Hudson Valley Fresh is indebted to Jack’s Coffee. Jack’s was the first coffee shop in New York City to serve our milk and promote our mission of high quality and sustainable dairy farming. Jack has shown his conviction by bringing his baristas to the farm and educating his customers. He is passionate about sustainability and continues to be our best advocate by encouraging customers and competitors to use our milk.
- Dr. Sam Simon, President of Hudson Valley Fresh
Kudos to Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee! It really was a delightful latte. Must have been the fresh, local milk. If you’re in NYC and see a Jack’s, go there!
There’s a goat farm in tiny, densely populated Singapore! Unfortunately, it’s a hour and a half to get there by public transport, so I can’t visit.
Hay Dairies is a small farm producing goat milk for the local market. The photo gallery shows the goats in a metal-floored enclosure instead of frolicking in pastures, so maybe it’s best that I can’t visit. They do look clean and healthy, though, and the FAQ says no growth hormones or (unnecessary, presumably) antibiotics are administered.
I hope local families and school take advantage of the opportunity to visit the farm. It’s good for urban children to learn where their food comes from.
In closing, a picture of my favorite sheep, Artos. (I don’t have a goat picture handy.) Enjoy!
While perusing our new issue of WorldArk, the magazine of Heifer International, we stumbled upon a new (to us) concept: zero-grazing. Zero-grazing is primarily used in areas where grazing land is scarce, or where predators are a problem, such as in parts of Africa. Fresh food and water are brought to the livestock, who live in a sheltered enclosure. Processes such as milking are easier to perform, as the animals are kept corralled. Manure is collected from the enclosure and used as fertilizer for growing crops.
We could stop here, at the level of the poor African farmer. Zero-grazing systems do help pull some farmers out of extreme poverty by allowing them to produce milk on land that cannot otherwise support livestock; and when a farmer owns only a few animals, he will likely tend them carefully, as losing one would be detrimental to his income. Unfortunately, the term zero-grazing is also applied to mega factory farming. Perhaps the programs that train rural Africans how to build small dairy businesses should adopt a new term for the farming system they promote, that doesn’t make one think of an industrial feedlot.
HP was recently in Belgium, where we noticed a line of skin care products called New Forest, made from horse milk. We love ponies, and we love natural skin care products, but we were a little taken aback at the combination of the two. Why should we be surprised? How is horse milk different from goat milk, which we have used as part of soaps and lotions before without a second thought? Perhaps it’s because we have a personal attachment to horses on an emotional level, which is different from how we feel about other livestock. (We hadn’t even considered horse milk as a beverage, but after researching we’ve learned that it’s lower in fat and calories than cow’s milk, and can be used to treat metabolic, gastrointestinal, and liver problems.)
Upon returning to the States, we were curious to learn more about the company and their herd of milk mares. Googling didn’t locate the company whose products we had seen in Belgium, but it did lead us to Spa Creek Ranch, located in Canada. Their horse milk production is a byproduct of their sport pony breeding operation: the family breeds New Forest ponies, which are hardy and gentle. The herds live naturally in pastures, on a diet of grass and pesticide-free home-grown hay. When babies are born, the foals get all the dam’s milk for the first 6 weeks, after which some of the milk is redirected for the skin care products. Mares produce enough milk to support two foals, and after the foals start eating grass they require less milk, so there’s plenty to go around. The mares are milked until the foals are weaned at 8 months; it’s an enjoyable process for them as they get attention and are rewarded with treats.
A small farm earns a little extra money by selling a natural product using a substance that was humanely obtained from happy animals: seems like a winning business model!