Honourable Honey

Posted on January 30, 2012

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Naturally, people are apt to discredit much of the things they find listed on craigslist. I found the job I hold, and several previous ones on craigslist, however, so I’m a bit less skeptical of the site (and of most things in general, to be truthful) and what people post there. Sometime last week I saw a post for an outfit in South Tampa where raw milk (less than a day old from the cow, fresh cream on top), raw honey, and eggs were sold “on the honour system.”

I looked today to find out the name of the place, West Brother’s Farm. I can’t find any mention of much on the site except about the honey, but the craigslist ad went over their milk sales, eggs, and the honey stand.

They are located here:
6101 S. 2nd St.
Tampa, FL 33611

When Nate and I went Sunday afternoon a gentleman doing the weekend chores told us to feel free to poke around and look at the farm (which I wanted to do, but would have been too nervous or weirded out to go if nobody were there) and he directed us to the fridge where the milk was. He also told us to feel free to grab some greens from the vegetable garden if we bought milk or honey, as grazing is complimentary to customers.

Nate was thrilled to pick a mustard green leaf the size of a small kite and was maybe even more excited to see that they had beets and chard (his favorite things ever, apparently), though they weren’t ready for harvesting just yet.

I wandered pretty close to some bee hives that were toward the back of the easily accessible parts of the property and watched them in fascination. I have probably 10 books checked out from the library on bee keeping since that’s my next possible venture.

Our milk had listed the date it was milked from the cow, and what time of the day, which was the night before we picked it up. Now how’s that for fresh?! We ladled the cream off the top into a tupperware container and I intend to make butter with it when we use up the surplus we already have.

Obviously since the FDA has rules and stuff, this is for pet consumption only, but I worked in a dairy lab for a year and a half and as much as I loved the people I worked for an all that jazz, I’d trust this unpasteurized stuff from the cold fridge that came from the udder within 24 hours more than the milk we chugged off our production lines at the plant by a whole lot. Also, if you are sensitive to lactose (but not severely allergic) sometimes drinking raw milk like this can ease up or get rid of those troubles entirely. Nate doesn’t do so well with pasteurized milk, but there are enough good bacterias in this milk that, as he said, the milk digests itself!

Their prices are as follows:
$7 for gallon of milk (with 2 inches of cream at the top)
$7 for a pound of honey, $14 for 3 pounds, and $45 for 12 pounds
$5 per dozen eggs

If you don’t buy local and are gawking at these prices, I’ll just say that I firmly believe that getting my edibles a solid 10 or more steps closer to the source of the product is at least worth the investment because I can meet and speak to the person keeping those cows and chickens and bees.

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