted more.

And so I looked up this goat dairy on the internet. What I found were links to many glowing articles about Ferns’ Edge Dairy and the award-winning artisan cheeses and milk produced on this organically minded small craft diary farm, referenced on many different food and farm promotional web sites. For instance, the following excerpt can be found at http://www.experienceeugene.com/ferns-edge-goat-dairy

      “Ferns’ Edge Goat Dairy is a farmstead artisan cheese facility “staffed” by the long-established and award-winning Mt Zion Dairy Goat herd.
      Our farm and dairy are nestled at the base of Mt. Zion in the Cascade foothills overlooking beautiful Dexter Lake. We are committed to creating nourishing dairy products that are handmade in small batches, uniquely crafted and locally produced — ensuring quality, freshness and a wonderful taste.
      Fern’s Edge uses all organic practices and certified feeds as well as biodynamic methods in managing our animals and in working the land as we strive to foster sustainability and enhance our daily rhythm with the Earth.
      Our cheese offerings are an array of fresh-flavored soft cheeses seasoned with our own farm-raised herbs or off-farm organic ingredients and wild-crafted edibles. We are also working on some raw milk aged cheeses as well as some bloomy and mold-ripened varieties that will be available soon.”

But any link to the domain name fernsedgediary.com delivered a surprising home page. Here’s the screen shot!

Todays screenshot of Ferns' Edge Goat Dairy web site

Todays screenshot of Ferns’ Edge Goat Dairy web site

It’s in Kanji and it sure doesn’t look like the subject is about a goat dairy.

Well, my first thought was, this site had been hacked! This little goat dairy had it’s web presence stolen!

Now, I am a big fan of fresh, locally grown or raised natural foods, and I am blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest where there is a bounty of natural, nutritious, non-laboratory foods available to us if we know where to look. Fish! Nuts! Fruit trees! Berries! Mints and herbs and wild onions! Mushrooms! Honey! Cider and wine! Some of the world’s best hops! Lush vegetation for munching on by farm animals – producing milk and cheese, eggs, wool, meat, hide.

And I know the folks who fish, grow crops and and raise farm animals as a business struggle with so much more than just their daily chores. Government and business regulations are complicated and time consuming, as are bookkeeping, advertising programs and the physical logistics of getting to market. And everyone is supposed to have a web site AND stay up on Social Networking!

So what was with this malfunction, that clicking on a link for fernsedgedairy.com would deliver a homepage full of kanji? Did Shari forget to renew her domain name registration?

I had learned that Wednesday was the day Shari drove to the Portland area from Lowell and distributed her fresh goat milk and cheese products to select merchants. Market of Choice in West Linn only gets 9 – 12 half gallon bottles and generally sells out, so every week there after buying my first bottle, I have made a late Wednesday afternoon shopping errand to be one of the first customers to purchase more fresh raw goat’s milk from Shari’s latest delivery. Thank you Shari!

So yesterday, being Wednesday, I was thrilled that my shopping timing coincided with Shari’s delivery. I was very happy to actually meet this hardworking dairy farmer and cheese artisan, to thank her personally for her passion and tell her how delicious I thought her products were. And she confirmed my suspicions! When I brought it up, she said her dairy farm web site had been hacked!

As soon as I got home, I did a little online background research on the web site’s mysterious conversion. Starting with the Wayback Machine, the internet’s digital archiver of WWW homepages since 1996 – this is a screenshot dated Oct. 14, 2012.

Wayback Machine Oct. 14, 2012 archived screenshot of Ferns' Edge Goat Dairy web site

Wayback Machine Oct. 14, 2012 archived screenshot of Ferns’ Edge Goat Dairy web site

Which is the last of 23 over time, as it is interesting to note, the first screen shot by Wayback Machine was captured May 2007, and proves the web presence of Ferns’ Edge Dairy since at least March of 2007. See for yourself, or the history of any site. Go to:

web.archive.org

My next background check at statscrop.com reveals another story as shown with the following screen shots:

item1
item2

What!? Only 4 months old!? The server is in Japan!? How did this domain get transferred without permission from the original owner?

Ferns’ Edge Dairy sells the only certified raw milk in the state of Oregon, and is the only goat dairy with a grade A raw milk license.

Shari Reyna’s farmstead goat cheeses include the signature 4-pound raw-milk Mt. Zion, aged about 1 year. kezi.com Eugene reported on Feb. 6, 2013 that Ferns’ Edge cheese won a silver award at the World Good Foods Awards in the UK.

Following are URLs referencing related and historical information online.

http://www.marketofchoice.com/cheese/local-cheese

http://www.kingestate.com/blog/blog/vendor-profile-ferns-edge-goat-dairy-and-la-mariposa-cheese/

http://bitteredunits.blogspot.com/2013/06/cheese-beer-dessert-does-it-get-better.html

http://www.brianackerly.com/my-cheeses/

http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/two-local-pacific-northwest-goat-cheese-farms-organic.html

http://projects.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/special/tastings/24880091-44/dairy-goat-reyna-goats-farm.csp

http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/featured-articles/article/cheese-focus-new-oregon-cheese-scene/

http://misscheesemonger.com/2011/05/some-more-oregon-cheese-makers/

http://www.culturecheesemag.com/news/adga_results

http://www.pnwcheese.com/2007/11/ferns-edge-goat.html