Vancouver’s Fresh Milk Family
Last weekend we headed out to our local community dairy’s annual farm picnic (www.ourcows.ca). I was pretty excited as we’d only been out to the farm once before on a cold rainy day, which was fun as well–at the time there were about 7 young calves and a litter of puppies–but it is always nice to be on a farm, in the sun, with smiling children and animals of all sorts playing higgledy-piggledy all over the place. When we got out of the car, I wondered for a second if the event was just meant for families with kids…then the tractor started up and the packed out hay ride lumbered slowly through the farm gate and all I knew was I had to get me a seat on the next ride.
We were just in time for the milking so we headed into the barn to observe the cows come in. It was delightful to hear the kid’s excited chortles as the cows rushed to get in position. Once the cows were contentedly licking up their treat, little hands started reaching out, slowly at first and then with more confidence to touch and rub the noses of their cows.
I always find it exciting yet comforting to get around other cowshare members, I suppose most of us are used to being slightly on edge about our rather different interests in food than the norm, so just being around people who are on the same page in this basic, nourishing understanding of food and microbe is a huge relief, yet at the same time, a bit of a shock. There wasn’t any frenzy to do–everyone just seemed happy, comfortable and satisfied. Well, there was the most nourishing spread I’ve ever seen laid out on three long tables under plum trees by a bunny pen, which helped. The hamburgers and sausages were fantastic– although I got a tip that the fresh sausages potentially available through HomeOnTheRange are even better!
The coolest thing, I thought, was the selection of 6 types of fermented salsas and krauts at the beginning of the table. I had a bit of each and think I liked the radish and pineapple ones the best. I have, unfortunately, misplaced the business card of the lady who made them, but I was very glad when she stood up and let us know her intent to be a Weston A Price Foundation Chapter leader. It would be great to have another WAPF chapter leader here in Vancouver. I can never get to the events on North Shore and I would really love meet with other like-minded folks who love butter, fermented foods and raw milk on a regular basis. If anyone has her info can you please post it in the comments as well please?
I recently read a book on the traditional culture and diet of the Abkhasians who often lived over 100 years. They had a very interesting aspect to their culture where children who nursed from the same woman’s breast were considered milk-siblings. The milk-bond was just as thick as the blood-bond, and siblings protected and supported each other. When I get together with cowshare members I always feel an underlying bond that comes from being aware of the blessings micro-organisms offer and the power of holistically cared for living food. We drink from the same cows, so in this manner we also share the same micro-organisms that nurture and protect our delicate bodies. Perhaps this gives us a common foundation for our interaction with our world that is simple and grounding but unfathomable if you haven’t experienced it yourself.
It was nice to have a chance to meet many people from diverse backgrounds who all had their own reasons for seeking out the community of this local small scale dairy. A young mother with her daughter sat beside me on the hay ride, her daughter had been having digestive issues when the mother drank industrial milk whereas grass-fed, raw milk caused no problems and was supportive. A friend and I discussed the intricacies of various types of yogurt and kefir. Another friend gave me tips on locating grass-fed marrow bones for bone broth, and then I got into a discussion with a couple other people about how EMFs and wireless networks were effecting their health. I get the distinct impression one of the reasons this real food movement is so threatening to big business is because it cuts through all divisions. People on the left, right and down the middle unite when it comes down to healing themselves.
With the sun shining so brightly and the goats, dogs, cows and people looking so cute and happy it was hard to stop and remember that somewhere out there people are putting in plans, organizing, promoting, spying and plotting to put a stop to cowshares and other private food clubs (the Underground Market Club in San Francisco was just shut down a couple months ago. Surely there are enough real evils in our world for them to keep busy with controlling?) Just before we all dug into the amazing potluck dinner we were told a Fraser Health inspector had been out on the farm again. We will find out the verdict of the appeal against Michael Schmidt in Ontario in September. It is clear we are seeing a renewed pressure to shut down local community dairies in Canada as well as the USA. Unfortunately it seems those making decisions are overly obsessed with having everything uniform (or harmonized as they like to call it), not one dairy stepping out of line–probably a result of pathogenic micro-organisms in their guts, which is something quite hard to change if they don’t start drinking pastured fresh milk :).
What is frustrating to many is that the marketing board already tests milk from farms across the province, and is ultimately able to determine how much and what kinds of bacteria are present. It seems a short step to sell safe milk directly to consumers as another regulated product.-Michael Marrapese
For years Michael Schmidt has consistently done his best to work with Health Canada to set up local dairies that are up to the correct standards necessary for providing living raw milk. We continue to hope that they will take the hand extended to them and find ways to support people who choose to drink their milk straight from the cow. As you know we are all just people, many are parents who want good wholesome food for their kids in this increasingly toxic world. Others of us have been through some kind of health crisis and found fresh milk from happy cows eating luscious grass the most supportive and regenerating substance around. My partner no longer has asthma, I no longer get extreme migraines. In a recent interview Michael Schmidt spoke on the future of CowShares in Canada:
“If you follow the news across North America in respect to Agricultural issues, food issues and food rights issues, you will notice the increasingly violent crack downs by state agencies on farmers and private food clubs on both sides of the border.
I have been criticized for calling these actions a war, however by now nobody will dispute anymore the fact that the Government is at war to destroy fundamental rights related to basic human rights….
I do expect that we will lose the appeal. Why? Because I think the appeals judge will look at the ruling of Justice Kowarsky in a more conservative and traditional way and not with such a broad and liberal approach as Kowarsky did.” Read full interview here.
I haven’t been able to blog as much these last couple months, but I would like to extend my website to the raw-milk, real-food lovin’ community as a tool for getting more information out about the benefits of raw milk or cultured foods and the importance of defending our food rights. We need to raise the buzz about this issue here in Vancouver. If anyone would like to share their experiences with raw milk, from a recipe to a health resolution, please send me an article–perhaps we can arrange video interviews as well. As an added incentive, since I know we are all very busy I would be willing to throw in a cranio session in exchange for a couple articles or something along those lines. For more information on getting involved see Real Milk Revolution.
I also really need someone to help me post articles to the site, if anyone would like to help out in any manner, or knows someone who would like to be an intern–we will also train you in blogging and social media, social media is an excellent and affordable promotional tool–and youngsters pick it up faster than anyone. This is especially important right now to just get raw milk in the air as much as possible. The more the merrier 🙂 I have created a community on facebook called Vancouver’s Milk Siblings so we can get to know each other–but be aware–Michael Schmidt did call it a war. Flickr is also a good community where we can share photos and information with more control over who else uses it. I have posted more photos of Our Cows annual picnic here, I have kept images of cowshare members private, to see all the images please let me know to add you as a friend. You will be able to download the images as well if you like. We are going to make up a video at some point as well.
It would also be good to do another fundraiser…I would really like to see Farmageddon…anyone else? Let’s organize a screening. In the meantime, don’t forget to keep donating to The Real Milk Legal Defence Fund.