If farms were cults….

We’ve been looking for a place to buy raw milk for a few years. I’m not even sure why–I think something about the idea of milk straight from the cow must satisfy my fantasy of living off the grid in a 19th century homesteader way.

Greyrock Farm

So when a friend told me about Greyrock Farm out in Cazanovia, we decided to drive out in a small snowstorm upon the terrible and dangerous roads to get us some fresh milk. 

The farm is beautiful and old, at least the little we saw of it. A nice part time farmer invited us down some stone stairs and introduced us to the cows (at least the backs of the cows – they were all busy eating their breakfast hay), though at the end of the row were some young calves, who proceeded to lick my children with their long, strange tongues.

Greyrock Farm calves

We picked out 1/2 gallon mason jars of milk from the old fridge, including one bottle that had been filled that very morning. Back in the truck, much to my husband’s horror (“It will spill! It will make a mess”), I forced my kids to drink some of the milk right from the jar before we got moving. They were nervous at first, wondering why perhaps their mother was putting good manners aside and making them do this, but then, after we all tasted it, we agreed it was….magical. Kind of like a light milkshake. I couldn’t help thinking of the Hemstead’s farm from Ocean at the End of the Lane….

“The old lady gave me a cup of creamy milk from Bessie the cow, the fresh milk before it had gone through the cooler. Nothing I had drunk had ever tasted like that before: rich and warm and perfectly happy in my mouth. I remembered that milk after I had forgotten everything else.” 

We drove home, the truck occasionally sliding down hills without the brakes (but it was worth it!) and the kids drank more milk throughout the afternoon, though this time we used actual cups. I tried making raw milk kefir, raw milk yogurt, and yogurt made from raw milk but heated up first (supposedly only to 180 degrees but I turned away from the stove and it went up to something more like 200).

My husband laughed nervously that if this farm was a cult, I would join it, and I think he’s right. (I mean, take a look at the farmer bios – a mix of philosophy majors whose favorite writers / books are Alice Munro, The Road, and The Golden Compass. My favorite books are The Road, the Golden Compass, and Alice Munro. Eerie or what?!)

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