Check out this Farm Gate Raw Milk Dispenser

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How good is this farm gate idea? Raw milk, fresh from the farm the dispenser stands on, available to anyone who cares to come along and bring a bottle – 24/7.

You little ripper. 

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Village Milk cows… that grass! That view!

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Village Milk dairy farmers Colin and Jody getting the very first ever bottle of their milk

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Village Milk is a New Zealand initiative that is built on the simple idea of how to get fresh raw milk to people who want it.

The machine sits at the farm gate of whatever dairy farm cares to install the minimal infrastructure required. There’s a milk dispensing machine, and a bottle machine too, incase you forgot to bring your own.

Before you buy your milk, you can sterilise your bottle with a squirt of steam. Then you nominate the amount of milk you want, and off you go.

The idea

Put simply, Village Milk is real milk. It’s unmodified. It comes out of the cow and goes into the tank.

It isn’t pasteurised, homogenized, processed, over-handled, heated, extracted, spun, or had anything added to it. It doesn’t need any of these things because it’s perfect, just as it is.

Why isn’t it pasteurised? 

Pasteurisation served a very valuable purpose back in the 1920’s when tuberculosis was spreading through meat and milk. Pasteurisation enabled all the harmful bacteria to be killed. We don’t need to apply this process to our milk now. All our animals are TB-free and have been for decades.

Pasteurisation destroys not only harmful bacteria, but beneficial bacteria as well. It also destroys enzymes, making digestion difficult for the human system.

Pasteurisation makes proteins less bioavailable, and it alters amino acids and some vitamins. Natural Vitamin D, for example, is destroyed and has to be added back artificially, to pasteurised milk.” – Village Milk website

All the Village Milk farmers are required to abide by certain standards regarding theirs cows (grass fed and silage only) and milk processing. And becuase it’s sold ‘on farm’, it lessens clashes with many dairy farmers long-standing milk contracts.

At this point in time, it is not legal to sell Raw milk for human consumption in Australia. Some folks get around this with methods like Herdshare, or simply having  good relationship with a local cow owner. Some opt for drinking raw milk sold as “pet milk”, or “bath milk”.

Legalities aside, we think this system rocks for a couple of reasons…

Firstly, it places the sale outlet of the raw product on-farm – so you can see where the milk is coming from, making the producer-to-consumer loop as short as possible. This encourages transparent practices and enhances basic understanding of how food is produced.

Secondly, it frees up the farmer to do what they do best – farm. The system is streamlined enough so that you get the immediacy of a farm gate shop, while not impacting greatly on a small dairy farm’s already long, long day.

Thirdly, and somewhat ironically, it’s a dispenser – the instructions are clear, there’s little that can go wrong, and everyone can figure it out.

This initiative is a great start, which will add to the groundswell of ideas and methods of how to get real milk to the people.

>> More posts on small farm animal systems here…

Big thanks to Steve of Urban Greenspace for the lead photo and the shout about this great initiative. All other images ©Village Milk.

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19 Comments

  1. Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant! I wonder how they keep the machine clean…

  2. Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Deed of the Day and commented:
    I wish they had one of these in every town!

  3. Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    I wish someone would do that around here in Egypt! I really love raw water buffalo milk… it’s richer and sweeter than cow milk – did you ever try it?

  4. Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    The awesomeness of this idea!!! REally need this here.

  5. Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    my dairy farming man was listening to a story on these guys on ABC radio last week…. it sounds cool (apparently its expensive to get into…. just like everything else to do with the dairying!) — here in oz one of the tricky bits is – the farm gate is usually a looooooooooooong way from the customer base…. making it just that little bit trickier to get happening.

    lucky for us we can get our hands (or rather, our lips) onto all the raw milk we could desire….. if my farm boy remembers to bring home the milk jugs that is!

    • Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      yeah I agree that’s a prob, but if there’s a couple of families its just a matter of ‘who’s doing the milk run this week’ or whatever… it’s something that I would definitely work with :)

  6. Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    I get all my milk from my local Village Milk in Gordonton New Zealand, about 20km from my suburban home. As I don’t have a car, and am not up for a 40k bike round trip just to get milk every week, I have collected a community of people who will pick it up for, or with, me (mostly people driving that way for work who I pay with Timebank credits). My dependency on other people has introduced heaps of friends to raw milk who might never have tried it otherwise. Our Village Milk is from Jersey cows and I can skim about 200ml of cream off every bottle to make cream cheese, marscapone or icecream- or shake it in for milk that is almost as thick and sweet as custard!
    @doglover1918, after you fill your bottles, when you close the glass door on the nozzle bit of the dispenser, it steam cleans in a dramatic whoosh, particularly enjoyed by small children. I assume the back bits of the dispenser also steam clean overnight.

  7. Posted January 24, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wish I had one of those where I live.

  8. Posted January 24, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    What an unreal idea. I’ll be telling our dairy farmer friend. I’m certain he’d love something like this. I can only hope that one day in Australia it will be legal. I noticed that Food Standards Australia & New Zealand is revising a standard to allow the sale of raw milk ‘products’ such as cheeses made from raw milk. It’s a step in the right direction.

  9. groovybruvy
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    oh wow – this is wonderful ! I wish it was in australia too.

  10. Di W
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Seems crazy that the Australian Govt are maintaining their dedication to preventing anyone accessing raw milk, all based on the Food Standards of Aust & NZ, when NZ has taken this approach. The SA Govt is still pursuing a cow-share program through the Courts, you’d think there were bigger health concerns in the community for them to worry about!

  11. Posted January 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How fantastic. The farm gate stall for the 21st century. Good stuff.

  12. Rosie
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yet another reason to move to NZ!!

  13. MarkF
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Our Director of Public Health took the time to read this and reply to me. He expressed concern that he receives reports occasionally of brucellosis and listeriosis linked to consumption of unpasteurised milk whilst overseas.
    I see that the Kiwis are using some herd-management techniques like grass & silage only. I am intrigued to know what we collectively know about herd-management and interrupting vectors of transmission for these diseases.
    If we want to get raw milk legal in NSW we’re going to need good, solid evidence to support the cause.
    Please don’t read this post as negative – I’m supportive of this if it’s proven safe. I just know how the health system works and it would take only one case of brucellosis to hole this idea below the waterline in Australia.

    • Posted February 4, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Mark! x

    • gbell12
      Posted February 14, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Don’t forget about E. Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. I’ve read through the outbreak reports for the US, and plenty of kids get sick from drinking raw milk on farm tours. Risks include kidney failure and paralysis.

      I think this is another one where permies might be incorrectly distancing themselves from science. The US’ CDC says:

      “Adherence to good hygienic practices during milking can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of milk contamination. The dairy farm environment is a reservoir for illness-causing germs. No matter what precautions farmers take, and even if their raw milk tests come back negative, they cannot guarantee that their milk, or the products made from their milk, are free of harmful germs.

      Germs such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella can contaminate milk during the process of milking dairy animals, including cows, sheep, and goats. Animals that carry these germs usually appear healthy.”

      • Max Dench
        Posted March 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        gbell12, the germ issues you mention above can also affect raw meat but they are still allowed to be sold. They are managed as they could be in raw milk.

  14. Posted February 4, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on Slow Natural Living and commented:
    Brilliant idea for direct to the consumer Raw Milk

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