This is for my new hairdresser Sara, who wanted to know where she could get less processed milk. In most-local-first order:
Black Jack Valley Farm, Kitsap County’s own dairy in Port Orchard, now a certified raw milk dairy. Karen’s four Holsteins give excellent milk. Call her and she’ll arrange a pick up or drop off in your area. This is no kidding the best milk I’ve ever had and I’m very attached to it.
Dungeness Valley Creamery, Sequim (Clallam County). This diary also sells raw milk from a herd of about 100 Jersey cows. Available at Fresh Local.
Raw milk is not pasturized (heated) or homogenized (dispersing the cream throughout the milk). Remember learning about Louis Pasteur in school? He developed the technique of heating milk to kill some of the bacteria that can cause it to spoil faster and also cause illness. Fresh Local labels raw milk with the warning that this milk may contain pathogens. If you do a web search on raw milk and pasteurization you will quickly find that people hold strong opinions about this, with raw milk advocates pointing out that pasturization doesn’t kill all pathogens, while others are concerned about the health risks. For my money, the process used by the dairy is less important to me than knowing the farmer who brings me the food. I know Karen, she’s taught me a lot about Kitsap, and I trust her judgement and technique.
Twin Brook Creamery, Lynden (Whatcom County). This family dairy also has Jersey cows. Twin Brook slow-pasturizes the milk and doesn’t homogenize it, which means the cream floats to the top. The milk is sold in glass containers you take back to the store. Available at Central Market.
All these brands of milk let you separate the cream from the milk. If you put it in a large container in your refrigerator for a day or two the cream separates out from the rest of the milk and you can skim it off. You can use the cream as cream, or to make butter. You can also decide to keep the cream with the milk and mix it up. You can use the milk from these dairies to make yogurt or cheese.
Fresh Breeze Organic Diary, Lynden (Whatcom County). This family-owned advertises itself as the only all-organic dairy in the state. They vat pasturize their milk, although it is homogenized. Their herd is mostly Holsteins with some Jersey cows. Available at Fresh Local and Central Market.
[Edit 2/3: Colello’s Produce says they are carrying Fresh Breeze’s new cream top glass bottled milk.]
Organic Valley (regional) is a national farmer’s co-op which processes milk in regional locations. Oregon and Washington milk is processed in two dairies in Portland. The co-op has allowed small dairy farmers in our region to stay in business, they’re profiled on the web site. This milk is HTST (High Temperature Short Time) pasteruized and homogenized. Also, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own butter or cream cheese, Organic Valley has you covered with their own organic brands.
Smith Brothers Farms (King County) delivers milk products to your door. I know people who are their customers but don’t have personal experience with them. They offer both organic and conventional milk.
We’re very lucky to have family dairies in the state and in the region, and to have access to raw milk, and milk we can make into butter and cheese!