RAW MILK

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

 

Frequent Questions

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?

Boarding fees help maintain our shared herd and is due monthly for each share owned.  These boarding fees go towards the labor costs and any other fees that may incur to maintain a healthy and bountiful herd.  Fees do not change according to missed milk pickups.

 

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?

 We are unable to issue financial credits for missed pickups, or no shows. Payment is applied the 1st of every month to help pay for the cows to be tended to, milked twice-a-day, as well as monthly testing etc. and that must be done every day, regardless of if you drink the milk or not. If you run into a week you cannot pick up your milk (vacation, unexpected emergencies etc…) we encourage you utilize our ‘Blessing Shares’ or line someone else to pick up for you. It’s your choice to give your milk to a family member or close friend (but under the State of Iowa laws, under no conditions can you sell it to someone else.) 

DO YOU DELIVER MILK TO A DROP?

No, not at this time. Our milk is never frozen, and our veggie trailer does not cool to proper temps to safely haul gallons and gallons of milk each week. At this time, we do not deliver our milk to a drop location – we have families who pick-up right off our conveniently located farm. We also have many families who share pickups with each other. Our farm is conveniently located just 15 minutes south of West Des Moines city limits. 12 minutes south of Norwalk, 15 minutes west of Indianola, and 20-30 minutes to most surrounding Des Moines communities. We milk twice a day; 365 days a year, and we ask that our families dedicate to a weekly pickup as we dedicate to serve you well. Your dedication helps little farms like ours survive for years to come. 

BLESSING SHARES

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?

The heifer calves are nursed by their own momma’s and are halter trained and eventually become replacement heifers and additional milking cows for our boarding program as we grow. The bulls are raised for the purpose of breeding or sometimes our own personal freezer.

HOW ARE THE COWS FED?

Our raw milk is A2A2 registered (we’ve got the papers to prove it) from our sweet per-bred Jersey gals who are pasture-raised. Our cows graze on fresh grass under a rotational grazing program during the spring, summer and fall along with free-choice hay. In the winter months our sweet ladies munch on gmo-free sprouted grains for a “fresh” treat in the cold months. (winter-only), and premium quality hay from a reputable local farmer we can trust.  During the morning and evening milkings our gals get special treats of organic gmo-free oats, and molasses, and minerals to give them extra vitamins, protein and probiotics. No corn, no soy, no antibiotics, no hormones – simply no junk.)

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

 Our farm tests for coliform, cell, e. coili, and aerobic plate count on a monthly basis. 

We test our milk frequently for Somatic Cell Count, as well, which can help us determine if a cow’s immune system is “on alert,” potentially fighting an infection. We generally like to begin treatment at the sub-clinical level with injections of high doses of vitamins, like B-12 etc…

We desire our farm families to find tableside confidence in our farm goods and products. Yet, we all understand that no food is 100% safe, however we believe using strict guidelines to mitigate as much risk as possible is very important in helping families decide on the foods they choose to consume. We value high standards and integrity in everything we do on our farm in our everyday lives.

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?

Our first and foremost mission is to keep our cows healthy and happy, because in doing so produces amazing healthy milk.  In the event there is a sickness or injury in the herd, our go to is to treat our cows with natural, homeopathic or herbal remedies. All sickness within the herd is treated as a high priority and any sign of infection will result in a cow to be quarantined and pulled from production until the situation is remedied.

Under certain situations, we may need to use antibiotics if necessary. If we ever have to treat an animal with antibiotics, which suggests there is a situation that calls for it, and we are unable to naturally treat it, we will dispose of the milk for the duration of the entire sickness and withdrawal period of the said antibiotic.

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?

Back in the day when everyone had a family milk cow that grazed on grass, no one worried about bad milk. When milking made its big move to commercial dairies, the diet of the cow switched from mostly grass to mostly grain. With this change in diet and the crowded commercial dairy conditions, suddenly raw milk became a health hazard. To preserve the large commercial dairies, the solution was to pasteurize the milk. Pasteurized milk of course destroys all the bacteria (the good and the bad) in milk. The result was that the milk that was produced under these new conditions could now be consumed with minimal risk at the subtle expense of flavor, nutrition, good enzymes and bacteria and a product that doesn’t age on the shelf anymore, but now rots and goes rancid.

Obviously the dairy industry had to do a big sell to the consumer to get them to accept this different product, thus the marketing that many of us were raised under to believe that only pasteurized milk is the truly safe option to drink. In fact, a few backyard cows fed primarily grass & hay and milked in a clean facility produces fresh milk that is perfectly safe to drink unpasteurized.

If you search the web for “raw milk” you will find many discussions on the topic of consuming fresh unprocessed milk. We refer to information found on Raw Milk Facts and Real Milk. Much of the other information on fresh milk, in our opinion, comes from misunderstandings, perversions of truths, and political pressures from the commercial dairy industry to keep a competing product out of the market and protect their market share. It is advised to do your own due diligence and form your own opinions on the matter. There is much conflicting information out there and everyone is trying to sell you their angle on the subject.

Overall choosing to drink fresh unprocessed milk is no light matter. The truth is that any milk, pasteurized or unpasteurized, that is contaminated with deadly pathogens can be very dangerous if not fatal to consume. To make this choice demands a lot of responsibility on the part of the consumer to do diligent research on the matter and most importantly know the conditions the cows you wish to consume milk from are raised in as well as the farmers who care for them. The same risk applies when buying pasteurized milk from the grocery stores, with the exception you can’t just meet the producers of that milk when you buy it, so you have to weigh your options and always make informed decisions.

We believe in food freedom and families should be able to choose what they consume and don’t. 

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. 

FORCE MAJEURE

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. 

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