What’s so special about our raw milk?
- We operate under a Herd-share Program
We are in our 4th year offering raw milk through our raw milk herd-share program. (We believe a herd-share is the best option for families and the farmers, as it not only helps maintain healthy animals so they can produce healthy food, but it’s also a way families have access to a steadier supply on a weekly basis. We commit to our farm families 24/7, 365 days a year, and a mutual commitment from future herd-share members is valuable to keep doing what we do. When we have openings, our herd-share seeks out families who share the same values of commitment.
- ALL of our sweet gals are A2A2 pure-bred AJCA registered Jerseys (and we’ve got the papers to prove each one). We even know their long lineage and who their great-grandparents where etc..! Several of our ladies’ lineage originated from faraway lands.
- We operate under a closed herd
It’s the best biosecurity management for keeping infectious diseases out of our herd. We’ve purchased our cows and tested them for all sorts of diseases and risks. Then we started birthing our own babies on the farm creating our now closed herd. No cattle in, only those born here, and just a cozy friendly healthy herd.
- Our cows live and love their lives on pasture
Along with adequate shelter and shade for all sorts of weather.
- Our momma’s raise their calves to weaning age
This means, a little less milk for us, but it also means happier and healthier cows, both for the baby calf, and the momma.
- Healthy cows, mean little to no conventional medicine
We utilize herbal and natural remedies to keep our ladies healthy, and if needed in rare or extreme emergencies, we may have to use conventional medicine or care (while having a withholding period.) So far, we’ve been fortunate to only need to use conventional medicine for one of our cows in the complete 4 years of running our herdshare. All of our cows are seen by our local vet for routine care and tested yearly. They are free of TB, Brucellosis, Johnes, BLV, and BVD.
- Lab Tested
We are diligently implementing safe procedures to ensure the highest quality of our raw milk for our own family & farm families by following Iowa’s law by testing our milk frequently, on a monthly basis to ensure we keep providing safe, healthy, and delicious milk for years to come.
What is a Herd-Share?
We do all the hard work – the milking, the grazing, the care, the sanitizing, the doctoring, the testing, the bottling, the managing etc.
By joining our herd-share you are “buying in” to our dairy herd. We do all the above work for a monthly boarding fee per share. It’s really that simple.
At the beginning of joining, you will pay a purchase fee for your portion of the herd. This will allocate a gallon of raw milk for you each week.
Start-up costs includes your herd purchase, jar deposits, and first months boarding fee. After that, you will be billed only the monthly boarding fee, due the beginning of each month.
Pick-up at the Farm
You’ll be asked to choose from one of these weekly pick-up options at time of joining.
TUESDAYS – at Eden Ridge Acres (All year long, minus holidays) 2 pm – 6 pm
FRIDAYS – at Eden Ridge Acres (All year long, minus holidays) 2 pm – 5 pm
Please read through all the FAQ’s before emailing. Thank you.
HOW WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU
Communication is key. Email is the most efficient way we keep you in the loop!
We will be communicating with you through the email address you signed up with. For emergencies, or quick alerts we may utilize text (this is rare). We will send out ocassional emails to our raw milk herd-share holders. By signing up for a herd-share you are agreeing to checking and reading those emails to stay in the loop. Sometimes, you won’t find any other information anywhere else and this weekly email is crucial to being part of the herd.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT EDEN RIDGE RAW MILK?
Our herd consists of 100% pure A2A2 Jerseys. Their milk is unique – in the fact, they are known for their sweet, creamy and smooth tasting milk that is high in both milkfat and butterfat.
Their grass-fed diet ensures that their milk contains more than five times the amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than grain-fed cows and is full of bio-available nutrients like Vitamin A, D, K and Calcium.
Jersey milk, on average, contains 18% more protein, 20% more calcium and 25% more butterfat than average whole milk. They produce a smaller quantity, but an extremely high quality of milk.
MILKING, SANITATION & HANDLING PRACTICES
Numerous scientific studies have shown that raw milk is correlated with a decreased rate of asthma, allergies, eczema, ear infections, fever, and respiratory infections. However, improperly produced raw milk can be detrimental to ones health. Our farm takes our milking, sanitation, handling & testing of our raw milk very seriously.
Before we even begin the milking process we clean our hands throughly. Then we begin using hot soapy water and give the udders a good clean. We then dip each teat in iodine to insure no bacteria is left. Then we dry each utter with a clean disposable cloth, then each teat is stripped before milking begins.
We milk our cows by machine. All our milk goes directly into a stainless steel enclosed milk can. Once milking is complete we take our milk can directly inside for immediate bottling into sanitized glass jars. The jars of milk receive a “flash chill” to bring the temps to just above freezing (38-40 degrees F).
We then proceed to do a through cleaning of our milk cans and milk machine and hoses and attachments.
We ask that our members bring clean jars for their trade each week. However, each jar and lid receive a deep clean with hot soapy water to ensure every jar going out is clean and up to our cleaning standards. Did you know? It takes approximately 9+ HOURS each week to thoroughly clean all our glass jars? It’s dedication or we’re crazy. You tell us. 🙂
HOW MUCH MILK DO I GET IN A SHARE?
A single share will allot 1 gallon of milk per week. A half share will allot 1 half gallon. If you want more than one gallon a week, you must purchase more than one share.
WHAT ARE BOARDING FEES APPLIED TOO?
MONTHLY BOARDING FEES & COMMITMENTS
All boarding fees are due before the 1st of every month. However, we understand things can change overnight, so for your convenience there is no long-term commitment, but we do very much appreciate families signing up with a long-term commitment in mind. We commit to our farm families and our herd-share program is probably one of the most time consuming and most expensive efforts on our farm. In order to keep doing what we are doing – we ask for strong commitments in return. If you are moving, or are unable to keep your share, we require a 30-day notice in writing (by email) and we request that you maintain your boarding commitments up to that point until the time comes for your scheduled departure. Monthly boarding fees are non-refundable.
For more information on joining our herd-share program and our boarding fees, please email.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS MY PICKUP?
DO YOU DELIVER MILK TO A DROP?
Going out of town? Can’t make it for your pick-up?
You can choose to donate your share portion to the ‘blessing shares’ part of our program, and we will pick the next family down on our herd-share list to bless, compliments of you and your family. This has been a fun and amazing part of our program that families have loved being part of both the givers and the receivers!
WHAT BECOMES OF THE BABY CALVES?
HOW ARE THE COWS FED?
HOW IS THE MILK BOTTLED?
We bottle all our milk in half-gallon glass jars and BPA – food safe plastic reusable lids.
WHY CAN'T I TASTE TEST BEFORE I PURCHASE?
Our herd-share contract is to protect you as the consumer as well as us, as your farmers – samples are not included in our state of Iowa protection policy, therefore we cannot offer samples before a purchase. Just like most things in the consumer world, you can’t go to the store to “taste” your food before you buy (unless you’re at the big box stores like Sam’s Club or Costco, ha!) We want our customers to be 100% satisfied with their purchase while being 100% protected. So, when you initially sign up and possibly find out you are not completely satisfied after your first “taste”, we are more than happy to give you a 100% refund by request. However, we will ask you’re reasoning so we can better our services.
TESTING OUR MILK
IS YOUR MILK CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
It is not. However, we do not use growth hormones or prophylactic antibiotics in our animals and, although our land is not USDA certified organic, the only thing that ever touches our pastures is manure. We use no pesticides, herbicides, or sprays on our land, so the animals are grazing on clean pastures and hay.
HOW ARE COWS TREATED IF THEY BECOME SICK?
HOW DO I TRANSPORT MY RAW MILK?
Always keep your milk chilled. Even if you have a short distance to drive.
We can’t stress this enough! It’s imperative that you keep your milk in a cooler with ice or proper ice packs until you return home. Take care that it’s not left out for long at meal-times. Our family never leaves our milk out on the table or counter. We pour our milk and it goes directly back in the fridge. No exceptions.
If at any time your milk becomes unpleasant to drink due to leaving it out or of its age, simply discard the product. If you do not feel comfortable drinking aged milk or aging it into other products like cheese, just stick with the fresh milk you get every week. That will keep your supply fresh and you won’t have to worry about how old your milk is getting.
There are however many things you can do with aging milk. Sour cream, yogurt, cheese, the list is endless. There are a lot of recipes you can find online that will show you what to do with your aging milk. As time goes on we hope to become one of those online sources of information like that so keep an eye out as we grow and develop our site and herd.
WHAT DOES THE DATE ON THE MILK JAR MEAN?
Every single jar of milk we bottle will have a date that represents the day the milk was collected. The milk is guaranteed to be fresh for the following 12 days with little exception, so long as the milk is handled properly in your care. Our family prefers drinking our milk within the 5-7 day mark. The more the milk sits, the creamier and thicker the milk gets.
IS RAW MILK SAFE TO DRINK?
CAN PEOPLE WITH LACTOSE INTOLERANCE DRINK RAW MILK
In general, we’ve found this to be true! Though for legal reasons we cannot claim any health facts. Many of our members do come to us for fresh, whole, unprocessed milk because of its digestibility and for many personal health reasons. Farmer Esther, being one of them!
A 2007 U of M and Weston A. Price survey actually found that around 89% of lactose intolerance actually goes away when they switch to raw milk.
There is an enzyme called lactase in raw milk that is killed during the pasteurization process, so your body is just left with lactose, which is particularly difficult for many peoples’ guts to digest alone. In unprocessed milk, both lactose and lactase are present, aiding your body in the digestive process. A small minority of people still have problems with raw cow’s milk, and that usually stems from a casein sensitivity or allergy (casein is another protein in milk like lactose).
Either way, unprocessed milk is a whole living food that is designed to be consumed by a newborn calf with a weak immune system and a nominal intestinal track. What that means for us is that all the nutrients in unprocessed milk are completely bio-available and in the most easily digestible form possible. The more we process milk through pasteurization, homogenization and added food dyes, the more problems we encounter in our body’s ability to process the milk.
OUR CUSTOMERS & RAW MILK
We cannot make health claims, but we can share with you what we are hearing from many of our farm families who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk are delighted to discover they no longer have trouble digesting our A2A2 grass-fed raw milk thanks to its probiotic nature. There are a couple families who have a family member who are lactose intolerant that drink our raw milk. Other people find that the heavy lactobacillus content in raw milk (similar to what you find in commercial yogurt or cultured buttermilk) helps keep their digestive system running smoothly. Many simply prefer the fuller taste of raw milk. Overall, majority of those who enjoy fresh raw milk do it simply to return to a more natural unprocessed diet as was intended by our Maker.
WHAT IF THERE IS BAD WEATHER ON PICKUP DAY?
We define “bad weather” as severe thunderstorm, hail, tornado warnings, lightening, blizzards or any weather not advised for travel – anything that prevents you or us from safely standing outside. If this type of weather occurs, we will contact you via email or text with alternate details.
If Eden Ridge Acres LLC is unable to carry out its obligations due to a Force Majeure
We will do our best to send out a written notice to customers in such an event, and the obligations shall be suspended to the extent necessary by such event.
The term Force Majeure shall include, without limitations, acts of God, medical personal emergency, plague, epidemic, pandemic, outbreaks of infectious disease or any other public health crisis, including quarantine or other restrictions, fire, explosion, vandalism, storm or other similar occurrence, orders or acts of military or civil authority, or by national emergencies, insurrections, riots, or wars, or strikes, lockouts, or supplier failures. Eden Ridge Acres LLC agrees to do what they can to accommodate the needs of the
customers as best as they can if able.
JOIN THE HERD - Please do not call
Due to the high volume we receive almost daily about our raw milk, we request that you don’t call, but email: hello AT edenridgeacres.com if wanting to purchase a herd-share, or if you have any further questions not cited here. Thank you, for helping us be more effecient.