We put on our boots and headed over to Creamline Farms to meet the dairy cows and the wonderful farmers who bring their fresh milk to Andy’s Market every day.
At this family farm just a few miles from Andy’s there are over 80 thriving dairy cows. Milked twice a day at 3 AM and 3 PM, these dairy cows have access to green pastures every single day of the year. In addition to their grazing, each cow is fed a special diet put together by a cow nutritionist. These cows eat better than most of us, that’s for sure! And, trust us, you can taste it in this local and farm fresh milk!
Previously, Creamline Farms sold their milk to Darigold where it was pooled with dairy milk from other farms and packaged as Darigold milk! But two years ago, Creamline Farms decided to take the plunge and go all in on their own milk. Why? Because offering a truly quality and truly local product is more than worth it to this family farm.
The Creamline Farm dairy cows support more than one locally owned business with their milk! Umapine Creamery and Creamline Farms use this milk for their production, as does the Walla Walla Cheese Company! The owner of Creamline Farms, Erica, says, “the coolest thing I have learned in this process of selling milk to Darigold and then selling milk ourselves, is that there are thousands of different things you can make from one thing. It’s just the coolest thing to me.” From cultured butter to every kind of cheese you could dream of, the milk from these dairy cows gets turned into an incredible variety of amazing products that you can find right here at Andy’s all year round.
There really is nothing better than seeing local businesses work together to create a truly delicious product that we all can enjoy and love.
But, what makes local milk taste so good and why should we choose local milk? Erica was born and raised in Milton Freewater where their dairy farm is located, and there is nothing she loves more than keeping their cows happy. “Our cows are like family. They are like my kids.” She says that the, “quality of the life for our cows is the most important thing. Our cows are happy cows. My ultimate goal is to have healthy and happy animals.”
The average dairy cow will live around 3 years, but here at Creamline Farms they have cows that are over 10 years old. A dairy cow will produce around 60 pounds of milk a day – at around 8 pounds a gallon, that’s a LOT of milk for one cow!
By choosing an all-natural milk from local farms just down the road you help support the dream of a local farming family, can know with certainty that the cows are cared for, and can enjoy fresh and delicious milk every time.
The Creamline Dairy cows are Jersey cows, which create delicious and creamy milk! Their milk is pasteurized but it is non-homogenized. This means that the fat rises to the top! Non-homogenized milk is often easier for people with lactose-intolerances to digest!
Now, to answer the question we all have been dying to understand – what makes a dairy cow produce milk? Just like any mammal, dairy cows produce milk when they are pregnant! This means all dairy cows are ladies! But, what happens when a dairy cow is no longer pregnant? A dairy cow gives birth after 9 months, and here at Creamline Farms they spend over 50 days resting before becoming pregnant again and returning to making milk!
Creamline Farms is transitioning all their cows to A2 cows. This means that genetically these cows create milk that is easier for us to digest! And, even cooler still, dairy cows are often artificially inseminated to create only female babies! This ensures that every baby that is born will become a happy dairy cow just like her mom.
Erica can recognize every dairy cow they have on their farm. She says that the most unique thing about a cow is their, “hair-do.” Atop the head of every cow, they have a wonderful fluff of hair that looks truly unique to them.
Cows love routine, and they walk themselves through the milker every day. Cows do like to sleep laying down, and they do not like temperatures over 70 degrees. This means that in the summer the cows are sprayed continuously by gentle water misters as they eat. Because dairy cows are bottle fed as they age, they grow to have a personal relationship with their farmer. While they were shy around us, they loved coming up for scratches from Erica.
Dairy farming is truly hard work. Dairy cows MUST be milked twice a day, every day – no exceptions. This means that Erica and her husband never have a day off. What makes this hard work worth it? Erica says, “I do this because I love the cows. They are just the coolest beings.”
Next time you are in the milk aisle at Andy’s, we encourage you to give this local milk a try.