Raw Milk in Tacoma

One of Three Jersey Cows at Meadowwood Organics

UPDATE: 4/3/2014

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I can’t believe how often I meet people in real life who tell me they did a search for “raw milk in Tacoma” and stumbled across this post! The raw milk scene has changed since I first wrote this post, and I’d love to share with you my NEW INFORMATION.

First of all, the Tacoma Food Coop is now open for business. They have EXCELLENT dairy options, including several different raw milk options for both cow milk and goat milk. Next time I visit, I will take a ton of pictures and create a new post dedicated to the Tacoma Coop’s current dairy options. Our favorite milk they carry is Blackjack Valley Farm’s raw cow milk, based out of Port Orchard, WA, which goes for approximately $5/half-gallon or $8/gallon.

In addition, Marlene’s has much better dairy options right now for both cow and goat raw milk.

I will try to keep this post up-to-date, but for the latest updates on raw milk sources, be sure to check out the newest comments below! And feel free to ask me any questions you may have!!

Thank you!

ORIGINAL POST:

Raw milk is milk that has been neither pasteurized nor homogenized.  Mr. Wetzel and I want to drink raw milk from a local dairy for several reasons.  We want milk from healthy cows that are well cared for.  We want to support the local economy.  We want fresh, tasty milk.  We want the health benefits of drinking milk in its purest form.

For more technical information on raw milk, or to find leads on a dairy in your area, check out: Realmilk.com .

It is difficult to find a place to buy raw milk.  Most small farmers who offer it don’t advertise very broadly, if at all.  In order to find the farm where we now buy our milk, I asked around a lot until a lady who works at the CSA where we pick up our local veggies gave me the contact information for Meadowwood, LLC. This option works for us because it is only a 20 minute drive from where we meet for church on Sundays.  Here are the options for milk I have found in my explorations for alternative milk options in the Tacoma, WA area:

MEADOWWOOD, LLC
http://meadowwoodorganics.com

20228 SE 400th St.
Enumclaw, WA  98022

Milk is sold in reusable glass jars.  This is where Mr. Wetzel and I are now buying our milk.  They offer a cowshare program which brings down the cost of the milk.

SEA BREEZE FARM
http://www.seabreezefarm.net/

17635 100th Ave SW
Vashon, WA 98070

Sea Breeze Farm has delicious milk.  The biggest problem for Tacoma residents?  They are on Vashon Island, a ferry ride away.  If you live in King county, you can buy from Sea Breeze Farm at a handful of farmers markets in the Seattle area.

Cows from Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island

CHRISTIPAUL FARM, LLC
in Gig Harbor

Contact Chris Schlicht at (253) 884 7840

I have yet to visit this farm, but I earnestly want to.  ChristiPaul Farm’s greatest attraction for me is the fact that whenever you buy milk, you receive milk from only one cow.  Their milks are not mixed.  This is an overwhelmingly idealistic thought for me, taking real milk to another level.

MARLENE’S NATURAL FOODS
http://www.marlenesmarket-deli.com/

2951 S. 38th St.
Tacoma, WA 98409

Marlene’s carries two raw milk options: cow milk from the Dungeness Valley Creamery and goat milk from the St. John Creamery, both in Washington.  While Marlene’s is the closest retail spot, the milk is noticeably less fresh and flavorful than the milks we have purchased directly from the farm.  Given the choice between Marlene’s raw milk and Golden Glen Creamery’s, I opt for the latter.

GOLDEN GLEN CREAMERY
http://www.goldenglencreamery.com/

Available at Top Foods in Tacoma, or through Spud Seattle’s delivery system.

Milk from the Golden Glen Creamery is pasteurized, but it is not homogenized.  They make a variety of dairy products, including cheeses, butter and cream top milk.  We save our glass bottles from Golden Glen because they are easier to pour from than the glass jars our milk comes in from Meadowwood, LLC.

Photo courtesy of Golden Glen’s Facebook Page

Do you have a raw milk testimonial?  What resources for locating raw milk do you have to share?

By ekwetzel
2010-01-26

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Green Cleaning: 10 Simple Habits

Friendships are defined not by what you buy for the other person, but by how you act towards them.  Therefore, it stands to reason that being environmentally friendly has more to do with our attitudes and habits of environmental stewardship than it has to do with the Seventh Generation or Method products we choose to purchase.  Here are 10 simple green cleaning habits that have made a difference in my home life:

Shoes Off – Take your shoes off at the door.  Your shoes track in dust, dirt, puddle drops and a host of potential carpet stains.  If you and your family get in the habit of taking your shoes off at the door, you will reduce the amount of dirtiness that you track into the house, so you will need to clean your floors less often.  In our apartment, we don’t ask our guests to remove their shoes, but we have a basket of fuzzy socks and slippers at the front door, and most guests slip into something more comfortable without even asking.

Use a Broom – Looking for the cheapest way to pick that dust and dirt off the floor?  Sell that Swiffer at the next garage sale, and stick to your handy broom, the original picker-upper.  A dust pan has one-time packaging (if any) and creates no ongoing trash or bills.  Those convenient one-time-use Swiffer cloths can’t claim the same.

Get Essential – Freshen the air each time you go to the bathroom, with this handy trick.  When you get out a new roll of toilet paper, place a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the cardboard tube of the toilet paper.  This will release the scent of the oil each time the paper is used.  You can purchase essential oils online and from many grocery stores or specialty markets.  We purchase our oils from blossomfarm.com. *

Hang it Out to Dry – Overusing your dryer can be one of the biggest culprits of a high energy bill.  Get into the habit of using a clothes drying rack, and in the summer consider hanging all your clean clothes and towels outside to dry.  Here is one of my favorite how-tos from Instructables.com on how to streamline your line-drying experience.

Re-use Bath Towels – Let your bath towels dry between showers and use them several times, instead of washing them after each use.  You’re clean when you get out of the shower, so your towels never get all that dirty; they just need a chance to dry.  If you have limited towel rods, install hooks on the back of your bathroom door.

Use Cloth Napkins – Not only to cloth napkins last longer than paper ones, they look and feel much nicer.  When dinner guests come over for the first time, I sometimes catch them picking up their napkin with a smile that says, “Wow! I thought only fancy people used these.”  Not so, my friend!  Cloth napkins are cheap and easy to find, and there are all kinds of styles available to suit any table arrangement.  We freshen the napkins when guests are over, but when it’s just the two of us, we re-use the same napkins for several days, something I would never do with paper napkins.  Mr. Wetzel and I prefer color plaids that we picked up from World Market, but I have also found many great options on Etsy.  Shop around and see what you can find.

Rags Are Riches – Do you have old T-shirts and socks?  Do you wonder what you’ll do with those tattered sheets and towels?  Turn them into rags, and leave your paper towels in the dust.  I find that cloth absorbs spills better than paper, anyways; and not only does this give you a use for otherwise useless items, you’ll save a bountiful bundle on cleaning supplies.

Scrape Those Plates – Most of the water and energy I have wasted on dish cleaning happens when food has been allowed to crust on the plate or bowl in question.  After dinner, if you don’t have time to run the dishwasher or fill a sink with suds, at least scrape the plates into the trash and wipe the food off your pots and pans.  This will save you a lot of elbow grease in the long run.  In the event that you forget, soak that crummy dish instead of throwing your shoulder out trying to get it spotless.

Grocery Trash Bags – We all have the best of intentions when it comes to remembering our reusable grocery bags, and we all fall short.  Save your paper or plastic bags, and use them at home as trash bags in the bathrooms and bedrooms.  We stock our recycling in a paper bag under the sink, and we use the largest plastic bags for dumping the kitty litter.

Reuse Ziploc Bags – Buy a sharpie.  Keep it in the kitchen.  When you pull out a ziploc bag or other storage bag, write “Cheese” or “Muffins” or whatever you are using it for on the bag.  When you’re done, run some soapy water through it and rinse it, then keep the old bags in a drawer.  Next time you need a bag, reuse the old ones first.  There’s no need to toss most of these handy containers.

What green cleaning habits do you have to share?

By ekwetzel
2010-01-24

* I found this tip in The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier.  Here is a link to Karyn’s blog.

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Thinking Inside the Box

December is the coldest month of the year in Tacoma, and we wanted to heat our apartment as efficiently as possible.

Since we are renting, there are many things Mr. Wetzel and I cannot change about our apartment that would shave money off our heating bill, such as installing double pane windows or replacing our inefficient baseboard heaters.  We put some simple ideas into practice this fall; and, when we received our heating bill for the month of December, we saw that the ideas paid off.

Chart of Electricty Usage, Dec 2008 through Dec 2009

The chart above is from our power bill. As you can see, we used 590 fewer kilowatt hours, cutting our bill down 67%.

We’ve gone through the usual rigmarole every year: turning lights off in unattended rooms, installing energy efficient bulbs, turning the heat off at night or when we’re away, and wearing sweaters and slippers.  In addition, we were thinking “inside the box,” being creative about the space that we are in and channeling its strengths to work for us.

The layout of our apartment is very open concept, with the kitchen, eating area, living room and entry all part of one big room.  In the summer, this area is airy and cool.  In the winter, it is a very hard room to heat because it is so large.

When Washington gets rainy and dark outside, Mr. Wetzel and I spend a lot of time indoors, watching TV, playing videogames, surfing the net or reading.  Last December, our television was set up in the open living area, but this year we moved the TV into the smallest room of the apartment, one that we used as an office.  This TV room is at the end of a hall, along with our bedroom.  We purchased a two-panel curtain set ($30 from World Market) and extension rod (a few bucks from Home Depot), and positioned the curtains in the hallway, just outside the entry to the two rooms.  This helped to insulate the heat in the rooms, while allowing our cat to roam freely throughout the apartment.

On warmer days, we wear sweaters and let the heat of the electronics warm the rooms.  Yes: we play videogames and watch TV to stay warm.  It makes me chuckle!  On cooler days, we turn the heat on for a while; once the rooms are warm, we shut it off.  The curtains help to seal in the warm air, and since the space is small, the warmth doesn’t have many places to escape to.  On the coldest days, we leave the heat on, and the rooms stay noticeably warmer than the rest of the apartment.

Without the television in the main living area, we now have the sofa and chairs in our main room set up to face each other.  When we have guests over, the TV no longer gets haphazardly turned on.  Instead, we sit around chatting and getting to know our friends and neighbors more intimately.  That too brings more warmth into our lives…590 kilowatts of “friendship” warmth a month, to be exact.

Mr. Wetzel and I support green power through the City of Tacoma.  Here is more information about Tacoma Public Utilities Evergreen Options .  For homeowners and renters, you can support green energy at the Frog, Salmon, Otter or Orca levels (more info here).

By ekwetzel
2010-01-13

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Making Yogurt Make Itself

The first time I experienced homemade yogurt was in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. It was around 1993, I was in middle school and my parents were in missionaries in the former Soviet Block country. We were in the Kotsakovi home, and my future sister-in-law’s mother pulled a bowl off the top of the fridge, removed the towel that covered it, and poured the lumpy white liquid into jars that went into the fridge. I remember eating long meals at the Kotsakovi house, filled with colorful conversation and dishes. Yogurt came out towards the end of the meal; we would add jam made from wild strawberries or blueberries to it as a dessert. The yogurt was tangy, fresh, and alive.

In America, a typical cup of yogurt pales in comparison. In our home, we have typically eaten Trader Joe’s Greek style yogurt or FAGE yogurt, and we use this thick yogurt also as sour cream. This week, I tried my hand as making my own yogurt at home, using FAGE as a starter & this recipe, courtesy of Michael Reeps. While Michael recommends waiting 7 hours, I waited 8.5 hours and the yogurt was still not thick enough for me. Next time I am going to try waiting 10 hours.

I tried blending a banana/vanilla yogurt for Mr. Wetzel, similar to the Banilla yogurt at Trader Joes that he likes. I blended a pint of yogurt with 2 bananas and a vanilla bean in my blender, after the yogurt had chilled in the fridge overnight. The yogurt came out watery and the flavor proportions were off; next time I will try to blend it before chilling in the fridge, and I will use 1 banana and vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean.

Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

By ekwetzel
2009-11-06

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