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Milk and Honey

To get our fix of local viands after the collapse of Covered Bridge Produce, we started ordering things from Philadelphia Winter Harvest, a “buying club” we found through Farm to City. Unlike most CSAs that require a large payment up front at the beginning of the season, Winter Harvest is more a pay-as-you-go system. Send them a minimum of $50 to start and then go crazy up to the limit in your account and so on. We’ve been getting a few items once every two weeks.

One staple we order every time now is raw (unpasteurized) milk. Pennsylvania is one of only a few states that permit sales of raw milk; there are over 50 licensed suppliers in the states. I was always curious about raw milk, because it was supposed to be much better tasting, and it is, although not dramatically so. The milk we receive is homogenized (no cream on top), but it clearly has a higher fat content than “whole milk” from the supermarket. That probably contributes to the enhanced flavor as much as the lack of pasteurization does. Incidentally, Whole Foods sells un-homogenized milk, although it is pasteurized. You can’t have everything. Unfortunately, there’s still no officially sanctioned way to buy products made from raw milk, such as butter and cheese.

Our last order included a big jar of local honey as well. Anne is making her first batch of mead, and the principal ingredient is, of course, honey. The homegrown honey is almost gone, and besides, she didn’t want to sacrifice it for this experimental batch.

Comments

hey-- we've been getting stuff through Winter Harvest as well! My husband likes the raw milk also.

I had some mead many moons ago at General Lafayette Inn, I think. I remember liking it very much. I had barleywine there, too (although not on the same night). mmm.

If you can, I highly suggest Red Earth Farm for the spring-fall CSA. It may be very competitive to get a share this year, thou8gh.

I'll have to try some barleywine. Sounds good. I'm not sure what we're doing this season, but I think we're going with Pennypack Farm as they are closest.

We are also enjoying the Winter Harvest buying club. I prefer it to Red Earth, which was a little dicey last season, and it had fewer choices than I was used to. I'd love to try out the raw milk. It's supposed to have great health benefits and is treated as a black market wonder in the states where it's illegal. Unfortunately, the pregnancy prevents me from ingesting anything that hasn't been pasteurized (leaving me with no options but American goat cheese. Hmmph!). Maybe next year!

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