The Herdshare Program

A small herd of mostly Nubian goats live on the land at Green Uprising Farm.   We have developed a community-oriented, participatory herdshare program where members co-own the goat herd in order to produce milk for their personal use.   Green Uprising Farm does not sell milk to the public.  Milk produced from the privately owned herd is available exclusively to the co-owners.   The team of goat care-takers work with the herd daily moving them through rotational grazing paddocks, taking them on goat walks, providing them with fresh cuttings from the gardens, miking them and tending to their daily needs.  Members of the herdshare program are encouraged to get to know their goatherd, learn about the daily work at the goat dairy, and participate in periodic workdays to help with barn cleaning or attend picnic days in the spring when the newborn kids are frolicking in the orchard.  If you are interested in becoming a herdshare member please contact us.

Facts about Raw Milk

There is a lot of fear and misinformation about raw milk.  There is little doubt that the milk we buy at the supermarket – pasteurized, homogenized, often separated and then re-united with some percentage of fat content, and often coming from cows fed large amounts of grain (often GMO corn or soy), and perhaps subjected to extensive antibiotic and hormone treatments – has very little in common with the amazing and healthful substance that emerges from the teat of a free-ranging, grass-fed, browsing, wild-food eating goat or cow that is lovingly tended on a small family farm.  The health benefits of raw milk are primarily focused on digestive and immune system health. Here is a short summary of the  health promoting attributes of raw milk. 

Proteins:  Our bodies use amino acids as building blocks for proteins.  Raw milk has all of the eight essential amino acids for protein building.  Some of the whey proteins in milk are very heat sensitive, becoming altered and often unavailable after pasteurization.   These whey proteins include key enzymes, enzyme-inhibiters, immunoglobulins (antibodies), metal-binding proteins, vitamin-binding proteins and several growth factors.

 Lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein, has numerous beneficial properties including improved absorption and assimilation of iron, anti-cancer properties and anti-microbial action against several species of bacteria responsible for dental cavities. Recent studies reveal that it has powerful antiviral properties as well.

Other key players in raw milk’s anti-microbial capacity include lysozyme and lactoperoxidase. Lysozyme can actually break apart cell walls of certain undesirable bacteria, while lactoperoxidase teams up with other substances to help knock out unwanted microbes.

Immunoglobulins, an extremely complex class of milk proteins also known as antibodies, provide resistance to many viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins and may help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms. Studies have shown significant loss of these important disease fighters when milk is pasteurized.

Lactose, or milk sugar, is the primary carbohydrate in milk.  Some people with lactose intolerance no longer make the enzyme lactase and have difficulty digesting milk sugar.  Raw milk has lactose-digesting Lactobacilli bacteria which may allow people who have traditionally avoided milk to give it another try.  The milk fermentation process that happens with yogurt, cheese, kefir, sour cream, etc. increases the production of Lactobacilli and the end-result of lactose digestion, lactic acid.  These products may be more easily digested by those who are lactose sensitive. 

Vitamins, Minerals & Enzymes:  Raw milk has a very broad range of completely bio-available vitamins (in fact, all of the vitamins are there – water and fat soluble) and minerals (lots of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, among others) plus 60 (known) fully intact and functional enzymes.  When we eat a food that contains enzymes devoted to its own digestion, it takes a lot of stress off of our pancreas, gallbladder, and other digestive organs. 

Beneficial Bacteria:  In addition to all of the amazing proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, raw milk also has a lot of healthy, beneficial bacteria.  Beneficial bacteria (often known as probiotics) include Lactobacilli which belongs to the genus Lactobacillus and includes several species, such as L. delbrueckii, L. acidophilus and L. helveticus.  Lactococcus, which includes L. lactis is another very beneficial bacteria for the gut.  The third major category of beneficial bacteria is Bifidobacteria, another collection of species very beneficial to the digestive system.

Websites with more information:

Given the amazing health benefits of raw milk, our duties as the caretakers of the herd at Green Uprising Farm are to insure that the goats have a broad range of healthy browse from our land, supplemented by vegetables and fruits from the garden; comfrey, borage, mugwort, artichoke, etc. from the medicine garden; and organic alfalfa and hay.  Many thanks to our herdshare members for their generous donations of prunings and cuttings from their gardens, other yard waste (lots of blackberries) apples from their orchards, acorns, and many other donations too numerous to mention!