Raw milk, pastured goat meat, and free-range eggs

This evening I stopped in at a nearby farm to pick up an order of drug-free, hormone-free, etc. goat meat. Deck Family Farm is a beautiful place about ten minutes* from us, with lots of happy looking cows, chickens, sheep, ducks…I’m pretty sure I saw a bison there too, though it may have been a big muddy brown cow from a distance. I didn’t see the goats…I was tempted to ask, but didn’t want to impose and delay what must be a zillion chores on such a large (for one family) farm.

I ended up leaving with a half-gallon of fresh, raw cow milk, a dozen eggs, a pound of stew goat, a pound of goatburger, and a 3-pound goat roast. This is the kind of thing that excites me these days. Yes, I am almost 40.

If we ever buy “supermarket” eggs again, I will have to do side-by-side photos; pastured, free-range eggs from our neighbors have bright orangy-yellow yolks and make the store-bought kind look and taste pretty much like cardboard.

The goats we’re preparing to get will be a dairy breed, but I’m an inveterate carnivore and would like to eventually produce my own meat, so buying the goat meat is sort of an experiment to see how I like having goat as a primary meat source (though we’re planning on keeping chickens, too). If it works out, we may at some point consider getting some meat goats (different breeds from dairy goats).

[edit] The more I think about it, the less likely it seems that we will want meat goats, for practical and sentimental (ie, they’re too darn smart and cute) reasons. Looks like we’re gonna be eating a lot of chicken! Rabbits are another very good smallholder meat animal, but suffer from the same “how do you eat a pet” problem as goats. I don’t think I’d have any problem eating chickens, though they do have a lot more charm and personality than I knew before [/edit]

I feel that if I can’t bear to put the bullet into the back of its head and cut up the carcass, I really don’t deserve to eat meat. We’ll see. But for now, we have a local source for clean, humanely raised meats =)

Of course, the moment I got home I had to try the milk side-by-side with some “whole” milk from the supermarket. A sip of one. A sip of the other. Remaining supermarket milk goes back into the bottle for emergencies, and I pour another glass of the rich, delicious raw milk. It’s on the left in the photo below

Raw, fresh milk from a pasture-raised cow (left) and anemic-looking supermarket milk

* Ten minutes on normal roads. On the way back, I decided to try a “shortcut” involving steep, twisty logging roads. It was a nice 45 minute drive; fortunately the van has a refrigerator to keep our food from spoiling.

3 thoughts on “Raw milk, pastured goat meat, and free-range eggs”

  1. Teri

    Well, replying to Peter’s edit, I just can’t see how chickens are any less cute or personable than rabbits or goats. I don’t think I’d have an easy time killing any of them. Who knows? Maybe raising our own livestock will drive me back to the non-meat-eating days of earlier years. Or, since I know my body feels stronger and healthier when I have some animal foods in my diet, perhaps I’ll learn how to slaughter animals for food regardless of how unpleasant it is. And if that’s the case, I really can’t see any difference between a chicken and a rabbit and a goat…

  2. Teena

    Checked out your site while looking for suggestions on turkey processing. My husband and I still live in “the city” compared to you but are working hard at becoming the best darn country folk we can be while we look for our “home on the range”. Congrats for your success in finding yours and sharing it with all who are still dreaming about getting there. Your lessons learned will come in handy for us one of these days so count on us for regular return visits.

  3. Peter

    Hi Teena – thanks for the comment…we are still learning a lot of useful stuff reading other “homestead blogs”, and are delighted if we can give some of that back =)

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