Saturday, February 9, 2008

In Search Of Milk

K is small. She always has been. She was born late, practically had to do everything under the sun to prusuade her to come out w/o a c-section and even then she wasnt quite ready. Perfectly health but certainly petitie, we went out to the store on her third day to buy some premi clothes because she was just swimming in her newborn onesies. She has continued to develop ahead of her age and she is growing but just not a much as other children. It's not really a suprise since my sister and I were both small babies and kids. However, our pediatritian remains cautious and is working to rule out any other potential causes before he resigens himself to say that this is just the way she is going to be. I serve all of her food with butter, she still drinks whole milk and I take any chance I get to offer her healthy (but full fat) alternatives to your average toddler fare. We eat whole wheat bread with the crusts on, her dairy is organic (mine is soy), and the local year round farmers market is our first grocery stop. This is how I found myself on a small country pike in south-west Maryland looking for milk.

I have always paid the extra $ for commercial organic whole milk from the store. In California, it was abundant and since we moved to Virginia most of the main stores, and all of the specialties like Whole Foods and Trader Joes, care a few organic options in addition to their own store brand. In the end its worth it to pay more for organic milk than the standard commercial practices that I know they use for regular milk. But there is something about actually being able to see where your food comes from that brings true peace of mind. For some time now I have been looking for a local source of milk for K. We get local cheese and yogurt from the farmers market but milk is harder to find.

Thanks to the internet a few searches on creameries brough me several options. I limited my search to w/in 70 miles, this being the max distance that I would drive for a 1x month pickup. Ideally I would find someone that did home delivery. I found just such a place and it happened to be less than 10 miles from a co-op I was hoping to checkout. So a few saturdays ago when the ice and snow was off the roads we bunddled up and headed over the river. K slept for the entire drive and thanks to my iPod, archives of Geek.Farm.Life podcasts, and the idillic scenery it was quite enjoyable. We stoped at the co-op, stocked up on lots of good organic, natural, and local stuff (more on that later) and then headed out to find the creamery, give it a look and pick up some milk and butter to sample.

Thanks to my good navigational intuition I made it there w/o the map and we got out to look around. Went inside to thier little store and was pleased at the selection of dairy, meats, bread and ice cream products. K spotted a kitty outside and spent her time glued to the door watching it lounge on the patio. I picked out a gallon of whole, no hormons milk in a glass jar, a tub of butter, some rasin-walnut wheat bread and some cheese. The prices are comperable to other local milk producers. I found out that the dont have delivery available in our town yet but a few more people and they would add it. I put my name on the waiting list. When we got home K had a glass of the milk and didn't reject it so I guess thats something. Overall it was a fun trip and I enjoyed pointing out the cows and listening to K "moo" and giggle in the back seat.

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