9/21/2013 7:00 AM
By Steve Damon Massachusetts Correspondent
Nine Massachusetts farms that sell raw milk opened their farms for tours and other activities on Sept. 7 and 8 to teach “why raw milk tastes so good and why it’s so good for you,” according to the Massachusetts Chapter of Northeast Organic Farming Association, or NOFA-Mass.
Winton Pitcoff, raw milk network coordinator and development director for NOFA-Mass., said, “Raw milk sales have doubled in four years,” and Raw Milk Days, which is becoming “a tradition with some families who visit the same farm,” is an “educational opportunity” for people to learn more about bill H717, which would expand legal raw milk sales in Massachusetts.
Current Massachusetts law allows farmers to sell raw milk off their farm or in a store in which they own. The bill, which died in committee last year and was later rewritten, would allow farmers to deliver raw milk to their customers as well as allow farmers to sell raw milk at a nearby farm store.
Participating Raw Milk Days farms included Chase Hill Farm in Warwick; Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown; Eastleigh Farm in Framingham; The Herb Hill Micro-Dairy in Andover; Northfield Mount Hermon School Farm in Gill; Oake Knoll Ayrshires in Foxboro; Robinson Farm in Hardwick; Sidehill Farm in Hawley; and Upinngil Farm in Gill.
Lucy McKain of The Herb Hill Micro-Dairy in suburban Andover, was proud to be the only goat milk producer participating in the festivities.
“I’m different,” she giggled.
Although she had fewer participants as in past years, McKain said she found people “pleasant and very interested in what I am doing.”
A former elementary school teacher, McKain teaches public speaking at nearby Middlesex Community College.
Suzy Konecky of Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, said she was happy people came to tour the farm and watched the evening milking.
“We always have visitors to the farm store but we had a bunch on the observation deck watching the milking,” Konecky said.
Raw Milk Days also featured beautiful weather for haying. When asked of other Raw Milk Days activities at Chase Hill Farm, which is owned by Jeanette and Mark Fellows, Jeanette Fellows said, “Mark will be haying.”