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Washington RAW Milk


Welcome to our Dairy.
The dairy closed July 21, 2015 this link for background only.

We are just one of many small dairies in Washington State that are licensed to sell Fluid RAW milk. Our dairy plant is inspected on a regular basis with a monthly milk sample taken for testing. The State lab tests for non-specific Coliform, total plate count of bacteria and Somatic Cell count. The limits allowed for these counts are well below the limits allowed for milk that is sold to a processor where it is pasteurized. They also look for anti-biotic residue, Listeria, Salmonella and E Coli 0157:H7

The State Codes were changed just a few years ago to allow for hand filling and capping of milk jugs. A BULK cooling tank is not required. Some of the “micro-dairies” utilize small bulk tanks. The variety of cooling methods varies from farm to farm. The major requirement to have the milk at 40 degrees or less within two hours of milking gets you to thinking over your milk handling and cooling process.

We use a large ice chest with an ICE WATER bath to chill our freshly filled milk jugs. I turn the jugs over a few times while I am doing the rest of the clean-up. A small dial thermometer in a jug cap can let you see how effective your system is in getting the milk COLD. Doing an occasional temperature check during cooling lets you know if your process is working.


Ice Water Bath

Temperature Control

Our single use milk jugs, caps, filters, jug labels and other supplies are stored in a cabinet in the milk room. The top of that cabinet is used as a bottling area. I actually made a rack to hold the funnels and filter to make pouring into the jugs easier. It works fine for the amount of milk saved for customers.


Cabinet

Bottling Rack ready for filling

We do machine milk into upright Delaval buckets. We still utilize the vacuum system from our pipeline system. You can see the SS milk line is still there, mounted on the bricks behind the buckets, but disconnected. That white pipe is PVC pipe. It is the vacuum line that runs the pulsators for the buckets. Wash up is done with a pipeline soap and very hot water. The equipment is stored in the processing room in our large double sink between milking. We do a pre-milking chlorine sanitation.


Buckets

Milking

The milkers enter our parlor from a cement holding area. They are in a herringbone parlor elevated so milking is done with the operator standing. Udders are more or less eye level so you can really see to clean udders. Does are washed with a commercial iodine base udder wash, dried and given a post milking spray of teat dip. Keeping those udders clean and healthy pays off!


Holding area

Parlor


The Girls at work

As customers drive up to the barn they see the double doors that go to the milk parlor (right) and milk processing room (left). When we were licensed they still allowed our retail refrigerator to be kept in the processing room. New licensees now are required to have a porch area, separate alleyway or room for the ‘public’ to enter for milk if you sell from the farm. We do not allow milk pick-up when we are bottling.


Dairy Front

Customers enter the left door to get to the refrigerator in the milk room. We have a ‘money’ dish on a shelf under the front window where customers leave their payment for milk. We have several dollars change left for the convenience of folks who need to make change. We don’t have to be disturbed at the house for milk sales. People who want RAW milk seem to be a trustworthy, honest group of folks.

New since June 2009—A retail sales building!


Retail Sales Building

This improvement was on the wish list before Don passed away.

I had seen some garden sheds built by the Napavine High School skills students. I always figured with some enhancements those would make a nice retail room.

I met with the teacher and explained what I had in mind—if they could add windows, a regular door and put metal roofing on so it matched my other buildings I had a project for them. Plans were made for an 8x8 building with windows and a door I purchased for them to use. Once the length of the roofing metal was known it was ordered along with the needed trim. Just before school let out that June my new building was delivered.

Now this building was not finished inside—that project was done by a carpenter/electrician friend who was in between full time jobs. Wiring, fixtures, insulation, flooring, finished inside wall sheeting—about 2 weeks of 3-4 hour days in between other work and my building was just about ready to go.

All the time Mark was working on the building it was not pushed back into the spot it was to be placed—now that took several other men, a tractor and some round polls to roll it .....the final jockeying into place was just plain muscle work. I wish I had taken photos right along as Mark worked—you soon forget how things looked unfinished. The next step was hooking up the wiring to the barn circuit box and flipping on the breaker.

The cement step was poured, the fridge delivered and finally the retail room was ready to use. The same money dish is here for self service customers. The cabinet top holds a honey display box and a basket of Goat’s milk soap. Extra storage in the cabinet is handy too.


Money Shelf

Honey & Soap Shelf

The new sign at the bottom of the driveway advertises the extras when available. The retail fridge is large enough to hold plenty of milk and eggs. I’m very happy how all this came together.


Driveway Sign

Retail Fridge

You can see the bulk tank is still in place to the left of the fridge. Between milking the funnels, filters and small SS pail are stored in the wire rack above the double sink. The Delaval buckets are stored in one side of the double sink.


Fridge

Double Sink

That is the hot water tank boxed in the corner at the end of the big double sink. Our required ‘hand wash’ sink is right there, too. The small window over the double sink allows a view into the parlor. The larger window over the hand wash sink allows a view into the kid pen side of the main barn. In the milk parlor there is another window that allows you to see the main feeding area and out the back of the barn into the pasture.

Milking is done; the milk jugs are filled and cooling, and clean up is finished. Time for Breakfast (or dinner) before the final step.

Here we are---cooled, labeled and ready to sell!


Ready to go!

Up until summer of 2008 all milk sales had been at the farm. With the rapid increase in gas prices some of my longer distance customers could no longer justify the costs associated with driving here for their milk. I also had two multi-gallon a week families move out of state.

Oh boy—did I have a problem—to much milk!

I knew of several opportunities to sell milk at retail stores. Until June 2008 I had never wanted to expand into that market. This glut of milk forced me to act. ;-)

I contacted the Olympia Food Co-op about selling my Grade A RAW goat milk. In the past they had sold Raw goat milk and they had a demand for RAW goat milk. At the time they were only selling pasteurized goat milk from out of state producers.


Olympia Food Co-op

Bottled waiting for delivery day.

After a bit of lobbying on my part—including faxing copies of my licenses and insurance proof, we struck a deal to sell my milk. What began as a small delivery, evolved into 2/3rds of the milk sale income. http://www.olympiafood.coop


Loaded and ready to go.

Each week when I deliver milk I pick up some fresh organic vegetables and some flax seed muffins. I always check out the salad/soup bar –many times I buy my lunch from the wonderful selections. If you ever get the chance to go there you will be amazed at the variety of items they have to offer.

In 2014 the barn was due for a new coat of paint. I also replaced the old screen doors with new insulated storm doors. While the new white painting was underway I decided I wanted to do contrasting color on some trim. I included the retail building in my painting plan.

I finished the retail room door in the fall but ran out of time and good weather to finish the new barn doors. My work in progress was on hold for 5 months!

With some lovely warm sunny spring weather I was able to finish the barn doors. The wait was worth it! My farm customers have commented on how nice it all looks!


New Barn Doors

Retail Door

Thank you for visiting. Stop by again.


Website Maintained by: Jekuthiel's WebDesign
Last revised: July 21, 2015